A guide through the concepts, processes, and tools investors need to optimize portfolios for integrated impact and financial goals

impact frontiers online learning
In partnership with Impact Capital Managers, with the support of the Tipping Point Fund

This curriculum provides a flexible, self-paced introduction to the essential impact management concepts, tools, and practices in impact-financial integration. This resource is relevant for anyone interested in exploring frontier practices in impact management, including investment practitioners, entrepreneurs, students, and policymakers.

The guidance offered here builds and expands on the foundation laid by the first Impact Frontiers cohort in 2018 – 2020, described in Impact-Financial Integration: A Handbook for Investors. It synthesizes the insights and learnings that emerged from Impact Frontiers’ work with a cohort of private markets investors affiliated with Impact Capital Managers, and more broadly with more than fifty investors across six cohorts in 2021 – 2022. 

The curriculum assumes minimal prior experience with impact management, though it is recommended that users review the Five Dimensions of Impact framework in advance.

Impact for Decision-Making
This sequence provides an overview of the curriculum and introduces the core concepts of impact-financial integration.
Module 1:

Course Overview & Goals

  • The three peaks of impact management
  • Five steps toward impact-financial integration
  • Course overview
  • Impact management self-diagnostic
Module 2:

Introduction to Impact Ratings

  • Impact ratings as an impact management tool
  • Two approaches: High / Medium / Low impact ratings vs. quantitative non-monetary impact ratings
  • Case study: Frontiers Fund
  • Worksheet: Create a High / Medium / Low impact rating
Module 3:

The Efficient Impact Frontier

  • Introduction to the efficient impact frontier
Impact at the Portfolio & Investment Levels
This sequence explores how to integrate impact alongside financial risk and return throughout your process, from portfolio-level goal-setting to investment-level decision-making.
Module 4:

Impact at the Portfolio Level

  • Articulating portfolio level goals in terms of the What, Who, and Contribution dimensions of impact
  • Integrated portfolio dashboards
  • Integrated portfolio performance targets
Module 5:

Impact at the Investment Level

  • Integrated pipeline screens
  • Impact ratings, integrated scatterplot analysis, and investment approval
  • Adjusting investment processes based on integrated analysis of portfolio performance
  • Case study: Frontiers Fund
Building an Impact Rating
This sequence provides a detailed, step-by-step process for building an impact rating using the 5 Dimensions of Impact framework from the Impact Management Project.
Module 6:


  • Sequence overview and introduction to impact rating template
  • Scoring criteria: What dimension
  • Key concepts: impacts, outcomes, and outputs
Module 7:

How Much

  • Scoring criteria: How Much dimension
  • Key concepts: Scale vs. depth vs. duration
Module 8:


  • Scoring criteria: Who dimension
  • Key concept: Thresholds
Module 9:

Enterprise Contribution

  • Scoring criteria: Enterprise Contribution
  • Key concepts: Counterfactuals, spectrum of evidence, scenario analysis
Module 10:

Impact Risk

  • Scoring criteria: Impact Risk
  • Key concepts: 9 types of impact risk, likelihood vs. consequences of impact risk
Module 11:

Investor Contribution

  • Scoring criteria: Investor Contribution
  • Key concepts: Investor contribution strategies, investor-level scenario analysis
Module 12:

Impact Ratings Math

  • Weights
  • Aggregation formulas
  • Accounting for multiple outcomes, multiple stakeholders
Impact-Financial Integration
This sequence discusses how to construct, analyze, and synthesize decision-making rules from integrated scatterplots.
Module 13:

Integrated Scatterplots: Construction & Analysis

  • Risk-adjusted financial return metrics
  • Analyzing integrated scatterplots to identify decision-relevant insights
  • Examples of integrated scatterplot analysis from past Impact Frontiers cohort members
Module 14:


  • Reflections and key takeaways

Explore Our Resource Library

impact financial integration
Impact-financial integration
impact rating math
Discussion board: Impact Ratings Math
online resource listing
Investor Contribution 2.0

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