As every sector of society rethinks the economics of financial investing in the aftermath of the Great Recession, nonprofits and philanthropic organizations are no exceptions. While governments and the private sector explore new ways to build financial stability, innovative ideas in the nonprofit sector, like mission-related investing or “mission investing,” are gaining more attention.
A leading thinker around mission investing, Luther M. Ragin, Jr. is the William H. Bloomberg lecturer in public management at Harvard Kennedy School, an affiliate of the Hauser Center for Nonprofit Organizations, and Chief Investment Officer of the F.B. Heron Foundation, a national philanthropic foundation based in New York City.
Q. Please explain the concept of mission investing and whom it affects.
Ragin: Mission investing is a strategy whereby foundations and other institutional investors can increase their social impact by providing additional resources to support both non-profit and for-profit organizations engaging in areas of programmatic or mission interest to that foundation or institutional investor.
I like to think of it as the opportunity for foundations to broaden their “philanthropic toolboxes” – the tools they can use to engage for social purpose. Classically, we think of the toolbox as consisting largely of grants, and grants are very important. But the toolbox can be broadened to include loans, guarantees, and other investments which catalyze change and promote social benefit.
So, not only foundations but also institutional investors – such as public pension plans, insurance companies, and commercial banks – practice and can practice aspects of mission investing which essentially is a commitment to bringing greater resources to bear for social change. Harvard Kennedy School, John F. Kennedy School of Management
+Ler entrevista integral: http://www.hks.harvard.edu/news-events/publications/insight/management/luther-ragin
+ Ver site The Hauser Centre for Nonprofit Organizations at Harvard School: http://www.hks.harvard.edu/hauser/
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