Clear all

48 results found

reorder grid_view

Mission-Aligned Investing: How We Assess Our Progress

April 4, 2022

This report focuses on impact and ESG investing to share how our investment team thinks about the non-financial returns from our portfolio. Impact and ESG investment metrics remain a work in progress across the industry. Over time, Agility and the RBF have adopted an increasingly more comprehensive lens to assess the non-financial outcomes of our mission-aligned investments. The report details the RBF's 2021 transition to a multi-pronged approach to impact and ESG metrics, including:Considering both qualitative and quantitative data, recognizing that impacts can be positive or negative.Using the Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN) IRIS+ catalog of generally accepted impact performance metrics to measure social, environmental, and financial success.Adopting the United Nation's 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which many have seen as an industry standard, as a method for categorizing ESG and impact goals.Actively engaging with industry coalitions and efforts to further standardize ESG and impact metrics.Aligning our endowment with our mission extends beyond the investments in the portfolio to other steps we, as investors, can take to influence corporations, fund managers, and other asset owners. The report also details our focus areas for intended impact, areas of growth, and shareholder engagement activities. The RBF developed and implemented revised proxy voting guidelines in 2017 and partners with Agility and Institutional Shareholder Services, Inc., in the implementation and subsequent reporting phases of shareholder engagement and proxy voting. The RBF exercised its proxy votes on a range of issues in 2021, including human rights, workplace and board diversity, sustainability and climate change, and others. The report shows how RBF proxy voting reflects and builds on larger trends in shareholder engagement over the last several years.

The Rockefeller Brothers Fund's Democratic Practice Global Governance Portfolio: Impact Assessment, 2010–2015

October 1, 2016

This report evaluates the progress of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund (RBF) Democratic Practice–Global Governance (DP-GG) portfolio in the context of the program-specific goal, strategies, and the RBF mission. The overarching goal of the DP-GG program is to "strengthen the vitality of democracy in global governance." It is pursued through support for three strategies (transparency and accountability, access and participation, and innovation), and focused on three substantive areas (trade, climate, and development finance). Over the six-year period 2010 through 2015, the RBF invested $17.3 million in grants and appropriations in the Global Governance portfolio. This includes182 grants to 79 organizations, as well as support for 18 meetings at The Pocantico Center and 13 nongrant appropriations for consultancies and outside meetings. The average annual budget of the DP-GG portfolio is $2.95 million, a modest figure given the complexity and scale of issues these grants endeavor to tackle.

The Rockefeller Brothers Fund's Western Balkans Program: Midterm Impact Assessment

March 25, 2016

The Rockefeller Brothers Fund (RBF) commissioned an impact assessment of its Western Balkans program from 2010 to 2015. As the team who carried out this assessment, our overall conclusion from the assessment is that the RBF program in the Western Balkans is having meaningful positive impact, and it is relevant to the developments in Serbia, Montenegro, Kosovo, and the rest of the region. We believe the program is well designed and is achieving a lot with a relatively small amount of money.

Program Update: New York City, Conclusion of the Civic and Political Participation of Immigrant Communities Portfolio

January 5, 2015

From 2010 to 2014, the Fund made 44 grants totaling $3.4 million in the New York City democratic practice portfolio. Over the last five years, the Fund has supported immigration forums, new partnerships and collaborations, academic research, new tools for dissemination of best practices, innovative citizenship outreach models, and new leadership that have helped establish a positive perspective on the many contributions New York's immigrant communities make to its economy and civic dynamism.

Evaluating Program Impact: Our Approach to Performance Assessment Abridged Version

February 1, 2013

Discerning and communicating the impact of grantmaking and other programmatic contributions are essential to fulfilling the Rockefeller Brothers Fund's mission as well as our commitment to stewardship, transparency, and accountability. The Fund's board and staff have found that engaging policymakers on the results and insights gained from our grantmaking, informing the public about our grantees' work, and attracting additional donors to promising institutions and approaches are key activities that help build a more just, sustainable, and peaceful world.In order to bring additional rigor to the Fund's approach to program impact assessment an impact assessment committee, comprised of RBF trustees and staff, was established in March 2012. This committee continued the work of the Fund's 2003 Foundation Performance Assessment Committee that provided guidance to efforts to streamline internal processes, solicit grantee feedback on the RBF's funding approach, and conduct program reviews at regular intervals to assess program impact. The task for the 2012 Impact Assessment Committee was to further define and embed regular program review and impact assessment activities in the Fund's institutional processes in a manner that supports its program approach and grantmaking style.Principles and Conclusions to Guide the Fund's Approach to ImpactThe Impact Assessment Committee developed the following principles to guide the Fund's approach to impact assessment.* The Fund's impact assessment approach is rooted in its mission and its program goals and reflects and supports the RBF grantmaking style as captured in its program statement. It must be flexible enough to work across the Fund's six programs and their respective evolving contexts.* Given the nature of the RBF's grantmaking, a wide range of indicators and information is needed to understand the impact the Fund is having on a field or issue.* The Fund's approach to impact assessment is action-oriented. It enables staff and trustees to better understand the effectiveness of our grantmaking in light of the context in which our grantees are working, make mid-course corrections as necessary, and identify opportunities to share our insights with external audiences.* Impact assessments focus on the contribution of the Fund's grantmaking to a field or issue over the long term; staff monitor indicators of progress over the near and medium term.* The impact assessment process should add value to Fund and grantee work, not create administrative and financial burdens.

Evaluating Program Impact: Our Approach to Performance Assessment

February 1, 2013

Discerning and communicating the impact of grantmaking and other programmatic contributions are essential to fulfilling the Rockefeller Brothers Fund's (RBF) mission as well as our commitment to stewardship, transparency, and accountability. The Fund's board and staff have found that engaging policymakers on the results and insights gained from our grantmaking, informing the public about our grantees' work, and attracting additional donors to promising institutions and approaches are key activities that help build a more just, sustainable, and peaceful world.In order to bring additional rigor to the Fund's approach to program impact assessment, a committee of RBF trustees and staff was established in March 2012. Based on our experience, the state of evaluation in philanthropy, and a review of literature and activity in the field, the Impact Assessment Committee developed a set of principles to guide our impact assessment approach, defined terms for the purposes of RBF discussions, established several points for evaluation activities in the life cycle of a grantmaking program, and identified opportunities to embed impact assessment in the Fund's regular institutional processes. The Fund establishes its programs in fields and places that reflect its mission and the evolution of its longstanding interests, along with an analysis of the changing global context. The key elements of the RBF's approach to assessing program impact are as follows:* The board approves program guidelines that lay the foundation for the Fund's grantmaking within a program. Guidelines include a preamble that presents the vision and rationale for each program, ambitious long-term goals, and strategies that articulate specific actions the Fund will support to achieve progress toward these goals. They provide guidance to staff and grantseekers about what the RBF is prepared to fund.* A program framework summary, derived from the guidelines, is developed for internal use and includes indicators of progress. These indicators identify anticipated changes in understanding, behavior, capacity, public engagement, or public policy that would demonstrate that program strategies are contributing to realizing program goals.* Within each program, evaluation activities occur on an ongoing basis. Monitoring of the field and of individual grants draws on regular staff engagement and grantee reporting; program reviews, conducted every three to five years by program staff, provide an opportunity to engage the board in a strategic review of progress—often resulting in updated program strategies; impact assessments are conducted by external consultants after five or more years as strategies mature.* The annual institutional calendar provides a variety of opportunities for the board and staff to discuss and review programmatic impact at different points each year and across several years.This approach to impact assessment reflects emerging practices in the field and is consistent with the Fund's values and grantmaking approaches. The committee believes that the approach effectively supports program learning, guides program development, and enhances the impact of the Fund's grantmaking.

The Story of Brownfields: A Story in Five Parts

July 26, 2012

By the mid-1990s, New York State was home to more than 20,000 vacant or underutilized brownfields— an estimated 6,000 of them located in the five boroughs of New York City. These orphaned properties, contaminated with chemicals from their former uses (such as old gas stations, factories, and dry cleaners) were omnipresent eyesores, environmental health hazards, and impediments to economic revitalization. A bird's eye view would show these sites clustered in New York's marginalized, left-behind urban neighborhoods, with little hope of return to productive reuse. New York State, generally a leader in environmental and economic development policy, was one of a handful of industrial states, and the only state in the northeast, without a comprehensive program for brownfield remediation and redevelopment.This is a story of how one foundation, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund (RBF), found its way to, and stayed a 14-year course on, a thorny public policy issue in the crosshairs of environmental protection and equity, community revitalization, and sustainability. This report is not a cost-benefit analysis, a formal evaluation with pre- and post-metrics, nor an assessment of the effectiveness of individual grants. It is an overview of a body of work, with the benefit of hindsight, and presents a narrative of the Fund's choices, against a timeline of activities of its grantees and the public agencies they sought to influence.

Rockefeller Brothers Fund 2010 Annual Review

July 14, 2011

Contains an article on RBF's role in strengthening democracy in global governance on climate change issues; foundation information; program overview; grants summary with links to grants database, grantee profiles, and guidelines; and financial report.

2009 Statistical Review

June 11, 2011

Analyzes RBF's 2010 investment performance, expenditures, and program spending and provides an overview of its grantmaking, activities at its Pocantico Center, and human resources data.

2009 Annual Review

December 2, 2010

Contains an article on RBF's role in Track II dialogues on U.S.-China cooperation on climate change issues; foundation information; program overview; grants summary with links to grants database, grantee profiles, and guidelines; and financial report.

The RBF Diversity Report

November 30, 2010

Describes RBF's project to assess and improve diversity within its operations and grantmaking. Outlines diversity of and perceptions of diversity among board, staff, and grantees; planning and implementation; and the efforts of four working groups.

Sustainable Development Program Review, 2005–2010

November 1, 2010

The Rockefeller Brothers Fund's (RBF) Sustainable Development program advances global stewardship that is ecologically based, economically sound, socially just, culturally appropriate, and consistent with intergenerational equity. The RBF first began grantmaking on climate change in 1984 and has consistently maintained an interest in climate change through this period. Developments in politics, science, philanthropy, and the climate movement have provided a dynamic backdrop for the Fund's work to combat climate change over the past 25-plus years. The Sustainable Development program's funding strategies have both reflected and responded to these elements and, in several instances, had a role in shaping them.The paper examines lessons learned from the last several years to help guide the next phase of the Sustainable Development program's work.