What Is The Intentional Endowments Network?

The Intentional Endowments Network is a peer learning network of colleges, universities, and other mission-driven institutional investors working together to achieve their risk and return objectives through investment actions that create a thriving, sustainable economy. As of March 2019, we have nearly 160 network members including endowments, asset managers, investment consultants, nonprofit partners and individuals.  

This broad-based, collaborative network focuses on creating:

  1. Intentionally designed endowments, aligned with institutional mission, that will become the norm in higher education and other tax-exempt organizations, evidenced by growth in policies, practices and actions.
  2. Improved sustainability performance by businesses in response to investor concerns, evidenced by changes in corporate practices and actions.


“As a peer learning network comprised of foundation staff, CIO's and trustees, hearing from people they trust and see as credible as fiduciaries is crucial..."

     - Garrett Ashley, Vice Chancellor for University Relations and Advancement, California State University   



Why Higher Education?

Higher Education is the only sector capable of creating the broad scale and necessary change in mindset, skills and values of government, business and other professional leaders. Society looks to higher education to identify solutions to major problems, anticipating future challenges, and developing innovative strategies and models that will enable progress – to be a role model for what society might look like.  

We are faced with the greatest intergenerational equity challenge in modern history. If we continue business as usual, today’s students and their children will find themselves in a world with greatly diminished prospects for a good quality of life, peace and security. 

All investments we make have health, environmental and societal impacts. We hope that it is a positive impact but sometimes we have consequences that we did not plan for in our quest for financial return. We need to be intentional about the impact we want.

“We cannot solve today’s problems at the same level of thinking at which they were created."  

    - Albert Einstein


Why Now?

Humanity is at a crossroads without historical precedent.  Challenges related to climate change, water, food, economic inequality, poverty and social unrest pose an existential threat to society.

“The truth is we’ve wasted 40 or 50 years since the basic fact about serious manmade climate damage became known. … by the time we’ve fully decarbonized our economy… a great deal of damage will have been done.”  

    - Jeremy Grantham


Why Participate?

IEN hosts forums and events; facilitates peer networking; curates useful resources on sustainable investing opportunities; and provides educational venues for information exchange around a variety of sustainable investing strategies, such as ESG integration, impact investing, and shareholder engagement.



“I wanted to reach out to extend my congratulations on a very well run and effective conference last week...The conference content was very engaging and I found myself taking away some actionable items for our practice moving forward."

     - Kelly Green, Graystone Consulting (Morgan Stanley)


“As a trustee and the chair of the Investment and Business Affairs Committees at Northland College, I've found the Intentional Endowments Network to be an invaluable resource.  Anyone with a "duty of care" that comes with fiduciary responsibility will find the peer networking and the library of information on the website very useful"  

      - Mike Fiorio, Trustee, Northland College

Endowments have a unique opportunity where doing the right thing for the climate – reducing their exposure to stranded carbon asset risk, and investing solutions – is also the smart thing for their investment portfolios.

– Bob Litterman

Chair, Risk Committee
Kepos Capital LP

Events & Webinars

Croatan Forum 2020

Organizer: Croatan Institute

Location: Durham, NC

Learn more here.

GreenBiz 20

Organizer: GreenBiz

Location: Phoenix, AZ

Learn more here. 

Investing for Impact Symposium

Organizer: High Water Women

Location: New York, NY

Learn more here. 

2nd Impact Summit America

Organizer: Phenix Capital

Location: New York, NY

Registration is complementary for asset owner IEN members.

Learn more here.

21st Annual Endowment and Foundation Forum

Organizer: Opal Group

Location: Boston, MA

Learn more here.

2019 AASHE Conference & Expo: Co-Creating a Sustainable Economy

Organizer: Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE)

Location: Spokane, WA

Learn more here.


Past IEN Events

For more information on past IEN events, click here.

Impact Investing: Driving Social Purpose Through Measurable Investment Returns

Organizer: Skytop Strategies

Location: Boston, MA

Interested members should contact nicole@intentionalendowments.org to access a 15% off registration IEN Member discount code.

Learn more here. 

Sustainable Investment Forum North America 2019

Organizer: UN Environment Programme Finance Initiative

Location: New York, NY (Climate Week)

Learn more here.

GIIN Investor Forum

Organizer: GIIN

Location: Amsterdam, Netherlands

Interested members should contact hannah@intentionalendowments.org to access a 15% off registration IEN Member discount code.

Learn more here.

Past IEN Webinars

To view recordings from past IEN webinars, click here.


Takeaways from the Pro's: Panel Explores University of Ne...

This past May, the Intentional Endowments Network (IEN) co-presented An Introduction to The IEN Roadmap & How The University of New Hampshire Intentionally Invests at MIT Sloan School of Management. This event was presented in partnership by the Intentional Endowments Network with WISE (Women Investing for a Sustainable Economy), and hosted by the MIT Impact Investing Initiative.

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Book Launch: Investing for Good by the Partners of Mobius...

I had the opportunity this week to attend the book launch of Invest for Good by Mark Mobius, Carlos von Hardenberg and Greg Konieczny at Bloomsbury Publishing in London.  The authors are partners of Mobius Capital, a new IEN member organization, and the book focuses on ESG investing in emerging markets. 

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Impact Update: Integrating ESG Factors into Endowment Inv...

Impact Update Intentionally Designed Endowments Making a Difference   July 2019: Integrating ESG Factors into Endowment Investing

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