Tools & Resources

Compounding Impact: Mission Investing by U.S. Foundations

This report provides the first comprehensive analysis of mission investing by U.S. foundations. The study, funded by The David and Lucile Packard Foundation, analyzes the mission investment activity of 92 U.S. foundations, which have made a combined total of $2.3 billion of mission investments. Mission investing is a more specific type of social investing, and represents the use of financial investments as tools to achieve a foundation's mission. Through interviews with foundations and extensive data collection, FSG assembled a rich picture of current and historical mission investment activity stretching back almost 40 years. The study found that the number of foundations engaged in mission investing has doubled in recent years, and the amount of funds committed annually has tripled. Although most mission investments are still low-interest loans, foundations are increasingly using equity and other investments that generate market-rate returns. Surprisingly, most of the growth has been driven by smaller foundations with assets under $200 million.

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