Report Highlights Successes and Challenges of Casey’s Social Investments

Posted June 2, 2016
By the Annie E. Casey Foundation
Blog aligningcapitalwithmission 2016

In 2002, the Annie E. Casey Foun­da­tion for­mal­ized its impact invest­ing strat­e­gy to sup­ple­ment annu­al grant­mak­ing and advance Casey’s mis­sion of build­ing brighter futures for all of America’s chil­dren. In the years since, the Foun­da­tion has invest­ed almost $200 mil­lion in deposits, debt, equi­ty and guar­an­tees across a range of impact areas includ­ing com­mu­ni­ty and eco­nom­ic devel­op­ment, hous­ing, edu­ca­tion and child welfare.

These invest­ments have made a pos­i­tive impact, result­ing in both sta­ble, afford­able hous­ing (almost 2,700 units) and job oppor­tu­ni­ties (more than 10,000) for low-income fam­i­lies and com­mu­ni­ties, accord­ing to an eval­u­a­tion and sub­se­quent report by the non­prof­it Pacif­ic Com­mu­ni­ty Ven­tures (PCV). 

When PCV began its review, the Foundation’s port­fo­lio was 10 years old — and almost half of its invest­ments had received prin­ci­pal repay­ments. This still-nascent-but-some­what-mature port­fo­lio pro­vid­ed a rich dataset, which PCV mined deeply. And in May 2016, the non­prof­it pub­lished its find­ings in Align­ing Cap­i­tal With Mis­sion — Lessons Learned from the Annie E. Casey Foun­da­tion Social Invest­ment Pro­gram.

In the report, PCV also iden­ti­fied oppor­tu­ni­ties and chal­lenges that mis­sion investors com­mon­ly face. One area ripe for improve­ment: Set­ting appro­pri­ate tar­gets in sec­tors where there is a lack of pub­licly avail­able bench­marks and trans­ac­tions are high­ly cus­tomized to ensure mis­sion alignment.

Mov­ing for­ward, the report’s lessons and rec­om­men­da­tions will serve as crit­i­cal resources as Casey seeks to refine its approach to iden­ti­fy­ing and mea­sur­ing the social return on its portfolio.

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