Bainbridge Community Foundation switches to values-driven investment

  • Tuesday, May 7, 2019 9:45am
  • News

With the goal of putting more of the “good” in good return, Bainbridge Community Foundation is refocusing its portfolio toward socially conscious, values-driven investing, officials with the foundation have announced.

Approximately 60 percent of the foundation’s assets will be steered toward companies and sectors showing strong environmental, social and governance characteristics — an evolving strategy often referred to as “Impact Investing.”

“We believe our new investment strategies align with the values of our donors and the Bainbridge Island community,” said Jim Hopper, executive director of the foundation. “Strong financial performance and social responsibility can be complementary, each reinforcing the other to benefit the community and the greater world.”

The foundation manages a $13 million portfolio, investing donations for long-term growth and returning funds to the Bainbridge community through an array of grants and programs. The foundation also manages various donor-advised funds as vehicles for private charitable giving.

A portfolio invested using impact strategies might, for instance, be directed toward renewable energy, environmental, housing or other nonprofit or service industries that promise positive social, not just financial, returns.

BCF officials said the foundation is further gaining value from these investments by ensuring that 90 percent of the portfolio is invested in predominantly passive, low-cost stocks and bonds.

The move toward Impact Investing follows a lengthy reevaluation of BCF’s investment strategies, and the selection of Tiedemann Advisors as the foundation’s new investment advisor.

Formerly Threshold Group, the Tiedemann firm boasts strong Northwest roots as Russell Family Office with many staff living or raised on Bainbridge Island.

Tiedemann worked with BCF’s Finance Committee and board to focus the Foundation’s financial goals — longevity, liquidity, growth, risk management, low cost — while exploring non-financial, impact outcomes through investment in companies and sectors that demonstrate socially responsible characteristics.

While not their exclusive offering, Tiedemann Advisors are well known as an industry leader in Impact Investing, Hopper said.

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