In profile: Philanthropic investing

Alliance magazine

Foundations are actively using a greater range of their assets to pursue their underlying aims. These investments span a wide variety of form, purpose and recipient, a sample of which is featured here

Sharon Alpert.

Foundations going all in

In 2012, the F B Heron Foundation decided to extend the 40 per cent of its assets devoted to mission investing across its entire portfolio. In pursuit of its mission, it makes investments along a spectrum which runs from below-market to market returns, with grants at one end and private equity at the other. In 2018, another foundation, the Nathan Cummings Foundation decided to do likewise, when its endowment stood at just under $500 million. ‘The problems we are working on – like the climate crisis and growing inequality – will not be solved by grantmaking alone,’ said foundation president, Sharon Alpert in an open letter to the field. ‘Capital markets have to change to drive sustainable and inclusive growth that will create long-term value for people, the planet, and the economy.’ The Nathan Cummings Foundation describes itself as ‘a multigenerational family foundation rooted in the Jewish tradition of social justice’.

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