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New Report from Builders Initiative and Social Finance: Breaking Barriers: A Practical Guide to Unlocking Foundation Endowments for Mission and Returns”

Builders Initiative and Social Finance have partnered on a report for foundations, high-net worth family offices, and their board members, identifying barriers and opportunities associated with MRIs.




Private foundations and family offices have an incredible opportunity to orient over $3 trillion to support building a sustainable future for us all — both economically and environmentally.

To clear a path to this goal, Builders Initiative and Social Finance have teamed up to release a new report, “Breaking Barriers: A Practical Guide to Unlocking Foundation Endowments for Mission and Returns.”

With this project, we set out to identify common barriers to mission investing and outline promising paths and tactics to help foundations maximize the allocation of endowment assets aligned with their charitable goals. As you know, we’re not in this alone. We join a growing number of organizations, researchers, experts, and other trailblazers, including yourself, who are passionate about mission-related investments (MRIs) and pushing the field forward in new and exciting ways. MRIs are impact-oriented, and often market-rate, investments made from a foundation’s endowment to advance the foundation’s mission.

This publication synthesizes all we’ve learned from 30 in-depth interviews with foundation leaders, investors,​ and legal teams. We believe we have identified both best practices and actionable ideas to empower organizations on their mission-investing journeys.

This report shows that while there are persistent barriers to MRI adoption, aligning more endowment assets to mission (without sacrificing returns) is absolutely achievable. But it will require leadership within organizations​ to​ take conscious actions to make it happen. Read the full report here and the official press release here.