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Home Forums Ask the Expert Ask the Expert Session#2: Mike McCreless

  • Ask the Expert Session#2: Mike McCreless

    Posted by Dan Cheung on January 10, 2023 at 12:02 pm


    Welcome to our first ‘Ask the Experts’ (ATE) session with Mike McCreless.

    Ask the Expert with Mike McCreless
    How do you integrate impact management with financial management, when their methodologies are not designed to be interoperable? Mike McCreless of Impact Frontiers will answer questions on impact-financial integration, creative decision-making, and how investors can make more informed decisions that consider financial, social and environmental results.

    Mike is Founder and Executive Director of Impact Frontiers, a peer learning and market-building collaboration supporting investors in pioneering new ways to integrate impact alongside financial risk and return in investment practices. Mike served concurrently as Head of Investor Collaboration at the Impact Management Project from 2019 to 2021. Prior to that, Mike was Head of Impact at Root Capital. He holds an MBA and an MPA in International Development from Harvard University, as well as a BA from Yale University.

    Please submit your questions by clicking the Reply button below. You will afterwards receive the Zoom link to the event. For questions, please get in touch with .

    Wayne Lin replied 1 year, 2 months ago 28 Members · 30 Replies
  • 30 Replies
  • Meryl Ligunas

    January 19, 2023 at 3:30 pm

    Hi Mike, thank you for taking time to answer our questions. My questions are the following:

    1. How much time should an organisation allot in developing an impact rating, and what data do we need to proceed?

    2. What is your advice to small organisations with lean teams on how they can prioritise measuring their social impact on top of their daily tasks, and gradually expanding their IMM practices?

    Thanks again and I look forward to the session!

  • Juen Lin Ng

    January 26, 2023 at 4:30 pm

    Hi Mike,

    How do you help educate and inform investors about the frameworks, potential benefits, and opportunities in impact investing?

  • Alice Lo

    January 30, 2023 at 11:27 am

    Hi Mike,

    <font face=”inherit”>Thanks for the Q&A session. I was wondering how the IMM process can be simplified for small </font>impact<font face=”inherit”> </font>organizations, especially those who don’t have the time or resources to fully immersed in or properly implement IMM?

  • Vijay Kannan

    January 30, 2023 at 9:22 pm

    Hello Mike,

    Thank you for your time and insights in advance. I serve in a programmatic education nonprofit in Asia, working on strategic initiatives creating impact in the short and long term. I’ve greatly valued learning the frameworks, logic models, metric sets and impact assessment tools in the pre-reads.

    My questions: how would you advise traditional programmatic nonprofit leaders to best adapt these methodologies and processes to measure and monitor impact, communicate that impact to donors versus impact investors, and generally strengthen the robustness of our performance assessment through this impact investing lens?

    Thanks again,

    Vijay Kannan

  • Carol LIEW

    January 31, 2023 at 9:53 am

    Hi Mike!

    What are some of the impact/outcome metrics you have seen work in practice at portfolio level that involves everything from traditional grants to impact-first investments?

    Thanks in advance!


  • Kai-Jou Chang

    January 31, 2023 at 5:12 pm

    Hello Mike,

    We understand that setting threshold is important for the ABC goal levels. But as there are dozens of different sustainability issues and impact goals, how do we find every project a proper and comparible threshold? (Some may not have data from the government or trusted researches)

    Looking forward to learn more from you!



  • Nala Cheng

    January 31, 2023 at 5:45 pm

    Hi Mike!

    Thanks for your time. Below are two questions that I’d like to pose:

    (1) In the five dimensions of impact, enterprise contribution tries to measure “Outcome in period – Outcome that would have happen anyway”. How can organizations accurately assess “what would have happen anyway”?

    (2) <font color=”rgba(0, 0, 0, 0)” face=”inherit”>As different investees’ or projects’ have different financial and impact results, how do we put them together in a portfolio </font><font color=”#4d5c6d”>scatter plot</font><font color=”rgba(0, 0, 0, 0)” face=”inherit”> or a </font>matrix<font color=”rgba(0, 0, 0, 0)” face=”inherit”>? How can we make reasonable </font>comparisons<font color=”rgba(0, 0, 0, 0)” face=”inherit”> between those focusing on very different sustainability issues?</font>

    Looking forward to the session! 🙂

    Best regards,


    • This reply was modified 1 year, 2 months ago by  Nala Cheng.
    • Nala Cheng

      February 2, 2023 at 8:43 am

      Hi Mike,

      I’d like to add one more question here: As we can see, currently there are dozens of impact measurement and management tools or framework in the market. What is your observation of this situation? And what do you think is the key to set a globally-recognized standard?

      Thanks again!

      Best regards,


  • Francesco Stadler

    February 2, 2023 at 2:54 pm

    Hi Mike,

    Thanks for the session. My questions are

    – What would you say are the key impact aspects that an intermediary should ensure are in place when vetting early-stage impact investing opportunities in the alternative space (directs and VC funds)? What impact framework would you recommend to use to perform such “light impact assessment”?

    – How to quickly assess whether the impact is actually core to the business, and not possible to be decoupled from the business (for example if a company gets acquired)?

    – Granted that all individual cases have their own specificities, what would you say impact investors can reasonably request from early-stage ventures and first time impact fund managers in terms of IMM (framework, KPIs, tracking, monitoring, reporting)?

    Thank you and looking forward to it!

  • Ann Kerrison-Liu

    February 2, 2023 at 2:54 pm

    Hi there,

    Would like to know how we can better integrate impact reporting with the finance reporting. They are often developed individually and not connected. however, when we report on the social project to the community or donors, they would like to understand the project impact and delivery together with the project financial performances. Any tips on reporting them together in one report? how would that look like?


  • Siddharth Chatterjee

    February 3, 2023 at 11:48 am

    Hi Mike,

    Thank you for taking the time for this Ask the Experts session! I had a question about the potential impact integrity risks created by integrating impact and financial management. Is there a danger of inadvertently “impact washing” in an attempt to integrate impact into one’s commercial investment activities? How can organisations and investors mitigate against these risks?

  • Kristine Mae Magtubo

    February 3, 2023 at 1:14 pm

    Hi, Mike!

    Thanks for sharing your knowledge. What would be your advise to social enterprises seeking funding from impact investors? As different investors implement different IMM systems and methods, how do you suggest they navigate fulfilling these investors’ required elements while also figuring out their fundraising strategy?

  • Richard Anthony Cruz

    February 3, 2023 at 1:43 pm

    How does new learning shape the evolution of metrics over time. What has been your experience in how funds evolve their metrics?

  • David Vivian

    February 3, 2023 at 2:27 pm

    Hi Mike

    I have a few questions:

    1. What are the steps that can be taken towards impact-financial integration and what methodologies/frameworks are available to assist?

    2. Is there always a positive relationship/correlation between impact and risk-adjusted financial return and if not, how do we make the correlation stronger?

    3. How do we avoid the risk that a lack of quality data will undermine analysis and the risk of implementing additional processes that would over-burden or alienate an organsiation?

  • Eugene Lee

    February 3, 2023 at 2:30 pm

    Hi Mike,

    Thanks for taking us through this session.

    As a finance professional in my current organisation, integrating or synergising impact reporting with financial reporting is definitely useful.

    Our organisation has to implement TCFD reporting in the upcoming year which is also moving things along those lines.

    My questions are:

    1) How do we begin the conversation and get the buy-in with stakeholders to provide the inputs to drive the impact reporting (especially if they’re also not used to providing inputs linked to the financial reporting either)?

    2) For areas affecting both impact and financial reporting, how do we balance and prioritise the key areas for improvements (e.g. consider impact over financial, consider financial over impact, consider both equally)?

  • Konshika Koeswara

    February 3, 2023 at 2:42 pm

    Hi Mark,

    Impact Measurement Management might be a difficult activity to be implemented, especially when it comes to making the report for an early-established organization. Most of the time, 3rd party is the only option to make the measurement more valid. Is there any alternative to do a self-audit and establish our own impact metrics? if yes, what is the early step that we can take?

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