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Intentionally Designed Endowments in 2017

As we reflect on 2017, we are again overcome with a profound sense of hope and gratitude; gratitude for all of the support and engagement from participants in the Intentional Endowments Network, and hope for accelerating progress toward the tipping point for a sustainable future. When we talk about hope, we often quote author and Oberlin professor, David Orr who is fond of pointing out that “hope is a verb with its sleeves rolled up.” Recently our newest team member at Crane, Kristian Nammack introduced us to a similar observation on hope from author Rebecca Solnit: “Hope is not a lottery ticket you sit on the sofa and clutch. Hope is an axe you use to break down doors in...

Read More


Crane Board Chair, Natasha Lamb, Named one of 2017's Top ...

Natasha Lamb, Chair of the Board of The Crane Institute of Sustainability -- the 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that is home to the Intentional Endowments Network -- has been named one of 2017's Top 50 Most Influential People by Bloomberg Businessweek.  Visit the Bloomberg Top 50 to read more about this honor and watch a video featuring Natasha and the other changemakers helping to shape our society.    Natasha is a Managing Partner at Arjuna Capital and has served as Chair of the Board of Crane since its inception.  Her shareholder activism work has covered critical business issues ranging from climate risk to gender pay equity to fake news, and has focused on ensuring that companies are taking a long view and...

Read More


IEN Publishes Hampshire College Case Study

We are pleased to share our new case study on Hampshire College’s journey in considering social responsibility, sustainability, and institutional mission in its endowment investing. As many schools and nonprofits grapple with these issues, or face scrutiny from stakeholders, this case study offers details on how Hampshire College undertook ESG criteria and aligning with mission.   Read the press release outlining the report, and access the full report here.    

Read More


'The Intentionally Designed Endowment' Published in Trust...

Written by IEN Executive Committee member, David Dinerman (Hampshire College), Tony Cortese (Green Mountain College, IEN), and Georges Dyer (IEN), this piece highlights the importance and trends of aligning endowment investing with the mission and goals of higher education institutions and considering material ESG factors. It explores some of the challenges and opportunities of doing so, provides some evidence of the benefits and ideas on how to institutionalize such investing, and helps trustees learn about the peer learning opportunities through IEN.   Read the full article here, as published in Trusteeship Magazine.    

Read More


Sustainable Investing at the University System of Marylan...

University System of Maryland (USM) students have been driving change at The USM Foundation for several years. In 2013, students circulated a petition to divest from fossil fuels with nearly 600 signatures from students at Towson University, the University of Maryland, Baltimore County and other colleges. In response, in 2014, along with the United Nations, the USM Foundation was a seed investor in the iShares MSCI ACWI Low Carbon Target ETF.The ETF tracks the results of the MSCI ACWI Low Carbon Target Index and addresses two dimensions of carbon exposure – carbon emissions and fossil fuel reserves. The fund was designed for individuals and institutions interested in environmental sustainability without divestment and provides transparency to the carbon footprint of their...

Read More


ESG Investing Trends: Common Approaches and Benchmarking

In this Q&A, Thomas Kuh and Paul Schutzman, Executive Directors at MSCI, discuss the significant ESG trends and developments that we should be aware of in 2017,  some of the ESG concerns, demands and questions they hear most frequently from asset owners in the US, and what first steps institutions that are grappling with how to approach ESG can take. Thomas Kuh                                                         Paul Schutzman Executive Director, MSCI                      Executive Director, MSCI               1. Can you please explain your roles...

Read More


The Future of Investing is Impact Investing

(Originally posted on the U.S. Impact Investing Alliance website, available here. The Intentional Endowments Network is proud to sit on the Alliance's 8-member Industry Advisory Council of leading impact investing network organizations. Together the organizations on the Council represent over 800 members representing trillions of dollars of assets under management.) By:  Darren Walker, President, Ford Foundation and Chair, U.S. Impact Investing Alliance Fran Seegull, Executive Director, U.S. Impact Investing Alliance The United Nations estimates that achieving its 17 Sustainable Development Goals by 2030 will require trillions of dollars. The global goals aren’t the only way to measure our challenges, but they do paint a clear picture: given the scale of the problems the world faces, it’s clear that traditional sources of capital, like government aid and philanthropy,...

Read More


Intentional Endowments Network and Cambridge Associates O...

Though the US government is no longer supporting the Paris Climate Agreement, many endowments, foundations, and other US institutions remain committed to aligning their investment policies with the goals of the international accord. In response, the Intentional Endowments Network and Cambridge Associates have outlined a blueprint for action for investors wishing to uphold the aims of Paris Climate Agreement and implement ESG factors into portfolios. Specifically, we have outlined considerations for incorporating environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors into the development of investment policy statements (IPS), as well as a blueprint for incorporating language around the Paris accord into an institution’s IPS. Articulating Purpose, Priorities, and Principles in a well-designed investment policy can help interested institutions effectively incorporate social and environmental concerns into their investment...

Read More


University of Oregon held “Investing in the Age of Climat...

On April 28, 2017, the University of Oregon held “Investing in the Age of Climate Change.” Organized by students, faculty, staff engaged in sustainability issues on campus, and the University of Oregon Foundation, the forum tackled the question of how climate change is affecting businesses and investors. The forum was videotaped and is now posted at this link: The nine videos posted track the speakers throughout the day: http://media.uoregon.edu/channel/archives/category/office-of-sustainability Steve Mital, UO Director of Sustainability, Quinn Haaga, President of the Associated Students of the University of Oregon, and Clay Hurand, UO student activist, started things off with introductions to the forum. Paul Slovak, UO Psychology, provided a psychologist’s perspective on understanding risk. Susan Gary, UO Law, discussed fiduciary responsibilities for...

Read More


Intentional Endowments Network Builds Momentum

Last year, 77 Founding Members launched IEN’s membership program. Founding Members included: Arizona State University Foundation, Becker College, California State University, Calvert Investments, Carleton College, Hampshire College, Hanley Foundation, Lane Community College, Lewis & Clark College, Litterman Family Foundation, Middlebury College, Portland State University, San Francisco State University Foundation, UBS Asset Management, University of Maine and University of Massachusetts Foundation. Through the membership program, IEN facilitates connections with experts and peers to support administrators and trustees in enhancing their institutions’ approach to sustainable investment and addressing stakeholders’ concerns. Some of the major accomplishments of the Network over the past year included: Producing several guides and resources to facilitate knowledge exchange and peer to peer networking Hosting multiple events, which included a total of seven interactive,...

Read More


Intentional Endowments Network Builds Momentum

Last year, 77 Founding Members launched IEN’s membership program. Founding Members included: Arizona State University Foundation, Becker College, California State University, Calvert Investments, Carleton College, Hampshire College, Hanley Foundation, Lane Community College, Lewis & Clark College, Litterman Family Foundation, Middlebury College, Portland State University, San Francisco State University Foundation, UBS Asset Management, University of Maine and University of Massachusetts Foundation. Through the membership program, IEN facilitates connections with experts and peers to support administrators and trustees in enhancing their institutions’ approach to sustainable investment and addressing stakeholders’ concerns. Some of the major accomplishments of the Network over the past year included: Producing several guides and resources to facilitate knowledge exchange and peer to peer networking Hosting multiple events, which included a total of seven interactive,...

Read More


University of Oregon held “Investing in the Age of Climat...

On April 28, 2017, the University of Oregon held “Investing in the Age of Climate Change.” Organized by students, faculty, staff engaged in sustainability issues on campus, and the University of Oregon Foundation, the forum tackled the question of how climate change is affecting businesses and investors. The forum was videotaped and is now posted at this link: The nine videos posted track the speakers throughout the day: http://media.uoregon.edu/channel/archives/category/office-of-sustainability Steve Mital, UO Director of Sustainability, Quinn Haaga, President of the Associated Students of the University of Oregon, and Clay Hurand, UO student activist, started things off with introductions to the forum. Paul Slovak, UO Psychology, provided a psychologist’s perspective on understanding risk. Susan Gary, UO Law, discussed fiduciary responsibilities for...

Read More


Intentional Endowments Network and Cambridge Associates O...

Though the US government is no longer supporting the Paris Climate Agreement, many endowments, foundations, and other US institutions remain committed to aligning their investment policies with the goals of the international accord. In response, the Intentional Endowments Network and Cambridge Associates have outlined a blueprint for action for investors wishing to uphold the aims of Paris Climate Agreement and implement ESG factors into portfolios. Specifically, we have outlined considerations for incorporating environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors into the development of investment policy statements (IPS), as well as a blueprint for incorporating language around the Paris accord into an institution’s IPS. Articulating Purpose, Priorities, and Principles in a well-designed investment policy can help interested institutions effectively incorporate social and environmental concerns into their investment...

Read More


The Future of Investing is Impact Investing

(Originally posted on the U.S. Impact Investing Alliance website, available here. The Intentional Endowments Network is proud to sit on the Alliance's 8-member Industry Advisory Council of leading impact investing network organizations. Together the organizations on the Council represent over 800 members representing trillions of dollars of assets under management.) By:  Darren Walker, President, Ford Foundation and Chair, U.S. Impact Investing Alliance Fran Seegull, Executive Director, U.S. Impact Investing Alliance The United Nations estimates that achieving its 17 Sustainable Development Goals by 2030 will require trillions of dollars. The global goals aren’t the only way to measure our challenges, but they do paint a clear picture: given the scale of the problems the world faces, it’s clear that traditional sources of capital, like government aid and philanthropy,...

Read More


ESG Investing Trends: Common Approaches and Benchmarking

In this Q&A, Thomas Kuh and Paul Schutzman, Executive Directors at MSCI, discuss the significant ESG trends and developments that we should be aware of in 2017,  some of the ESG concerns, demands and questions they hear most frequently from asset owners in the US, and what first steps institutions that are grappling with how to approach ESG can take. Thomas Kuh                                                         Paul Schutzman Executive Director, MSCI                      Executive Director, MSCI               1. Can you please explain your roles...

Read More


Sustainable Investing at the University System of Marylan...

University System of Maryland (USM) students have been driving change at The USM Foundation for several years. In 2013, students circulated a petition to divest from fossil fuels with nearly 600 signatures from students at Towson University, the University of Maryland, Baltimore County and other colleges. In response, in 2014, along with the United Nations, the USM Foundation was a seed investor in the iShares MSCI ACWI Low Carbon Target ETF.The ETF tracks the results of the MSCI ACWI Low Carbon Target Index and addresses two dimensions of carbon exposure – carbon emissions and fossil fuel reserves. The fund was designed for individuals and institutions interested in environmental sustainability without divestment and provides transparency to the carbon footprint of their...

Read More


'The Intentionally Designed Endowment' Published in Trust...

Written by IEN Executive Committee member, David Dinerman (Hampshire College), Tony Cortese (Green Mountain College, IEN), and Georges Dyer (IEN), this piece highlights the importance and trends of aligning endowment investing with the mission and goals of higher education institutions and considering material ESG factors. It explores some of the challenges and opportunities of doing so, provides some evidence of the benefits and ideas on how to institutionalize such investing, and helps trustees learn about the peer learning opportunities through IEN.   Read the full article here, as published in Trusteeship Magazine.    

Read More


IEN Publishes Hampshire College Case Study

We are pleased to share our new case study on Hampshire College’s journey in considering social responsibility, sustainability, and institutional mission in its endowment investing. As many schools and nonprofits grapple with these issues, or face scrutiny from stakeholders, this case study offers details on how Hampshire College undertook ESG criteria and aligning with mission.   Read the press release outlining the report, and access the full report here.    

Read More


Crane Board Chair, Natasha Lamb, Named one of 2017's Top ...

Natasha Lamb, Chair of the Board of The Crane Institute of Sustainability -- the 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that is home to the Intentional Endowments Network -- has been named one of 2017's Top 50 Most Influential People by Bloomberg Businessweek.  Visit the Bloomberg Top 50 to read more about this honor and watch a video featuring Natasha and the other changemakers helping to shape our society.    Natasha is a Managing Partner at Arjuna Capital and has served as Chair of the Board of Crane since its inception.  Her shareholder activism work has covered critical business issues ranging from climate risk to gender pay equity to fake news, and has focused on ensuring that companies are taking a long view and...

Read More


Intentionally Designed Endowments in 2017

As we reflect on 2017, we are again overcome with a profound sense of hope and gratitude; gratitude for all of the support and engagement from participants in the Intentional Endowments Network, and hope for accelerating progress toward the tipping point for a sustainable future. When we talk about hope, we often quote author and Oberlin professor, David Orr who is fond of pointing out that “hope is a verb with its sleeves rolled up.” Recently our newest team member at Crane, Kristian Nammack introduced us to a similar observation on hope from author Rebecca Solnit: “Hope is not a lottery ticket you sit on the sofa and clutch. Hope is an axe you use to break down doors in...

Read More


'The Intentionally Designed Endowment' Published in Trust...

Written by IEN Executive Committee member, David Dinerman (Hampshire College), Tony Cortese (Green Mountain College, IEN), and Georges Dyer (IEN), this piece highlights the importance and trends of aligning endowment investing with the mission and goals of higher education institutions and considering material ESG factors. It explores some of the challenges and opportunities of doing so, provides some evidence of the benefits and ideas on how to institutionalize such investing, and helps trustees learn about the peer learning opportunities through IEN.   Read the full article here, as published in Trusteeship Magazine.    

Read More


Crane Board Chair, Natasha Lamb, Named one of 2017's Top ...

Natasha Lamb, Chair of the Board of The Crane Institute of Sustainability -- the 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that is home to the Intentional Endowments Network -- has been named one of 2017's Top 50 Most Influential People by Bloomberg Businessweek.  Visit the Bloomberg Top 50 to read more about this honor and watch a video featuring Natasha and the other changemakers helping to shape our society.    Natasha is a Managing Partner at Arjuna Capital and has served as Chair of the Board of Crane since its inception.  Her shareholder activism work has covered critical business issues ranging from climate risk to gender pay equity to fake news, and has focused on ensuring that companies are taking a long view and...

Read More


ESG Investing Trends: Common Approaches and Benchmarking

In this Q&A, Thomas Kuh and Paul Schutzman, Executive Directors at MSCI, discuss the significant ESG trends and developments that we should be aware of in 2017,  some of the ESG concerns, demands and questions they hear most frequently from asset owners in the US, and what first steps institutions that are grappling with how to approach ESG can take. Thomas Kuh                                                         Paul Schutzman Executive Director, MSCI                      Executive Director, MSCI               1. Can you please explain your roles...

Read More


IEN Publishes Hampshire College Case Study

We are pleased to share our new case study on Hampshire College’s journey in considering social responsibility, sustainability, and institutional mission in its endowment investing. As many schools and nonprofits grapple with these issues, or face scrutiny from stakeholders, this case study offers details on how Hampshire College undertook ESG criteria and aligning with mission.   Read the press release outlining the report, and access the full report here.    

Read More


Intentional Endowments Network Builds Momentum

Last year, 77 Founding Members launched IEN’s membership program. Founding Members included: Arizona State University Foundation, Becker College, California State University, Calvert Investments, Carleton College, Hampshire College, Hanley Foundation, Lane Community College, Lewis & Clark College, Litterman Family Foundation, Middlebury College, Portland State University, San Francisco State University Foundation, UBS Asset Management, University of Maine and University of Massachusetts Foundation. Through the membership program, IEN facilitates connections with experts and peers to support administrators and trustees in enhancing their institutions’ approach to sustainable investment and addressing stakeholders’ concerns. Some of the major accomplishments of the Network over the past year included: Producing several guides and resources to facilitate knowledge exchange and peer to peer networking Hosting multiple events, which included a total of seven interactive,...

Read More


Intentional Endowments Network and Cambridge Associates O...

Though the US government is no longer supporting the Paris Climate Agreement, many endowments, foundations, and other US institutions remain committed to aligning their investment policies with the goals of the international accord. In response, the Intentional Endowments Network and Cambridge Associates have outlined a blueprint for action for investors wishing to uphold the aims of Paris Climate Agreement and implement ESG factors into portfolios. Specifically, we have outlined considerations for incorporating environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors into the development of investment policy statements (IPS), as well as a blueprint for incorporating language around the Paris accord into an institution’s IPS. Articulating Purpose, Priorities, and Principles in a well-designed investment policy can help interested institutions effectively incorporate social and environmental concerns into their investment...

Read More


Intentionally Designed Endowments in 2017

As we reflect on 2017, we are again overcome with a profound sense of hope and gratitude; gratitude for all of the support and engagement from participants in the Intentional Endowments Network, and hope for accelerating progress toward the tipping point for a sustainable future. When we talk about hope, we often quote author and Oberlin professor, David Orr who is fond of pointing out that “hope is a verb with its sleeves rolled up.” Recently our newest team member at Crane, Kristian Nammack introduced us to a similar observation on hope from author Rebecca Solnit: “Hope is not a lottery ticket you sit on the sofa and clutch. Hope is an axe you use to break down doors in...

Read More


Sustainable Investing at the University System of Marylan...

University System of Maryland (USM) students have been driving change at The USM Foundation for several years. In 2013, students circulated a petition to divest from fossil fuels with nearly 600 signatures from students at Towson University, the University of Maryland, Baltimore County and other colleges. In response, in 2014, along with the United Nations, the USM Foundation was a seed investor in the iShares MSCI ACWI Low Carbon Target ETF.The ETF tracks the results of the MSCI ACWI Low Carbon Target Index and addresses two dimensions of carbon exposure – carbon emissions and fossil fuel reserves. The fund was designed for individuals and institutions interested in environmental sustainability without divestment and provides transparency to the carbon footprint of their...

Read More


The Future of Investing is Impact Investing

(Originally posted on the U.S. Impact Investing Alliance website, available here. The Intentional Endowments Network is proud to sit on the Alliance's 8-member Industry Advisory Council of leading impact investing network organizations. Together the organizations on the Council represent over 800 members representing trillions of dollars of assets under management.) By:  Darren Walker, President, Ford Foundation and Chair, U.S. Impact Investing Alliance Fran Seegull, Executive Director, U.S. Impact Investing Alliance The United Nations estimates that achieving its 17 Sustainable Development Goals by 2030 will require trillions of dollars. The global goals aren’t the only way to measure our challenges, but they do paint a clear picture: given the scale of the problems the world faces, it’s clear that traditional sources of capital, like government aid and philanthropy,...

Read More


University of Oregon held “Investing in the Age of Climat...

On April 28, 2017, the University of Oregon held “Investing in the Age of Climate Change.” Organized by students, faculty, staff engaged in sustainability issues on campus, and the University of Oregon Foundation, the forum tackled the question of how climate change is affecting businesses and investors. The forum was videotaped and is now posted at this link: The nine videos posted track the speakers throughout the day: http://media.uoregon.edu/channel/archives/category/office-of-sustainability Steve Mital, UO Director of Sustainability, Quinn Haaga, President of the Associated Students of the University of Oregon, and Clay Hurand, UO student activist, started things off with introductions to the forum. Paul Slovak, UO Psychology, provided a psychologist’s perspective on understanding risk. Susan Gary, UO Law, discussed fiduciary responsibilities for...

Read More


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