We want to encourage and enable endowed charitable foundations to become impact investing asset owners and drive more endowment capital to impact focused outcomes.
What we are doing to achieve it
The largest 300 endowed charitable foundations in the UK have over £72 billion in total assets – the bulk of this is invested in mainstream capital markets without impact considerations. A number of pioneers are seeking to deliver impact via the choice of investments in their endowments as well as through grant-making.
However, ongoing perceptions that impact investing means concessionary returns, is expensive and complex to deliver and lacks suitable choice have deterred wider adoption.
In partnership with the charitable foundation sector, we are seeking to change that and motivate more foundations to increase the volume of charitable endowment assets invested for positive social and environmental impact as well as financial return.
Working with leading sector lawyers we have produced a legal paper that comprehensively demonstrates the compatibility of impact investing with trustees’ fiduciary duty.
We have developed a practical how-to guide on stepping into impact investing to encourage foundations to deploy impact investing strategies and allocate more capital to impact.
We are working with multiple stakeholders across the endowments sector – including membership bodies and associations, endowed charities, asset managers and legal experts – to showcase the opportunities offered by impact investing and debunk common myths about impact investing.
Endowments Expert Panel
This work is supported by our Endowments Expert Panel who provide the Institute with expert advice to help us achieve our aim of making it easier for endowments to invest with impact. We are very grateful for the participation of the following panel members:
- Caroline Mason – CEO, Esmée Fairbairn Foundation
- Kieron Boyle – CEO, Guy’s & St Thomas’ Foundation
- Barnaby Weiner – CEO and Founder, Treebeard Trust
- Colin Baines – Investment Engagement Manager, Friends Provident Foundation
If you would like to know more about how the Institute works with panels, please click here.
We are very grateful to our funders for their support for this work.