The Rockefeller Brothers Fund is committed to being a center of philanthropic excellence. As a grantmaking institution, we place significant emphasis on program impact assessment. At the same time, we fully recognize the critical role of effective institutional practices in achieving impact. Institutional effectiveness refers to organizational culture, management of human and financial resources, and professional standards of timeliness, efficiency, transparency, and responsiveness to internal and external stakeholders.
Motivated by a sense of responsibility that has financial, social, and ecological dimensions, the Fund prioritizes investment policies that enable the foundation to achieve its long-term financial objectives while aligning its investments with its mission of helping to build a more just, sustainable, and peaceful world.
The Fund has set a portfolio allocation target of 20 percent for impact investments, which we will seek to achieve over the next several years, while maintaining a diversified portfolio to preserve the real value of the endowment. The Fund’s priorities for investments from this 20 percent pool are focused on opportunities that align with the Fund’s grantmaking programs, including those targeted at clean energy development.
Given the RBF’s deep commitment to combating climate change, in September 2014, the Fund committed to a two-step process to divest from fossil fuels companies. The immediate focus was on coal and tar sands, two of the most intensive sources of carbon emissions. As we took steps to divest from coal and tar sands holdings, we also carried out a comprehensive analysis of any remaining fossil fuel exposure and have initiated divestment efforts from these investments. Our continued divestment from fossil fuels will be accomplished through a careful process of evaluating our exposure and a phased approach that proceeds as quickly as is prudent.
While working to align our endowment investments with our mission, we will adhere to the longstanding mandate of our board of trustees that our assets be invested with the goals of achieving financial returns that will enable the Fund to meet its annual philanthropic obligations and maintaining the purchasing power of the endowment, so that future generations will also benefit from the foundation’s charitable giving. In uncertain and volatile markets, these financial goals are not easy to accomplish. Therefore, we will carefully pursue our impact investing and divestment efforts, balancing the objectives of mission-aligned investing and endowment preservation.