Tools & Resources

Taking Action: Resources to Consider When Activating Your Endowment for Impact

Aligning your assets and endowment to impact is a complex journey that will take time. Below is a collection of key reports, guides, and toolkits to help institutions address urgent social issues. From the early stage of understanding why mission-related investments (MRIs) matter to engaging your board and financial advisors, explore these curated resources to answer practical questions to help mobilize your endowment investments. 
To explore other MRI-related resources, visit the full Endowment Investing library here. This page is an evolving set of resources; if you have questions or recommendations for additional materials email Natalie Garcia

Making the Case for MRIs

McKnight Foundation: Taking Our Rightful Seat at the Institutional Investor Table: McKnight Foundation’s CEO makes the case for why foundations should rethink their role in the marketplace and own their role as institutional owners of assets alongside the traditional role as grantmakers. The article explains that foundations must consider the use of all of our resources to advance mission and impact. 

Transitioning from Why to How

The Russell Family Foundation's Journey in Impact Investing: This four-part series documents The Russell Family Foundation’s impact investing journey, from the early stages of deciding to apply a mission-related investment model, to designing and implementing the right tools to align their assets with their mission and impact. 
Journey Toward A Mission-Related Portfolio: Although MRI is currently a much-talked-about subject in impact investing, there are surprisingly limited resources to bring an asset owner along the full journey from the "why?" (a theory of change) to the "how?" (constructing/shifting a portfolio). This member-only virtual learning opportunity focuses on the link between the why and the how to help foundations and asset owners move from idea to action. 

Engaging Your Board and Trustees

Policy and Implementation Guide for Trustees: This comprehensive report provides a policy framework and implementation guide for foundation trustees who are interested in mission investing, both program-related and mission-related investing.

Mapping the Journey to Impact Investing: This report highlights Surdna Foundation’s journey to MRIs, with a particular focus on how the Foundation navigated engaging its board and other key decision-makers.

Finding the Right Investment Advisor

RFP Resources: Many foundations enlist the help of an investment advisor to assist with the management of their advisory services to grow and support their organization's mission-related investing. Selecting an advisor begins with an in-depth Request for Proposals (RFP) that allows organizations to clearly state their values, needs, and expectations. These resources, including a guide on how to conduct due diligence and a Q&A on the RFP process, are intended to guide foundations in their outreach to and decision-making of hiring an investment advisor. For MIE members there is also an investment advisor RFP template available, developed in partnership with Phillips Foundation. 

Creating an Investment Policy Statement 

van Ameringen Foundation Investment Policy Statement: The van Ameringen Foundation is committed to mission-related investing to increase its social and environmental impact beyond the financial returns on its endowment, which underwrites its grantmaking each year. View their investment policy statement to explore how their strategy is applied in practice and operations. You may also explore other investment policy statements by searching our tools and resources here

Considering Legal and Policy Implications  

Mission-Related Investing: Legal and Policy Issues to Consider Before Investing: This guidebook by MacArthur Foundation is intended to help provide a framework for the careful consideration of the legal and policy issues related to MRIs.

Investing Across Asset Classes

Handbook for Responsible Investment Across Asset Classes: This guide helps investors incorporate responsible investment methods into their investment mandate; identifies and evaluates opportunities for responsible investment; and coordinates the vocabulary and metrics used to measure social and environmental outcomes.

Understanding Due Diligence 

Mission vs. Impact: Organizations Reevaluating the ROI of Investments: An article in The Nonprofit Times shows the level of due diligence foundations are taking to ensure the impact of their MRIs. It profiles MIE members Heron Foundation and The Russell Family Foundation (TRFF), detailing how they investigate at the granular level whether investment opportunities truly align with mission. For Heron that meant exiting an investment, while for TRFF it led to creating a Mission-Related Investment Committee to review its portfolio.


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