One of the biggest debates in impact investing is whether investors must sacrifice financial return to achieve their desired social or environmental impact. Researchers at the Wharton Social Impact Initiative found that wasn't the case when they analyzed the financial performance of 53 private-equity funds that focus on impact investments. The funds made 557 individual investments in social-purpose companies. The researchers chose funds that seek market-rate returns, on the assumption that the tension between financial performance and social mission would be most pronounced for them. But when the researchers compared the impact-investing funds' performance to the Russell 2000 and other public market indices, they saw that the funds had achieved comparable financial results without the companies they invested in abandoning their social or environmental missions.