The Wallace Global Fund in Washington, D.C., has announced that it will invest all its gains from last year's strong stock market performance into organizations working to advance social and environmental justice.
The decision to dedicate 100 percent of its 2017 stock market gains to grantmaking will effectively double the fund's 2018 grantmaking budget to $10 million and push its annual payout rate well beyond the 5 percent minimum required of independent foundations. The fund will use the extra resources to support organizations working on the front lines of social justice and to combat mounting threats to American democracy — including protecting students from gun violence, empowering women, and calling for corporations and endowments to divest themselves of their holdings in fossil fuel companies.
The fund also is challenging other foundations with similar missions and values to realize they have a responsibility to spend their gains, not book them.
"Our democracy and our climate are in crisis," said Ellen Dorsey, the fund's executive director. "The nation's activists and organizers are rising to meet this challenge, with inventiveness and courage. It's time for philanthropy to do the same....The Wallace Global Fund is committed to defending the rights of the disenfranchised in the face of corrupt power, alongside protection of our environment. If we just passively channel our investment gains into the health of our own organizational endowment, we are complicit in accepting the benefits of that corrupt power. We are going to live and act by the values that we were established to champion."
"Most members of the corporate community and conservative establishment who have an elevated platform to critique this administration's policies went quiet, after their initial appropriate objections to the demagogic and xenophobic rhetoric and policies, when the Trump administration began to deliver the corporate giveaways," said Wallace Global Fund board chair Scott Fitzmorris. "Our mission as a charitable organization does not allow us to celebrate this short-term gain at a long-term loss of economic resilience."