Impact Due Diligence and Management for Asset Allocators: A Field Guide

November 2023

About the Guide: “A Field Guide: Impact Due Diligence and Management for Asset Allocators” aims to drive more rigor and consistency in how asset allocators evaluate and manage private market funds that invest for positive impacts on people and the planet. Developed in 2023 through interviews with 50+ Limited Partners (LPs) and General Partners (GPs) worldwide, along with desk research, this guide draws from the experiences and practices of experienced LPs and GPs investing in diverse strategies. It provides guidance that is broadly applicable across sectors and impact themes based on practitioner wisdom and existing market best practices. It also highlights the blind spots and learning hurdles that newer LPs face when entering the world of impact investing.

How to Use this Guide: The guidance and recommendations in this resource have been designed to help LPs make meaningful investments in funds that are well-positioned to deliver on their impact promises. They are also intended to help LPs monitor their existing fund investments to gauge adherence to their plans and progress toward intended results. Finally, this guide can help LPs align impact management practices with emerging standards and in ways that may lead to increased confidence about portfolio impact performance.

What’s Inside: The guide offers tools and tips for allocators during due diligence and as part of their ongoing management of impact funds, as well as potential red flags that could signal a lack of rigor, capacity, and/or intentionality on the part of these managers. The resource also includes practice guides to highlight differences between light and high-touch engagement and taking into consideration a manager’s size, the size of a particular investment, and the manager’s thematic focus.

  • Practice Guides for LPs on Conducting Diligence and Monitoring GPs – Easy to follow practice guides covering five key aspects of due diligence and monitoring.
  • Key Findings from Over 50 Conversations – Uncovered insights and dynamics related to how LPs are currently approaching impact management.
  • Words of Wisdom from the Field – Key lessons, quotes, and important thought-starters directly from our interviewees.
  • Appendix of Resources – Resources and key terms for impact management, including example due diligence questions for evaluating impact managers.

A collaboration between BlueMark and CASE at Duke University, with support from the Tipping Point Fund on Impact Investing.

Authored by Cathy Clark, Sarah Gelfand, Anna Nikolova, and Carrie Gonnella