The Russell Family Foundation is no stranger to protecting the environment or to supporting local communities. But the Gig Harbor-based nonprofit organization recently released a report indicating it’s taking those efforts even more seriously, by increasing its mission-aligned investments from 7 percent to nearly 75 percent in just the last four years.
“The Russell Family Foundation’s reported achievement of reaching almost 75-percent mission-aligned investments in a relatively short period is a great example of how applying a rigorous approach to investment due diligence can result in making the most of an organization’s financial and social impact,” said Brad Harrison, Managing Director, Tiedemann Advisors.
The foundation first got into impact investing in 2004. After launching a pilot program and a series of mission-aligned investments, the organization created its Mission Related Investment Committee.
Then in 2014, The Russell Family Foundation started what it called a “tug of war exercise” to compare the best investment strategies for financial gain with the best strategies for a return on mission.
By choosing strategies that supported maximum social and environmental impacts as well as financial gain, the foundation was able to substantially increase its mission-aligned investments in a short period of time. According to the organization, its portfolio outperformed its blended benchmark by nearly 3 percent.
“Impact investing is a unique journey for any foundation, and I believe it is one that is necessary as stewards seeking a socially just and environmentally conscious world,” said Richard Woo, CEO of The Russell Family Foundation. “This report is an evolving story, metaphorically, with more chapters to come about emerging lessons and greater impact.”
Started by George and Jane Russell, The Russell Family Foundation invests in community-based causes including grassroots leaders, sustainability, and global peace. According to its website, the foundation has awarded approximately $130 million in grants and supported more than 675 individuals and community organizations.
To read more about the foundation’s strategies for realigning its investments, visit www.trff.org/impact-investing.