NCIF is a U.S.-focused nonprofit private equity fund established in 1996 whose vision is a society where underserved communities and populations have access to responsibly priced financial products and services, and where investors not only value financial return, but social and environmental impact as well.
NCIF has three principal sets of activities:
1. Investing and facilitating investment of funds into mission-oriented depository institutions.
2. Knowledge sharing and community building to strengthen the relationship among investors, stakeholders, and investees in The NCIF Network, made up of banks in which NCIF invests and other partner banks.
3. Providing thought leadership to inspire development of new business models among mission-oriented financial institutions to better serve underbanked populations.
NCIF pioneered the creation of its Social Performance Metrics (SPM), a quantitative and qualitative set of metrics to evaluate the social performance of banks. In an effort to standardize taxonomy, measurement and possible rating, NCIF has harmonized its data collection efforts with the IRIS global standards.
This will help provide consistency in reporting across the industry for Community Development Banking Institutions (CDBIs) and hence assist investors, regulators, and other stakeholders to use this data in an effective way. In addition, the tools can be used by the banks themselves to benchmark their social performance to strengthen the sector. IRIS users can reference the NCIF SPM to learn about reporting performance consistently with IRIS and best practices for community banks.
Additionally, in 2012 NCIF and IRIS co-authored the publication “Collaborating to Harmonize Standardized Metrics for Impact Investors”, documenting the alignment between NCIF and IRIS metrics and their benefits of establishing a universal system for measuring impact.
Other Impact Measurement Tools
NCIF developed the Social Performance Metrics (SPM) to provide a methodology for investors to identify and monitor community development-focused financial institutions. The NCIF SPM is a set of quantitative and qualitative measures that help communicate the impact generated by banks in low- and moderate-income areas. It is a standard within the U.S. community banking sector. By using SPM’s standardized terms and definitions, CDBIs can quantitatively tell the story of their individual and collective impact.
NCIF provides some of this data and analysis via its mobile-friendly portal on www.bankimpact.org.