Mission Investments at the Packard Foundation

Mission Investments at the Packard Foundation

Maximizing the impact of mission-related investing requires greater transparency around tradeoffs involving risk, return, and impact, a report from the David and Lucile Packard Foundation and the Redstone Strategy Group argues. The report, Mission Investments at the Packard Foundation (14 pages, PDF), highlights lessons learned from the loans, loan guarantees, and equity investments totaling more than $750 million the foundation has made since 1980, including the importance of integrating loan and investment tools into grantmaking strategies and of accepting tradeoffs in terms of deal risk and return, staff time, and structure. The report also urges foundations to be flexible in supporting policy advocacy efforts, playing a variety of roles in the "capital stack," and investing in for-profit as well as nonprofit organizations and calls on them to create and communicate clear risk-management guidelines, increase the "investment literacy" of staff, and collaborate with the goal of  channeling significant capital into high-impact deals.