Emerging opportunities for mission-connected investment
Margaret Bolton, Sargon Nissan
26 May 2008
Mission Possible considers how foundations might more effectively use a proportion of their endowment in support of the change they set out to create – their mission.
Starting from the premise that paths are made by walking, it explores the potential of ‘mission-connected investment’ or MCI – defined as investment which promises a market return but also helps to achieve mission – a win-win for foundations. MCI has considerable potential – if the 50 largest European foundations (by assets) were to dedicate just five per cent of their endowments to MCI, this would represent an additional €3.6 billion available for social-purpose activity.
NEF research found that, despite the potential, relatively few foundations currently invest in accordance with their mission. One of the major barriers is the lack of awareness amongst foundations and investment managers of appropriate MCI opportunities.
Mission Possible provides an inventory that sketches out some of the opportunities already available. This inventory shows that a range of MCI opportunities exist across a broad range of asset classes and mission areas – making MCI a feasible option for a large number of foundations.
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