Moving philanthropy forward in engaging in mission investing

Feb 04, 2014, 08:00 ET from National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy

"Responsive Philanthropy" tackles myths, shares examples of foundation engagement, additional resources and more

WASHINGTON, Feb. 4, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy (NCRP; today released a special winter issue of "Responsive Philanthropy" (, which focuses on mission investing (MI) in the philanthropic sector. This edition of the quarterly journal debunks myths that fuel skepticism about this investment approach, provides examples of how some foundations are engaging in effective mission investing, highlights resources and tools to facilitate effective adoption of this practice and shares lessons from veterans in the field.

Improving the Planet and Walking the Talk (
In the cover story, Park Foundation staff and trustees write about the organization's journey in mission investing. They describe the different tools they've utilized to ensure that the foundation's investments align with its mission.

Blending Mission, Values, Fiduciary Duty and Investments (
Many skeptics of mission investing cite concerns that this practice violates foundation trustees' fiduciary duties. Tim Smith, director of environmental, social and governance shareowner engagement at Walden Asset Management, argues that fiduciary duty should motivate instead of deter mission investing.

Pushing the Envelope: Expanding the Limits of Mission Investing (
Peter Berliner, managing director of Mission Investors Exchange, and David Wood, director of the Initiative for Responsible Investment at Harvard University's Hauser Institute for Civil Society, write about what foundations can do to support continued growth and innovation in the practice of MI.

Leveraging Impact with Catalytic First-Loss Capital (
In this article, Amit Bouri, managing director, and Abhilash Mudaliar, research manager at Global Impact Investing Network, offers catalytic first-loss capital to foundations that would like to test the waters of mission investing.

Pooled Funds: The Invisible Wall Between Your Foundation and True Mission Alignment (
Majority of foundations hold investments in pooled funds, according to Dana Lanza, CEO, and Sarah DeNicola, membership program manager, of Confluence Philanthropy. Unfortunately, these funds prevent foundations from exercising influence and aligning investments with its values.

Member Spotlight: W.K. Kellogg Foundation (
NCRP member W.K. Kellogg Foundation discusses its Mission Driven Investments program and offers lessons for other foundations that are seeking to emphasize both social and financial investment returns.

This edition of "Responsive Philanthropy" also includes a glossary of terms ( and a list of important resources for foundations interested in learning more about mission investing (

These articles, along with articles from previous issues, are available for free on the "Responsive Philanthropy Article Archive" ( Hardcopy subscriptions to "Responsive Philanthropy" are complimentary for NCRP members and cost $25 for non-members.

The National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy in Washington, D.C., is a national watchdog, research and advocacy organization that promotes philanthropy that serves the public good, is responsive to people and communities with the least wealth and opportunity, and is held accountable to the highest standards of integrity and openness. Visit

SOURCE National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy