After making the strategic decision to incorporate some form of “impact investments” into the foundation’s portfolio, I began researching the existing landscape. I quickly learned that a lack of standardization exists within this investment strategy resulting in a disconnect and confusion when comparing resources. For now, I will set this issue aside and focus on the initial steps I took when embarking on our journey as well as share some helpful resources with those of you who would like to forge a similar path.

To begin, I studied the websites of experienced impact investors. I found the below foundations to be the most informative in sharing their unique views and experiences.

Then I called the Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation and Phillips Foundation. I gained deeper insight and answers to specific questions by interacting directly with the experienced and forthcoming leaders at these two organizations. Upon comparing my notes, I noticed one glaring similarity – both organizations highly recommended we join the Mission Investors Exchange (MIE), which provides tools and resources, motivation and association to enhance the impact investing practice of its 200+ members. We joined MIE (www.missioninvestors.org) in 2018, and it has been an important resource. I will post more on my utilization of MIE’s resources and guidance in a future article.

I read all relevant materials that I could get my hands on, including books, white papers, investment policy statements and articles. I also connected in-person, over the phone and through email with anyone who was willing to share their impact investing philosophy and best practices with me. I spent 2018 learning everything I could, and I continue to learn something new every day as my research delves deeper into an evolving investment strategy.


Brittany Priester

Brittany Priester

Portfolio Manager