As an endowed foundation, we are striving for coherency between our grantmaking and our investments. We consider it our responsibility to be as committed and mission-focused in investing our endowment, based on ethical and principled social values, as we are in making grants.
Swift Foundation’s approach to investing is to apply a continuum approach across the spectrum of grants to investments. We understand that visionary companies committed to high ethical priorities and working in underserved communities often require additional grant support. Furthermore, the nonprofit organizations we work with sometimes need access to low-interest rate loans to maximize their results. We communicate openly and regularly with investment staff and apply the same holistic thinking and criteria toward values-aligned investments and in determining when to couple grants with investments.
While we are committed to the foundation’s future, we are not trying to grow the endowment exponentially as it would mean compromising our values in order to make more money. We have decided to maintain about 85% ($50 million) of the foundation’s roughly $60 million endowment in relative perpetuity in what is called our Transition Portfolio and have assigned $10 million to the Aligned Portfolio. Growth beyond the $50 million in the Transition Portfolio can be re-allocated to the Aligned Portfolio once the grants and administrative costs are covered. Likewise, when investments in the Aligned Portfolio have long enough track records and consistent returns in their asset class they are then moved into the Transition Portfolio.