Our approach to ethical investment

We view the whole of our endowment as a tool to help us achieve our mission.

Our aspiration is that all our investments should generate both financial returns and positive social and environmental returns. We believe that our decisions on what to invest in, what not to invest in, how we exercise our stewardship responsibilities as a shareholder, and how we engage with the financial system as a whole in our capacity as an investor should contribute to our aim of building international, national and local resilience, and an economy that is fair, equitable and environmentally sustainable.

Market Rate Portfolio

As a small trust, our endowment – the majority of our assets – has to work hard. We use it to generate income to support our grant making operations and governance; it also contributes to the achievement of our mission through the allocation of capital in our ‘market-rate portfolio’. Our approach to generating social and environmental returns in our market-rate portfolio is set out in our Investment principles and policy and covers:

  • Areas in which we will not invest under any circumstances because we judge that they are profoundly inconsistent with our mission;
  • Areas that we will particularly favour in our investments wherever possible;
  • Areas where will use our influence as a shareholder, working alone and with other investors, to encourage changes in corporate practices that serve our mission.

See Investor and shareholder engagement for more information on how we use our ‘market-rate portfolio’ to progress our mission.

Social Investment Portfolio

We were an early adopter of social or mission investment principles in the UK, making our first investment in 2010. Trustees have decided that up to 10% of the value of our endowment might be used to make direct impact-first investments in social enterprises and impact funds. Trustees are willing to take on a higher level of risk where the investment is close to our programme objectives and priorities. An overview of our current investments is in Social Investment portfolio. If you would like to contact us about making an investment email us on
[email protected]

Working in partnership

We also work with other charities, foundations and likeminded investors to progress our investment objectives, including as members of the Charities Responsible Investment NetworkChurch Investors Group, Social Impact Investors Group and the Institutional Investor Group on Climate Change.

Our investment team