Social impact investments represent a cultural revolution, as they offer the opportunity to pursue financial and social goals simultaneously. However, Social impact investing market configurations are not evolving equally across national contexts. Therefore, in different contexts, different actors may play the pivotal role to make social impact investments more attractive. The present work, by looking at the Italian context, applies a qualitative methodology to study Foundations of Banking Origin (FBOs). This is a specific category of foundation which is bound by law to work and expand the charity sector. It emerges that the role of these entities, inside the philanthropy system, should develop from “impact facilitators” to “impact generators” in promoting social initiatives. Furthermore, the work sustains the importance of introducing a social impact rating system as a formalized methodology to select and finance the worthiest social project. In this perspective, the definition of a clear social rating philosophy and its correct application in the rating system design and use is a necessary condition to increase the solidity of a social impact assessment model.
Keywords: social impact investment; social rating philosophy; foundations of banking origin; mission related investment