New survey by Boston College’s More for Mission helps quantify current investments and future trends
Submitted by: Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship
Posted: Oct 22, 2009 – 09:04 AM EST
BOSTON, Oct. 22 /CSRwire/ - A survey of 39 foundations that are part of the More for Mission network reveals important new data regarding leading foundations and their level of commitment to a socially responsible investment practice most often called mission investing. Mission investors seek investments that use their endowments to further their organizational mission.
According to the survey's findings, at the end of 2008, mission investments as a percentage of total assets equaled nearly 5%. When projecting anticipated mission investments for 2009, the percentage of assets rose to nearly 7%, resulting in a projected net increase of 40% committed to mission investing over that 12 month period. In other words, respondents’ expect that they will continue to increase their commitment to this emerging practice. (Click here for complete survey analysis)
The survey, which was conducted by More for Mission, an organization dedicated to broadly promoting mission investing and challenging foundations to adopt mission investing practices, helps to quantify the amount of assets respondents have in mission-related investments and demonstrates that this trend is expected to increase in coming years in spite of the recent economic downturn. More for Mission is affiliated with the Boston College Institute for Responsible Investment.
According to Lisa Hagerman, Director of More for Mission, the results affirmed the sense among many experts in the field that mission investing is becoming an established investment objective of many leading foundations. "Increasingly, foundations are recognizing the importance of utilizing their endowments to help achieve the social goals of their organization while simultaneously earning financial returns," she said.
Survey participants were drawn from foundations which have joined the More for Mission network. The 13-question survey asked questions around definitional issues, foundation percentage allocations to mission investing, and how has the foundation's approach to mission investing been affected by the economic downturn.
"The results of this survey are an encouraging indicator that many leading foundations remain committed to the practice of mission investing," said Hagerman. "The results also support our experience that interest in mission investing in the broader foundation community continues to grow as evidenced by the growth of our network which has more than doubled over the past year."
More for Mission, with a network of 58 participating foundations that represent $30 billion in total assets, is dedicated to broadly promoting mission investing and challenging foundations - private, community, and corporate - to take up mission investing practices. More for Mission aims to help foundations build capacity so that they have the tools and information to better align their investments with the mission of the organization. Additionally, More for Mission helps to link foundations that are pioneers in mission investing and those new to the practice to disseminate information and encourage cross-fertilization in the field. As part of this effort, the Boston College More for Mission Campaign Resource Center offers access to research on the field, implementation tools and links to potential investment opportunities through its website. The Resource Center is funded by three pioneers in the field of mission investing: the Annie E. Casey Foundation, the F.B. Heron Foundation and the Meyer Memorial Trust and is affiliated with the Boston College Institute for Responsible Investment. Foundations are encouraged to join the More for Mission network. For more information, visit www.moreformission.org.