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Topical Resource Lists for Grantmakers

Mission-Related Investing: A Topical Resource List

Mission-Related Investing, or investing that broadly supports a foundation's programmatic goals, has gained increasing popularity among grantmakers. These publications explore various aspects of the topic:

Beckwith, Dave. "Beyond Grantmaking: Letting Our Foundation Assets Work Full-Time." Responsive Philanthropy, (Summer 2007): p. 1, 11-4.
The executive director of the Needmor Fund explains how the social justice grantmaker became interested in mission-related investing. He discusses why investment practices should reflect organizational values and addresses concerns regarding this approach. Available online.

Bernholz, Lucy and Lisa Richter. Equity Advancing Equity: How Community Philanthropy Can Build Racial and Social Equity Through Mission Investing. San Francisco, CA: Blueprint Research & Design, 2009.
Report explores how mission investing can advance social justice, noting the opportunities for community foundations. Includes real-world examples, glossary, and other resources. Available online.

Born, Jason and Andy Carroll (ed.). Mission Investing for Small Foundations. Washington, DC: Association of Small Foundations, 2009.
This author offers an overview of mission investing, which he defines as the practice of using the 95 percent of assets that a foundation typically invests to achieve program goals as well as financial returns. Born also explains how to break down the barriers between grantmaking and investing.

Cohen, Rick. A Call for Mission-Based Investing by America's Private Foundations. Washington, DC: National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy, 2005.
Among the options that Cohen recommends for foundation investments are program-related investments, recoverable grants, working capital loans, and market-rate deposits. He also provides a plan for transitioning from a traditional portfolio to mission-based investments. Available online.

Cooch, Sarah and Mark R. Kramer. Compounding Impact: Mission Investing by US Foundations. Boston, MA: FSG Social Impact Advisors, 2007.
The authors examine the investment activities of 92 U.S. foundations to explore how they have used financial investments to advance their missions. These investments include market-rate investments, as well as below market-rate investments (such as program-related investments). Available online.

Godeke, Steven and Paul Pomares. Solutions For Impact Investors: From Strategy to Implementation. New York, NY: Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, 2009.
Provides an introduction to social and mission-related investing with advice on defining impact, developing an investing policy, and executing transactions. Available online.

Humphreys, Joshua. The Mission in the Marketplace: How Responsible Investing Can Strengthen the Fiduciary Oversight of Foundation Endowments and Enhance Philanthropic Missions. Washington, DC: Social Investment Forum, 2008.
This report discusses the ways in which socially and environmentally responsible investing can enhance a foundation's mission while simultaneously strengthening its endowment. Offers ideas on how different types of foundations can screen their portfolios to ensure that their investments reflect their institution's values, and explores the economic benefits of responsible investing. While written for all foundation officers, the report is particularly of interest to small foundations and family foundations. Available online.

Kramer, Mark R. and Anne Stetson. A Brief Guide to the Law of Mission Investing for U.S. Foundations. Boston, MA: FSG Social Impact Advisors, 2008.
Gives an overview of the law related to mission investing, based on legal research and interviews with practitioners at foundations. Available online.

Lawrence, Steven and Reina Mukai. Key Facts On Mission Investing. New York, NY: Foundation Center, 2011.
In a January 2011 Foundation Giving Forecast Survey conducted by the Foundation Center, 168 foundations with $119.2 billion in assets indicated that they engage in some form of mission investing. This paper discusses key findings from the survey as well as the use of mission-related investments (MRIs) versus program-related investments (PRIs). The ultimate goal is to provide a benchmark of the level of foundation engagement in mission investing and the types of investment vehicles being used. Available online.

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