Our Impact Measurement & Management Approach

Mercy Corps Ventures
Mercy Corps Ventures
4 min readMar 3, 2023

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Photo courtesy of Mercy Corps.

Robust impact measurement and management (IMM) is core to who we are and integrated throughout our entire investment process.

High-quality IMM is vital for early-stage startups because it increases efficiency, business resilience, and investment attractiveness by helping companies better articulate and validate their customer value propositions. All of our portfolio companies are impact-focused, working to improve their customers’ lives in their target region or sector. Our fund-level impact strategy stems from our Resilient Future Thesis, which guides our investments in, and support for, early-stage companies developing innovative solutions.

“As an impact investor, the success and impact of Mercy Corps Ventures as a fund is directly tied to the success and impact of our portfolio companies. We are deeply committed to forefronting impact in our investment decisions and to supporting our portfolio to grow through a holistic approach to measuring and managing impact performance alongside business performance.”
Lillian Alexander — Director of Impact, Mercy Corps Ventures

Lillian sharing insights at the Metrics Ground Up Conference 2023 | ANDE

During the investment due diligence phase, we leverage our robust IMM approach to identify investments that are aligned with our thesis and have a high potential for impact at scale. Post-investment, we monitor and manage our portfolio companies’ impact performance and risks, and provide tailored IMM support engagements through our Venture Platform to help companies build their internal data capacity, establish customer feedback loops, and articulate their impact story.

Explore our open-source guide on:

Image courtesy of Mercy Corps.

“MCV’s feedback was helpful in defining the content of our annual grower survey as well as the best channel to use in order to have a greater response rate. As a result, we had an amazing 87% response rate, and growers’ input allowed us to define several baselines and dig further into how our product can help growers improve their overall operation to make it more sustainable.”
Isabel Rodríguez García — Head of Sustainability, Verqor

This ongoing portfolio-level management and analysis allows us to evaluate the impact performance of our investments, compare expectations to reality, and incorporate learnings into our ever-evolving IMM approach as we strive to become smarter investors and share our insights with the broader ecosystem.

Theory of Change

“Impact measurement and management is incorporated into everything we do with companies post-investment. It’s key to gaining revenue and growing a business sustainably.”
Hebe Foster — Platform Associate, Mercy Corps Ventures

Alignment to the SDGs & Industry Standards

At Mercy Corps Ventures, we recognize our role in contributing to the $2.5 trillion funding gap to achieve the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Through our investments, we are committed to making meaningful contributions to the SDGs. Our portfolio companies have social and/or environmental impact embedded in their business models and we map each of our investees’ impact outcomes directly to the SDG targets. While our portfolio indirectly contributes to nearly all of the 17 SDGs, we specifically focus on these 9 SDGs when selecting investments.

In addition to the SDGs, we are also strongly aligned to several globally-recognized industry frameworks, including the Impact Management Project’s 5 Dimensions of Impact, the Operating Principles of Impact Management, and the 2X Collaborative.

Annual Impact Reports

In line with IMM best practices and our own fund-wide commitment to transparency, we publish an annual impact report to share portfolio highlights, business model case studies, insights and key trends, and our own fails and lessons learned as investors.

Read our latest Impact Report:

2023 Annual Impact Report

Want to learn more about how we’ve designed an IMM approach for early-stage ventures operating in frontier markets? Have a question or suggestion about our latest impact report? Excited to talk shop about theories of change and impact models? Reach out to our Director of Impact, Lillian, for more information.

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