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Builders Initiative Announces 90 percent of its Endowment is Now Mission-Related

Builders Initiative Announces 90 percent of its Endowment is Now Mission-Related

Builders Vision has announced 90 percent of its $1 Billion Foundation Endowment is Now Mission-Related.

Builders Vision, an impact platform dedicated to building a more humane and healthy planet through philanthropy, investment and advocacy, has announced that its Builders Initiative Foundation has transitioned 90 percent of its $1 billion endowment into mission-related investments.

Private Foundations in the United States hold more than $1.3 trillion in assets. While there is no requirement for foundations to align their endowment investment portfolio with their philanthropic mission, Builders Initiative joins an increasing number of organizations that are moving their assets towards mission-related investments.

“If we are going to make lasting change happen, we need our mission to show up in everything we do – especially in how we commit our resources. That’s why we are investing our endowment in companies, organizations, and strategies that prioritize sustainable and equitable solutions,” said Lukas Walton, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Builders Vision. “Our hope is to unlock and scale long-term positive change across markets by showing that purpose and profits are not mutually exclusive. We look forward to working with other foundations to help ignite a movement that leads to more and more endowments invested for impact.”

See related article: Clif Bar Announces $1 Million Endowment for Organic Agricultural Research with University of Wisconsin-Madison

After interviewing dozens of peer organizations, the Builders Initiative Foundation Board and its Investment Committee worked closely with Chief Investment Officer, Noelle Laing, and Foundation President, Bruce McNamer, to decide on the appropriate asset allocation, liquidity profile, and impact investing strategy to meet and exceed the industry standard 5 percent return. The diversified portfolio includes a variety of mission-related investments in funds or companies that support strategies such as impact-minded shareholder engagement, thematically aligned stock selection, and community-based bonds. Additionally, the growing private investments portion of the endowment portfolio is 100 percent invested in mission-related themes including clean energy and sustainability, conservation finance, circular economy, water, and waste.

2020 survey from the Council on Foundations found just 19 percent of private foundations seek to include investments ranking high on ESG criteria and 20 percent screen out investments that are inconsistent with their mission. In recent years, however, the Ford Foundation, MacArthur Foundation, McKnight Foundation and the Nathan Cummings Foundation, among others, have publicly committed to aligning their investments with their social and environmental mission.

“We are proud to have successfully transitioned our endowment to mission-related investments, but we know this is only one part of the solutions that are needed to ensure economic and environmental security for the long term,” said Noelle Laing, Chief Investment Officer of Builders Initiative. “We will continue to find inspiration and collaborate with our partners who are joining us in this journey.” 


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