The Surdna Foundation announced today that it has awarded $650,000 to five national organizations to strengthen the field of impact investing. The five grants complete a special Centennial year initiative and complement the Foundation’s commitment, announced in February 2017, to allocate $100 million of its endowment to impact investing to advance its social justice mission and grow the field.
As one of the oldest and largest family-governed foundations in the U.S., Surdna’s commitment to impact investing is not just about furthering its mission, but it’s also about building and strengthening the field of impact investing. The Foundation released, “Mapping the Journey to Impact Investing,” to share its experience and lessons-learned with others thinking about impact investing, and demonstrate how foundations can invest to achieve positive social, environmental and financial returns.
“When the Foundation first made a commitment to focus on a combination of mission-related investments (MRI) and program-related investments (PRI), along with a variety of other impact investing strategies, there was not a wide breadth of funds and tools available,” said Shuaib Siddiqui, Director of Impact Investing at the Foundation. “We believe that fostering an impact investing ecosystem is critical to the development of this sector.”
The key aspect of the Foundation’s impact investing grant strategy is to build the field of impact investing by supporting organizations that are advancing the industry and increasing investments and impact. The first five grant recipients are strengthening the field by highlighting best practices; developing frameworks, guides and tools that highlight the diverse ways organizations can utilize impact investing; and hosting convenings that raise awareness and enable like-minded investors to better understand impact investing.
Grants are listed below with additional information about the specific line of work within each program.
- Confluence Philanthropy – To support Confluence Philanthropy’s Climate Solutions Collaborative initiative (C2C). C2C fosters impact investments in climate solutions, and will mobilize at least $3 billion in private investment capital for climate solutions by 2025. Given C2C’s community of practice and network of investors, they will be an effective partner to build the impact investing field. http://www.confluencephilanthropy.org/
- Foundation Center – To support the development of the Foundation Center’s Foundation Investment Tool, which will enable foundations to better understand their investments and refocus a growing portion of their assets to mission-related investing. The Foundation Investment Tool will build the field of impact investing by advancing diverse ways that organizations can utilize impact investing across their traditional endowment, mission-related investments, and program-related investments. http://foundationcenter.org/
- Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN) – To support the general operation of the Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN), a 501(c)3 dedicated to increasing the scale and effectiveness of impact investing around the world. GIIN will help raise the profile of impact investing, while educating current and potential mission-driven investors to ensure information is properly disseminated about industry best practices, trends, and leading strategies for generating both impact and financial return. https://thegiin.org/
- Mission Investors Exchange (MIE) – To support the general operation of Mission Investors Exchange (MIE), the leading impact investing network for foundations dedicated to deploying capital for social and environmental change. MIE grows and strengthens the field of impact investing by providing resources, inspiration, and connections to their more than 200 members. MIE will build on its existing research and toolkits highlighting best practices and providing foundations with practical next steps to developing their mission-related investments (MRI) portfolios for increased investment and impact. https://missioninvestors.org/
- U.S. Impact Investing Alliance – To support the general operation of the U.S. Impact Investing Alliance, a field-building organization committed to raising awareness of impact investing in the United States by advocating for supportive government policies, catalyzing investor action, and building the movement of impact investing broadly. http://impinvalliance.org/