March 8, 2023

Marguerite Casey Foundation Investment Policy Statement prioritizes race and gender diversity and inclusion

Values-aligned philanthropic model aims to accelerate economic justice

SEATTLE — Today Marguerite Casey Foundation (MCF) announced a new Investment Policy Statement (IPS) established to ensure the management of its assets aligns with the Foundation’s racial equity goals and objectives. The IPS is the governing document for the use of the Foundation's endowment and provides the Foundation with a roadmap towards using the full weight of its resources in pursuit of a multiracial democracy and just economic agenda. The policy statement includes robust, values-aligned screening for the Foundation’s investments and racial and gender diversity and inclusion requirements for the companies overseeing them. 

“Marguerite Casey Foundation’s investment framework reflects the depth and breadth of our commitment to shifting the balance of power in society and to increasing justice in the world,” MCF president and CEO Dr. Carmen Rojas said. “Philanthropy has a moral imperative to pursue breakthrough innovations that fracture long-standing systemic obstacles, and we aim to catalyze this practice in the philanthropic and investment spheres.”

Founded in 2001, MCF has disbursed more than $615 million in grants and initiatives aimed at building a just economy and fully realized democracy.

The IPS builds on the work MCF’s Board of Directors and executive leadership initiated several years ago. In 2021, the board approved a revised Investment Policy Statement that formalized its commitment to diverse managers. It also set an official target of having more than half of the Foundation’s $825 million endowment be overseen by diverse managers by the end of 2025. Presently, MCF has more than $150 million (18% of total assets) in committed capital and has added nine managers in the last two years.

According to the 2022 Knight Foundation Diversity of Asset Managers (KDAM) research series, just 18.1% of foundation endowments are invested with diverse-owned firms. In 2021, the KDAM research found that of the U.S.-based asset management industry representing over $80 trillion, only 1.4% of assets under management (AUM) were managed by women-owned firms, minority-owned firms or both.

As part of MCF’s effort to ensure the government prioritizes the needs of excluded and underrepresented people, MCF supports organizations, scholars, leaders, and initiatives focused on shifting the balance of power toward communities who continue to be excluded from shaping society and from sharing in its rewards and freedoms. This includes funding organizations working to expose and change the ways corporations harm communities and to create new models and standards for economic representation.

MCF vice president of Finance and Investments Daniel Gould said the new IPS ensures MCF’s partnerships are in line with its commitment to social justice. 

“Marguerite Casey Foundation’s new ‘Investment Policy Statement’ incorporates a racial justice lens across asset classes and investment types,” Gould said. “Moving forward, our capital will have a double bottom line: to maintain long-term purchasing power and increase the net positive contribution to our mission and values.”

MCF board members have been instrumental in identifying and defining the aims and diversity and inclusion metrics of the new investment policy and guidelines. 

“Marguerite Casey Foundation is demonstrating bold, breakthrough leadership in the philanthropic and financial sectors that we hope other institutions will embrace,” MCF Board Chair and Westfuller Advisors co-founder and partner Ian Fuller said. “The new framework wisely leverages MCF’s assets to accelerate progress toward our objective of a just economy.”

The new Investment Policy Statement and grantmaking guidelines aim to raise MCF’s philanthropic work to the next level of social justice advocacy and follow MCF’s recent and successful shareholder advocacy efforts.

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