Report: Canadian investors want to mobilize more assets to tackle climate and housing crisis

Impact Investors

2021 Annual Canadian Impact Investor Survey

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Full results of 2021 Canadian Impact Investor Survey shows asset owners achieving strong impact and financial returns

Addressing our climate and affordability crises requires all-hands on deck. It’s important to see investors, including financial institutions like VCIB, continuing to dedicate greater effort...”
— Trish Nixon, Managing Director, Commercial Impact Banking, VCIB

TORONTO, ONTARIO, CANADA, November 29, 2021 / -- Today, SVX released the results of the 2021 Annual Canadian Impact Investor Survey, finding that investors want to significantly grow their asset allocation to impact investing. This work was supported by Impact United, a movement of asset owners seeking to mobilize their investment capital towards social, economic and environmental justice.

The survey was deployed in April 2021 to a broad range of pre-qualified investors from the SVX and Impact United investor network, as well as through peer impact investing intermediaries and investor networks across Canada. Those surveyed were accredited investors active or interested in impact investing, particularly individuals, foundations, family offices, financial institutions, endowments, and faith-based organizations. A total of 95 respondents completed the survey, representing approximately $3.5 billion in assets (CAD).

Key findings from the report included:
- Ninety seven per cent of investors report financial performance in line with or exceeding their expectations. Seventy two per cent of survey respondents were seeking market or risk-adjusted market rate returns, which is largely in-line with global results sourced from the Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN). Impact performance had similarly strong performance, with 92 per cent of investors reporting impact meeting or exceeding expectations.

- Forty five per cent of investors want to significantly grow their asset allocation to impact investing to over half of their portfolio by 2026. This is a sizable increase from 30 per cent of investors who currently have over half of their portfolio allocated to impact investing.

- Sixty seven per cent of investors prioritize energy and environment as their top thematic priorities in their impact investments. Food (55 per cent) and affordable housing (48 per cent) are the next top priority areas.

- Thirty six per cent of investors report interest in gender lens or equity investing, indicating an education gap exists in relation to equity lens investing, as well as a product availability and awareness gap with opportunities that drive greater justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion.

- Seventy four per cent of investors say they are seeking a shared community for connecting, learning and action.

The movement of impact investing asset owners is getting organized in Canada. In order to accelerate the development of the impact investor community in Canada, leading organizations have created Impact United to share, learn, and collaborate with each other. Interested investors can join the community here:

For more information and to access the full report, please visit:

- There is an already active impact investing market in Canada with over 1,000 investors and $20 billion mobilized, but the potential is much greater with over 6,000 foundations, one (1) million accredited investors in Canada, and 90 per cent interest in impact investing amongst high net worth individuals (HNWIs).
- Forty seven per cent of participants had between $1M - $9.99M in investable assets, with 77 per cent of individual investors falling into that range. Forty per cent of foundations and 50 per cent of financial institutions surveyed had over $100M in investable assets, underscoring the importance of migrating institutional capital into impact investing. Similarly, 50 per cent of family offices surveyed have between $50M - $99.9M in investable assets.
- Investors are decisively interested in local impact, with over 80 per cent of respondents across all investor types agreeing that they are interested in impact investments that benefit local communities or regions.
- When asked about their interest in investing in non-profits and charities, 41 per cent of investors strongly agree or agree that they would invest in these kinds of organizations.

“The 2021 Annual Canadian Impact Investor Survey is a testament to the strength of the impact investing movement in Canada. The results demonstrate that Canadian investors are keen to put more of their capital into opportunities that demonstrably drive positive impact in their communities, while also generating positive financial returns.”
Adam Spence, Founder and CEO, SVX Canada

“It is clear that leading impact investors in Canada are seeking the opportunity to connect and collaborate. We started Impact United in hopes that it can begin to fill that need. We invite asset owners to join our network of impact investors across the country.”
Richard Muller, Peer Leader, Impact United

"It’s encouraging to see the remarkable growth of interest and activity in the Canadian impact investing ecosystem. Looking forward, we have a long road ahead to embed justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion in our financial system, and we are excited to work alongside peer investors on this journey."
Smitha Das, Principal, Impact Investing, WES Mariam Assefa Fund

"As a network of community foundations, we have a responsibility to both people and planet to use all of the tools and capital at our disposal to tackle pressing social, environmental, and economic challenges. We are encouraged to see more and more community foundations across the country playing an active role as impact investors, and are committed to further advancing and strengthening this work."
Andrew Chunilall, CEO, Community Foundations of Canada (CFC)

“Addressing our climate and affordability crises requires all-hands on deck. It’s important to see investors, including financial institutions like VCIB, continuing to dedicate greater effort and assets towards opportunities from affordable housing, to energy conservation, to Indigenous-led renewable energy projects."
Trish Nixon, Managing Director, Commercial Impact Banking, Vancity Community Investment Bank (VCIB)

Media Contacts
Helen Zhou, SVX Canada

About SVX Canada
SVX is a nonprofit, diversified financial services firm driving impact for investors, organizations, funds, and enterprises. We provide knowledge and insights, design strategies and products, manage funds, and operate a platform for raising impact capital and making impact investments. We work across sectors that deliver meaningful impact: climate, food, equity, housing, and community real estate, helping investors find and make impact investments and issuers raise impact capital. SVX is regulated by the Ontario Securities Commission and is registered as an Exempt Market Dealer (EMD) in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario and Québec. We have partners and operations across Canada, as well as in the US and Mexico. Since 2013, SVX has worked with over 500 funds, enterprises and organizations, clients have mobilized over $350 million in capital, and we maintain a network of over 1,200 impact investors. For more information, please visit

About Impact United
Impact United is a broad-based community and movement of individual investors, families, foundations, institutions and faith-based organizations across Canada that seek to mobilize their investment capital towards social, economic and environmental justice. Impact United seeks to connect individuals and organizations to share, learn, and collaborate with each other. Impact United seeks to drive transformation, commitments and action by operating as a movement or long-term campaign to engage asset owners in impact investing. Hosted by SVX, key movement leaders for Impact United include the Community Foundations of Canada, Inspirit Foundation, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, WES Mariam Assefa Fund, Des Nedhe Group, Trottier Family Foundation, Ontario Trillium Foundation, Vancity, Vancity Community Investment Bank, Canadian Women’s Foundation, and First Nations Bank of Canada. For more information, please visit:

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