The Nathan Cummings Foundation is focused on creating a more just, vibrant, sustainable and democratic society, and to finding solutions to the two most challenging problems of our time – the climate crisis and growing inequality. These intractable problems can’t be solved by grantmaking alone. Capital markets have to change to drive sustainable and inclusive growth that will create long-term value for people, the planet and the economy. And that is why we’re announcing our decision to fully leverage the strength of our nearly half-billion-dollar endowment to mission-aligned investing so that every dollar works to further our mission.

We’re already realizing the potential of this alignment and approach to our work:

Dismantling Inequality: The average chief executive officer earns roughly 347 times more than the average worker in their company, so we use our influence as an investor to advocate against egregious executive compensation practices that contribute to income inequality.  Our partner Just Capital ranks companies on worker treatment, including compensation practices, pay equity and discrimination. Over the past five years, they delivered a 24 percent average return on earnings, significantly higher than 16 percent for other ranked companies.

Building an Inclusive Clean Economy: Companies across a range of industries face climate-related risks to their business. Through our shareholder activism and grantmaking, we push companies to track and report on their emissions and take steps to reduce them.  Last year, in partnership with Wespath, Ceres and the 50/50 Climate Project, we pushed Occidental Petroleum to take an in-depth look at its efforts to address climate change, and ultimately, to commit to phasing out routine gas flaring and link a portion of senior executive compensation to progress on carbon capture and sequestration.

Read the full article about mission-aligned investing by Sharon Alpert at The National Center for Family Philanthropy.