Impact investing is the practice of making purposeful investments that generate financial returns, while also helping to achieve social or environmental benefits—exemplifying the idea of “doing well while doing good.” But how do people make impact investing decisions? And what keeps others from participating? Our data illustrates a generational shift toward impact investing and what it could mean for the future.

Impact investing is here to stay as Millennials embrace the strategy

Younger investors believe in the long-term financial prospects of these strategies—but they are in it for more than the financial gains. With their heightened focus on social change, impact investing is poised to become a mainstream practice as the generation comes to control more wealth.

62% of Millennials

of Millennial investors feel that impact investing has greater potential than traditional philanthropy to create long-term positive change in the world.

6 in 10 Millennials

Millennial investors actively use impact investing strategies, compared to only one-third of the overall investor population.

66% of Millennials

believe impact investing is a smart investment. Young investors believe in the financial viability of these strategies.

Across all generations, values-based investing is catching on more broadly

Impact investors are satisfied with their results so far—reporting that impact investing makes them feel like they are doing something good and like a good global citizen. And many others may get started with impact investing soon.


As they gain more experience and options continue to become more accessible, 41% of impact investors plan to increase the amount they allocate to impact investments in the next year.


  The strategy is gradually becoming more mainstream among everyday investors. Of those who have not made an impact investment, 40% are likely to consider trying it in the next year.

However, lack of knowledge holds many investors back from trying impact investing

Among those who have not yet made an impact investment, the top reason is lack of knowledge. And those who are not familiar are hesitant to get involved.


of those who haven't yet tried impact investing say they do not know enough about it. Given the significant knowledge gap among investors, professional advisor help is needed to provide guidance and dispel myths related to impact investing strategies.

Additional resources

Who we are

Fidelity Charitable is an independent public charity that offers one of the nation’s largest donor-advised fund programs, making charitable giving accessible, simple, and effective.

What is impact investing?

More investors than ever are seeking to align their values with their investments. Learn more about the benefits and different types of impact investing.