What are you doing with the other 95%? EPIP E.D. Address, November 2012

img-lvr-95Many private foundations survive in perpetuity because they give away 5% of their endowment each year. They can do good work in communities for generations because they are conservative stewards of their financial resources.  Foundations' investment teams and operations staff stick with what they know: what worked in the past. The grants these foundations make are important but... could they do more to fulfill their mission? Imagine if the foundations' investment portfolios reflected their institutions' program values. Mission-driven investment strategies and operations practices help ensure that 100% of a foundation's resources is working toward the mission. Instead, most foundations compartmentalize the different aspects of their work. I think this is analogous to how many people view their lives. Many compartmentalize their daily work from their passion. Work pays the bills. Their passion is left for their free time... or not engaged at all. (more…)