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The 2014 U.S. Trust Study Of High Net Worth Philanthropy

October 1, 2014

The 2014 U.S. Trust Study of High Net Worth Philanthropy examines the giving patterns, priorities and attitudes of America's wealthiest households for the year 2013. This latest research study is the fifth in this series of studies, and was once again written and researched by the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy in partnership with U.S. Trust. This study is a continuation of the 2006, 2008, 2010 and 2012 reports.

Women and Girls Equality: A Clear Focus For Social Investing

August 13, 2013

Gender lens investing is the strategy of putting investment capital to work with the goal of improving the lives of women and girls. Social investment products with this gender focus can be found in multiple asset classes and at varying levels of risk and return. Historically, they have included community development notes, microfinance, private equity, venture capital, pooled funds and managed accounts. Such investments sometimes have a direct, grassroots impact -- for example, financing a catering business owned by women that serves nutritious meals to children in public schools, or providing poor women in India access to low-interest loans to foster the development of cottage industries. Another related strategy for creating social change has been to invest in companies that have progressive corporate employment policies that seek to promote gender equality in the workplace.Whatever the investment vehicle or approach, the mission is the same. Endowments, foundations and individual investors recognize that focusing their investments in this way can not only create benefits and opportunities for individual women and girls but also help provide economic security for their families and communities. Organizations, too, have embraced the idea that investing in gender equality is a powerful strategy for promoting social change. A study by the Foundation Center and the Women's Funding Network found that foundation grants benefiting women and girls are growing at a faster pace than foundation giving as a whole. Women investors in particular often want their investments to support women's issues and to have a positive impact on their gender.

The Endowment Challenge

July 19, 2013

The financial crisis of 2008 is nearly five years behind us, yet its impact on nonprofit organizations persists. The bull market that began in the early 1980s delivered historically strong returns for most long-term investment portfolios through 2008, but the factors that contributed to that performance may have run their course. Equity returns weakened over the past decade, and despite better results from bonds, overall portfolio returns have declined. Looking ahead, inflation is likely to remain low, but investment returns are also expected to be lower for the next few market cycles within more volatile markets. This will make it difficult for nonprofits to rebound from portfolio losses suffered in the 2008 downturn. Nonprofits face a "New Reality" of lower returns, higher volatility and increased scrutiny from boards and regulators. This paper discusses the challenges and opportunities nonprofit organizations face in a changing market environment.