The Impact Ready Matching Fund (IRMF) is a non-repayable matching fund provided at the seed stage of an impact enterprise, with disbursements linked to milestones in the development of an impact management system. IRMF is a novel approach to supporting early stage impact enterprises, designed to be provided parallel to an investment by seed-stage (e.g. angel) investors. If milestones are met the IRMF matches the seed investment 1:1 and thus lowers the financing cost of the enterprise significantly. The model involves a donor/philanthropic entity committing to provide non-repayable funding to the enterprise against the achievement of milestones linked to the development and implementation of impact management system within the enterprise. The amount of the grant is tied to the amount of investment provided by a third-party private investor. The logic is to provide straightforward support in order to catalyse more early-stage investments while simultaneously incentivising enterprises to improve their impact management capacity. The achievement of the milestones is assessed by the provider of funding or an independent verifier.


Catalysing of angel investment round in order to support seed-stage impact enterprise with low cost capital. Supports creation of impact management systems by enterprises for later-stage access to impact investments.

Can replace

Grants (technical assistance, development grants)

Risk/Return Profile


Enterprise Lifecyle

Startup/seed (could conceivably be utilized for later stages, but investment sums might be prohibitive).


Funds released over usually one year.

Defining Criteria

Funding is milestone-based, with disbursements released against advances in the development and implementation of an impact management system.
Impact management system:
The impact management system refers to structures and/or processes internal to the enterprise which enable the conceptualizing, tracking, managing and reporting of impact.
Capital mobilisation:
The IRMF is tied to an angel investment round which must involve the investment of repayable capital by a third-party investor
Milestone verification:
Verification of the milestone achievement is conducted by the fund manager or an independent verifier, who check that the impact management system has been developed and implemented to a minimum standard

Interesting Variants and Options

  • Straightforward means of catalysing early-stage investment rounds.


  • Builds pipeline for later-stage impact investors.


  • Can put enterprises on a strong impact trajectory and institutionalise an impact focus from an early stage (relevant also for access to impact investment).


  • Helps promote impact management throughout the eco-system.


  • Unlike a simple matching grant, an IRMF directly links payments to milestones/results.


  • Unlike technical assistance grants, an IRMF has a direct link to an investment round while at the same time supporting the enterprise to build up impact management capacity.

Source: Innovative Financing Toolkit, BRIDDHI, 2020

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