Funding will support the development of an ‘Endowment Impact Benchmark’ to support endowments in reporting and celebrating progress on sustainable investing and to encourage the adoption of emerging impact standards.
BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS (February 2, 2023) – The Crane Institute of Sustainability (Crane), a nonprofit that coordinates the Intentional Endowments Network (IEN) is among the 16 organizations to receive funding from the Tipping Point Fund to improve impact investing metrics and measurement to holistically advance the environmental, social, and governance (ESG) data infrastructure. The funds will support the development of an ‘Endowment Impact Benchmark’, a rating system that will track the sustainable investing progress of endowments and encourage the adoption of emerging impact standards.
The Tipping Point Fund on Impact Investing (TPF) is a collaborative group of donors committed to supporting the growth of the impact investing space by funding chronically underfunded areas with the potential to drive significant change. Its most recent round of funding allocated $3.2 million to project areas ranging from data infrastructure to improving measurement best practices.
The Endowment Impact Benchmark will accelerate action by institutional asset owners across the investment value chain and reduce social and environmental harm by providing a mechanism for endowments to report on and get credit for their positive activities. The system will drive enhanced transparency and enable more effective stakeholder engagement.
“Endowments have been making great strides in advancing mission-aligned, sustainable investing to reduce risk and enhance returns,” said Georges Dyer, Executive Director of Crane. “This project will dramatically accelerate this progress, enabling more effective peer benchmarking and learning. It will incentivize more institutions to lead in addressing the systemic investment risks associated with climate change, extreme inequality and other ESG issues.”
Crane is home to the Intentional Endowments Network, a nonprofit peer-learning network with over 200 members, including endowments, foundations, investment consultants, outsourced CIO firms, investment managers across asset classes, and nonprofit partners advancing the field of sustainable and impact investing. Founded in 2014, IEN has advanced learning and action amongst endowments, supporting them in integrating sustainability guidelines in Investment Policy Statements, evaluating commitments to fossil fuel divestment and net zero portfolios, and integrating issues of justice, equity, diversity and inclusion (JEDI) into their investment processes. The Endowment Impact Benchmark represents an evolution of this work, and will meet a need that IEN members have articulated for a mechanism to highlight the progress they’ve made and benchmark to peers.
The funding will support a one-year project to develop the Endowment Impact Benchmark in four phases: scoping and partnerships; benchmark development; implementation; and finalization. Through partnerships, collaborations, and support from consultants, industry professionals, and advisors, the project will catalyze and accelerate progress by endowments to invest more intentionally for positive impact in ways that reduce risk and enhance returns over the immediate and long-term.
The Crane Institute of Sustainability is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit and home to the Intentional Endowments Network (IEN) -- a peer learning network of over 200+ asset owners, asset managers, consultants, OCIOs, and nonprofit partners. IEN works to advance the field of sustainable investing by supporting endowments and other institutional investors to allocate capital to support a just transition to a low-carbon, equitable, and regenerative economy. It does so through hosting educational events, publishing and sharing resources, and facilitating peer-learning.
Sorelle Ngatchou, Communications & Media Manager, Intentional Endowments Network & The Crane Institute of Sustainability, [email protected]