Social investing is part of a wide range of strategies that Casey Foundation implements in its effort to improve outcomes for vulnerable children and families. Our social investments program uses the Foundation’s endowment dollars to generate a financial return and support our investment strategies. Through social investments, we can increase resources dedicated to our programmatic work and create ways by which the same money can be reinvested over and over again.
Social Investing at foundations can include a range of approaches. The Casey Foundation focuses a large portion of its social investing activity in three areas:
- Program-related investments: Investments that support charitable purposes aligned with the Foundation’s mission. Program-related investments at the Foundation are generally structured as loans, loan guarantees, or equity investments.
- Mission-related deposits: Deposits made to federally insured depository institutions including traditional banks, community development financial institutions, credit unions, etc. They are generally structured as insured certificates of deposit or share certificates.
- Mission-related investments: Investments that are intended to generate market rates of return but have a programmatic and/or social benefit as well. The Foundation makes limited mission-related investments.
A well established process is used to evaluate current and potential investment activities. Casey also provides coaching, technical assistance, and consulting support to assist our investment sites. We also document the lessons learned to help other philanthropies initiate and pursue social investment strategies.
By 2002, the Foundation established a formal Social Investments portfolio, and in 2010 the Trustees increased the social investing allocation to $125 million. Today, the Foundation employs a wide range of social investments to benefit both its endowment and its programmatic activities.
For more information, download Casey's fact sheet on social investments.