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CPI in the news Article May 6th, 2020
Infrastructure • Cities • Finance

Catalyzing Inclusive Economic Recovery in the Wake of COVID-19: The Centre for Public Impact Launches “Opportunity to Impact: An Investment Assessment Tool”

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Elysa Neumann, Centre for Public Impact

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Catalyzing Inclusive Economic Recovery in the Wake of COVID-19: The Centre for Public Impact Launches “Opportunity to Impact: An Investment Assessment Tool”


Washington D.C. - The Centre for Public Impact, working with advisors at the Beeck Center for Social Impact + Innovation, launched “Opportunity to Impact: An Investment Assessment Tool” (O2I). As we consider the economic fallout of the COVID-19 crisis and our path to recovery, we must ensure recovery is inclusive. Seeking to meet this need, Opportunity to Impact is a rigorous yet straightforward guide for evaluating an investment's potential for positive social, economic, and environmental impact.

While public health is at the forefront of coronavirus concerns, the country's economic health is also a pressing issue. Although every American is feeling the strain of the coronavirus-catalyzed recession, a segment of residents has been particularly hard hit: those already living in underserved communities. According to studies, the vast majority of Americans cannot afford an unexpected expense of $1,000 and over 52 million Americans live in economically distressed communities. In the wake of COVID-19, when 30 million Americans have already applied for unemployment insurance, the inequitable toll on underserved communities has been keenly felt.

“The economic toll of COVID-19 is tremendous. As we discuss and plan for recovery, we must work to remedy the conditions that left so many Americans behind. This is an opportunity to build a system that is more equitable and stable, a system that can weather future challenges,” said Dan Vogel, North America Director at CPI. “However, we cannot support historically underserved communities without intentionality around planning, legitimacy, and action. ‘Opportunity to Impact' is a rigorous approach to increase the impact potential of projects. With it, we can strive for an inclusive recovery and build an economy that is more equitable than ever before.”

Opportunity to Impact was developed from the combination of rigorous frameworks (Public Impact FundamentalsOpportunity Zones Impact Reporting Framework) and insights from residents, investors, public officials, and impact measurement experts across the country. Opportunity to Impact users input project data and receive an impact evaluation and list of resources to increase impact. The tool's results can be used internally by project sponsors to identify the strengths and weaknesses of a project's impact approach or be sent externally to foster collaboration with community stakeholders and mission-driven investors.

"Intentional thinking and collaborative behavior is required for inclusive economic growth in any community. A commitment to impact starts with the voice of those who live and work there; that is real community engagement,” said Jen Collins, Fellow-in-Residence at the Beeck Center for Social Impact + Innovation. "As we focus on an inclusive economic recovery, the O2I tool will provide project sponsors and communities alike with the information required to maximize the positive impact of their investments."

In tandem with the tool, the Centre for Public Impact and the Beeck Center for Social Impact + Innovation are launching a series of Impact in Action case studies aimed at highlighting innovative models and lessons for driving positive community impact through investment and development projects across America. The studies feature Kannapolis (North Carolina), Baltimore (Maryland), and Merced (California).

To learn more about Opportunity to Impact, please see the tool online or contact Ryan Goss at



About the Centre for Public Impact

The Centre for Public Impact is a not-for-profit founded by Boston Consulting Group. Believing that governments can and want to do better for people, we work side-by-side with governments—and all those who help them—to reimagine government, and turn ideas into action, to bring about better outcomes for everyone. We champion public servants and other changemakers who are leading this charge and develop the tools and resources they need, like our Public Impact Fundamentals, so we can build the future of government together.


About the Beeck Center for Social Impact + Innovation at Georgetown University

Beeck Center for Social Impact + Innovation is an experiential hub with two key mandates. Through Georgetown University, we operate as an orchestrating broker across sectors to increase the probability of scaled positive impact, ultimately provoking grassroot and institutional leaders to think, behave, and collaborate differently toward a shared vision of prosperity for all. We believe that accelerating social change hinges on all sectors operating in concert. We take promising, impact-ripe efforts that fill ecosystem gaps and ready them for scale. Our experiential work always includes students as our long-game, to actively ready future leaders in the evolving impact space.


Written by:

Elysa Neumann Director, Communications & Storytelling, North America
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