Foundation Scotland has launched a new impact investment strategy focusing on social responsibility and sustainability
One of Scotland's major funders of the charity sector has announced it is moving to focus investing in impact.
Foundation Scotland distributes charitable funds to community initiatives across Scotland that create positive change and lasting impact and has handed out more than £100 million in the past 25 years.
This week, the organisation revealed it is the first community foundation in the UK to move to impact funds.
The charity invests donations to provide a long-term sustainable funding source for Scotland’s communities. The strategy has always focused on preserving and growing their endowment potential, investing in many different companies to yield the best return.
However, the foundation has now announced a new approach for future investments, one which makes a social and ethical return as well as financial. The move toward a stronger ethical position through investments means using any capital, not just the financial returns, to achieve social and environmental good. Investments are made in companies that deliver a positive societal impact through their goods and services and all their business practices, such as supply chains, low carbon policies, and staff welfare approach.
Foundation Scotland is part of a national network of 46 community foundations across the UK, and the only one in Scotland. They are the first ever community foundation to launch an impact fund.
The new fund will be managed by managed by EQ Investors. The revised portfolio invests in well-run companies whose core products and services help address challenges like the climate crisis, healthcare, and access to education or safe water.
Daniel Bland, head of sustainable investment management for EQ Investors, said “We are extremely pleased to establish this relationship with Foundation Scotland and help the trustees achieve their goal to generate both a competitive financial return and a positive impact on people and the planet. We fully expect to see more charities follow the example of Foundation Scotland and align their endowments with their values.”
Giles Ruck, chief executive of Foundation Scotland, said “Our new Impact Fund will enable us to continue building our assets in a more socially responsible way. Moving away from short term profit objectives to longer-term social impact objectives is in keeping with our purpose and roots as a community foundation”