We see this Guidebook as a tangible resource to help credit unions address a marketplace gap and empower members to make investments that will have demonstrable, positive impacts in their communities.

Martha Durdin, President and CEO, Canadian Credit Union Association

Trends & Opportunities

What is Retail Impact Investing?

Impact investing is a targeted approach to investment in companies, organizations, and funds with the intention of generating social and/or environmental impacts alongside a financial return.

Trends in Retail Impact Investing

Driven by growing demand and shifting preferences among retail investors – including women and Millennials – there is increased interest in integrating social values within investment decisions.

The Opportunity for Credit Unions

Impact investing is a natural fit for credit unions, whose principles of social responsibility, financial inclusion and community commitment are reflected in their missions, strategies and product offerings.

Product Profiles

Oikocredit Global Impact GIC– Mennonite Savings and Credit Union
Jubilee Fund Investment Certificate – Assiniboine Credit Union
Resilient Capital Program – Vancity Credit Union
Community Bond – Centre for Social Innovation
Community Investment Note – Calvert Foundation
Investment Fund Note – RSF Social Finance

Retail Impact Investment Product Listing

Comprehensive list of Canadian and global products

Developing a retail impact investment product?

Add your product to the global listing of retail impact investments

Product Development Roadmap


Planning is the set of activities and processes that enable a credit union to be ready to explore and embrace retail impact investing .

Read More >


Product Design is the process of collecting information and evidence to build internal support and a business case for the retail product.

Read More >


Pre-Launch is the set of internal processes and activities that enable a credit union to successfully develop and prepare to launch a product.

Read More >


Post-Launch refers to internal activities to evaluate the reception of a product with  investor and community partner audiences.

Read More >

Catalyzing Retail Impact Investing

Generate Awareness and Engagement Within the Credit Union Sector
Validate Member Demand, and Strengthen the Ability for Credit Unions to Respond
Develop Shared Platforms to Catalyze Product Development
Strengthen the Enabling Environment for Social Finance

1. Share Information and Best Practices Among the Credit Union Sector: The sector should commit to regularly updating the website that was created for this guidebook to showcase the range of impact investing opportunities and best practices in product development.

2. Review Product Development Approaches,and Share Tools and Templates: Credit unions can use networks and platforms (e.g. CCUA, Centrals and other system partners) to share the specific approaches that they are taking to product development within their respective institutions.

3. Validate Existing or Latent Member Demand Through Research and Campaigns: Credit unions – individually or collectively – can commission targeted research on the demand and preferences of existing members related to impact investing, as well as assess interest from potential members.

4. Strengthen Staff Capacity and Education Through Professional Development: Credit unions can embed impact investing as a component of professional development objectives, either through in-house materials, or suggesting the topic to training providers.

5. Explore the Feasibility of Collectively Negotiating a Partnership With an Established Product Issuer: To help reduce transaction and monitoring costs, credit unions could collectively negotiate a product partnership with an established product issuer.

6. Explore the Feasibility of a National Thematic Product Accessible To Retail Investors: Credit unions could engage with Centrals and system affiliates to assess whether they can create a shared, scaled product in an established impact sector (such as affordable housing or renewable energy).

7. Collaborate With Social Finance Intermediaries to Build a Pipeline of Qualified Opportunities: Credit unions can partner with local and regional intermediaries (such as community loan funds, community foundations, and incubators) to actively identify and vet potential opportunities.

8. Build on Regional or National Policy, Regulatory and Advocacy Initiatives That Promote Social Finance: Work with networks that are actively advocating for improved legal, regulatory and policy conditions, and engage with appropriate provincial and federal regulators.

Contribute your examples, strategies and learning.