Moving Money Into Movements
Informed by our colleagues and our own experiences, four major moves are helping us align our practices with our values:
In recognition of the crises facing the world, we decided to give away all the Foundation’s money in larger grants to a handful of selected organizations over the next few years and then close our doors. Read more about spending out.
Freeing up Resources.
We have reimagined our proposal and reporting processes to center trust, relationship, and learning, including doing away with written grant reports and removing time restrictions from otherwise unrestricted grants. Read more about our grantmaking approach.
Grantmaking is usually a small portion of what a foundation’s wealth is doing. We ensure our investment dollars also support our mission, vision, and purpose. For instance, Compton Foundation was an original signatory to the Divest/Invest Philanthropy commitment to divest from fossil fuel companies profiting from climate chaos. The Foundation was also an early participant in the movement to promote “gender-lens” investing.
By some estimates, impact investing has generated $9 trillion in invested assets in the U.S. alone, and seeks to generate social and/or environmental benefits while delivering a financial return. Working with our team at Sonen Capital, we’re investing our remaining assets with a gender and racial justice lens. An annual review will monitor positive impacts on communities, climate, and corporate governance.
For example, we made a recent investment AND grant into the Southern Opportunity and Resilience (SOAR) Fund to support COVID-19 recovery lending to small businesses and nonprofits throughout the southern U.S., with a focus on historically underbanked communities.