The Baltimore-based Annie E. Casey Foundation has announced that it is setting aside an additional $25 million for social investments — a set of strategies that uses endowment funds to generate financial returns as well as social returns to advance the foundation's mission.
The allocation is in addition to the $100 million the foundation had already approved for such investments, bringing the total earmarked for the strategy to $125 million, or 5 percent of the foundation's $2.5 billion endowment. The increased allocation from the endowment will not be included in the foundation's annual grant payout rate of almost 8 percent.
According to Casey Foundation officials, a growing number of grantmakers are seeking opportunities to align their investments with their mission. In 2007, the Casey Foundation partnered with the F.B. Heron Foundation and the Meyer Memorial Trust to launch the More for Mission Campaign — a call to foundations to increase mission-related investments by at least 2 percent of total foundation assets. To date, the CEOs of sixty-four foundations representing close to $32 billion in assets have signed on to develop a robust and dynamic mission-related investing field.
"This decision [to expand the foundation's social investment allocation] represents a vote of confidence in a set of innovative solutions that can achieve greater social impact for kids, families, and communities in spite of a reduced endowment," said AECF president and CEO Douglas W. Nelson. "Social investments allow us to increase the resources dedicated to our programmatic work and stretch foundation dollars by reinvesting the money in programs that have shown the strongest results."