Endowments for Impact - Conference Masterclass

By: By Claire Hanratty, Director, and Simon Lewis, Partner   |   GoodWolf

“Not every problem is grant-shaped,” Danielle Walker-Palmour, Friends Provident Foundation (UK) CEO

Claire Hanratty, Director, GoodWolf
Simon Lewis, Partner, GoodWolf

The Trusts and Foundations sector in Australia has made, and continues to make, significant paradigm shifts in granting practices – strategic co-funding, capacity building, ‘pay what it takes’, trust-based philanthropy as examples - with the intended amplification of their granting impact.

The next big paradigm shift is how to strategically engage the endowment, around $50bn in total for the sector, and unlock greater public benefits and mission outcomes through investment strategies. After all, not every problem is ‘grant-shaped’, and every investment has some impact – positive or negative. Most Trusts and Foundations in Australia are ‘traditionally invested’, inadequately screened, and are laggards in taking up the growing number of responsible, sustainable and impact investing options coming into the market.

So how do Trustees, Directors, Investment Committee Representatives and CEOs reframe the role and purpose of their corpus to be more mission-aligned and unlock greater public and environmental benefits? Impact is currently a ‘megatrend’ in investment markets globally; with the proliferation of options in private, public and impact investing markets, what approach to investment is now most likely to advance your charitable purposes over time?

GoodWolf and its collaborators, Brightlight and Milner Huang, have been engaging groups of senior Trusts and Foundation representatives in peer-based workshops to explore these questions, and started building out a supporting ‘ecosystem’ to enable and support this transition. From workshops, white papers and case studies delivered by a team of subject matter experts, our goal is to help Trusts and Foundations navigate the abundance of information, terminology with a set of tools, frameworks and case studies to tackle the resistance to change and prepare their pathway forward for this next critical paradigm shift in Trust and Foundation strategy. 

You are invited to join a Masterclass at the Philanthropy Australia national conference on Tuesday, September 6, to explore and discuss these key questions together:

  • What is the case for change, based on the international and Australian experience?
  • How does ‘fiduciary duty’ enable, or indeed, compel action?
  • How do we secure an internal mandate for change at Board level?
  • How do we rethread out governance and practices to support a transition?
  • How do we engage investment advisors and managers that can support both our impact and financial objectives?
  • How do we monitor implementation this new strategy, and navigate the challenges posed by ‘impact washing’?

We are standing at a critical juncture for our economy, our society and our environment. Enshrined with charitable purpose, now is the time for Trusts and Foundations to take a stronger lead on realigning their investment portfolios to be more mission aligned and help catalyse the role of broader markets to improve the longer term effectiveness and accountability of capital.

Register here

Jul. 29, 2022

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