Wallace Global Fund Executive Director Ellen Dorsey penned an op-ed in Alliance Magazine, challenging foundations to examine the ways that their investments and corporate holdings are antithetical to their missions.
“Are our investments contributing to climate change, driving inequality, violating women’s rights, or fuelling a system of financial secrecy which allows investors to escape paying taxes or hide corruption? Framed as avoiding harm, philanthropy might feel a greater urgency and sense of responsibility to scrutinise our investments. Simple surveys of potential harm might expose whether our investments actually undercut the work of our grantees who seek to solve social and environmental ills . Mission alignment would be seen, first, as a way to reduce our inconsistencies and our vulnerability if publicly exposed. Many foundations have already been subjected to exposes about investments in dirty companies and human rights violating industries, while funding organisations that fight them. Once we assess our potential harm, we can then begin to examine the opportunity for positive impact alongside our grants.”
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