At the Jessie Ball duPont Fund, we are committed to building communities in which everyone feels a sense of belonging. That commitment extends to the ways we manage our investments, and the types of investments we seek. We engage in impact investing – identifying investments designed to yield positive social, economic and environmental outcomes together with a financial return.
Our Impact Investing Program is designed to:
- Align the Fund’s endowed assets to our mission and values;
- Catalyze innovative solutions and services that benefit humans and the environment; and
- Create new sources of investment capital for communities and encourage others to leverage their assets to more directly impact the communities they serve.
As of 2020, about one-third of our endowment is invested in a socially responsible manner or invested to achieve a positive impact, such as the preservation and creation of affordable housing or small business development for women and people of color. These investment vehicles include program-related investments (PRIs) such as loans and guarantees, and mission-related investments (MRIs) such as equity investments in companies that provide social benefit. We consider funding loans, investments in CDFIs or other intermediaries, equity investments, asset investments in real estate or environmental conservation projects, guarantees and other types of financing that encourage other entities to contribute funds and resources.
For example, in 2020 the Fund became the only southeastern foundation to contribute to a first-of-its-kind Community Investment Guarantee Pool. The Pool will leverage $33 million in commitments from major funders to generate more than $150 million in community benefits, by guaranteeing loans for small businesses, climate change strategies and affordable housing initiatives.