Take Action! SAN FRANCISCOSEPTEMBER 8th -10th, 2008
2008 Summit Overview
At this invitation-only, two-day conference, approximately 100 investors, philanthropists, and foundations convened to discuss one of the hottest topics in philanthropy: mission-related investments (”MRI”). MRI is defined as investments creating positive social and environmental impacts that are aligned with an investor’s mission and/or values.
This conversation focused on MRI that generate “market-rate” and premium returns. This conference was designed to facilitate peer conversations among leading practitioners and trustees, CFOs and investment staff exploring MRI so that they were empowered to make decisions, take action, and explore collaborations. Day One addressed the “ins and outs” of MRI. Day Two focused on cutting edge practices and provided a space to candidly discuss unexplored, unresolved and debated territory.
“This group all seems to want to work together…not take something from each other.” -
- Janice Hester-Amey. Portfolio Manager, Corporate Governance, California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS)
“I really enjoyed Taking Action on Mission Related Investments 2008. It’s reassuring to see the community of practice growing and sharing. I spoke to a number of people who were happily surprised that it wasn’t a typical investment conference where people are more reluctant to open up and are in such a competitive mode.”
- Tessie Guillermo. President and CEO, Zero Divide
“Karie and I found the Taking Action conference a great value in our effort to move our portfolio’s investment strategy towards a Mission Aligned Investing approach.”
- David Thomson. Private Investor
“When the use of money includes a “service” component, a purpose, it provides more abundant returns, including financial. Georgette puts together people that are doing it, and those that are thinking about doing it. All are welcome, advocates and skeptics alike. It is a true gift to the global investment community, and to the participants.”
- Bob Pattillo. Founder, Gray Ghost Ventures
This conference was the only two-day event on the West Coast to focus on MRI. It provided a forum for over 100 decision-makers to learn and collaborate. It offered a chance to discover one of the latest trends in philanthropy, understand the true risks and rewards, and take action.
What is MRI?
MRI is defined as investments generating “market-rate” returns and positive social and environmental impacts that are aligned with an investor’s mission and/or values. These impacts may include those that affect the environment and climate change, bottom of the pyramid (e.g., those living on less than $2/day around the globe), domestic emerging markets, and health.
While MRI does not yet generate market-rate returns across all asset classes and issue areas, continued satisfaction with MRI providing either competitive returns with limited social value, or scalable social value and below-market rate returns may limit investors from demanding both market-rate returns and scalable social value. Some argue that MRI should generate premium returns because the investments are in inefficient and immature investment spaces, which seem to involve more risk.
The KL Felicitas Foundation was created in 2000 by Charly and Lisa Kleissner, successful entrepreneurs. Charly and Lisa utilize their skills, networks, and know-how to achieve maximum impact in their philanthropic endeavors.
The Foundation’s mission is to:
- Enable social entrepreneurs worldwide to develop and grow economically sustainable, scalable enterprises with high measurable social impact.
- Empower rural communities and families through sustainable economic and social change.
- Advocate the Foundation’s sustainability, mission, and social investment strategy.
The Foundation’s core values are:
- Commitment to high touch approach.
- Belief that a grass-roots approach is more successful and sustainable than a top-down approach.
- Belief that many societal problems can be addressed most effectively through cross-sectoral partnerships and hybrid business solutions.
- Commitment to leverage as many aspects of the Foundation’s structure and activities as possible.
- Taking into account the holistic impact of our work.
The KL Felicitas Foundation has a proactive grant-making philosophy and therefore does not accept unsolicited grant proposals.