Philanthropy’s New Passing Gear: Mission-Related Investing: A Policy and Implementation Guide for Foundation Trustees

Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors



Case Study Sector


While a large body of work has evolved around concepts such as program-related investments, proxy voting and shareholder resolutions, socially responsible investing, double/triple bottom line investing, and blended value investing, few resources exist for private foundation trustees and staff who commit to adopt an mission-related investment program and integrate it with the existing policies, processes and workflows of their organizations.
There is also little sharing of the structures or risk allocation tools used in MRI transactions. Investors and social entrepreneurs face ongoing legal, tax and organizational hurdles. Expertise remains largely sector and program specific. For example, community development investors remain unfamiliar with structures used by environmental investors and vice versa.
Best practices are changing rapidly with the proliferation of investment options and strategies. The goal of this guide is to provide foundation trustees and, where or when appropriate, staff with a process to create both an overall policy for MRI as well as specific paths for implementation.
Includes 12 mini case studies which reflect the diversity of experiences of foundations active in MRI:

  • The Russell Family Foundation
  • The Omidyar Network
  • MassPRIM
  • W.K. Kellogg Foundation
  • Educational Foundation of America
  • The Boston Foundation
  • Sea Change Fund
  • Robin Hood & Common Ground
  • Kalamazoo Community Foundation
  • The New Hampshire Community Loan Fund
  • The KL Felicitas Foundation
  • The David & Lucile Packard Foundation & the Low Income Investment Fund



  • Strategy


  • Northern America

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