RI Video Series [3]: The Mission-Investment Connection

As a charitable organization, your number one goal is to maximize your positive impact on society. How can you use your portfolio as another tool in your arsenal to “do good?" From starting small to full ESG integration into a portfolio, FEG Senior Vice President Tim O’Donnell explains some of the many options available to your organization to connect your mission with your investments to drive better outcomes for your portfolio, your community, and the world.

The mission of virtually any charitable organization is to maximize the positive impact on society. Now, how you go about doing that varies. Is it through arts and education? Is it addressing hunger and housing? Is it working to have a clean and healthy environment? So regardless of your approach, your organization is seeking to maximize positive impact and there are investment options aligned with that goal, whether it's adding a single ESG manager to your portfolio or encouraging your manager to vote proxies in a way that are aligned with your beliefs and mission. Or is it full integration of ESG concepts into your total portfolio? We see and have helped many organizations build standalone ESG portfolios in response to the desires of their donor base. So by doing so, an organization offers a solution that expands the donor base, but more importantly, expands their reach and impact.

We've also seen a growth of organizations and investment manager using tools like the United Nation's Sustainable Development Goals, also known as the UNSDGs to benchmark their portfolio. And the SDGs are 17 goals that address large systemic issues around the globe. Things like hunger, poverty, gender and racial equity, climate. So if your organization is addressing climate change, then through the SDGs, you can get a better sense of how your portfolio's aligned with the climate related goals. So no matter where you are on your journey, there are opportunities for you. And this whole process is built on a curve. Your step can be the first of many, as you continue through time. You can start relatively small. And as your comfort and sophistication grows, so does the sophistication of your impact investments.