The Investment Priorities category focuses on three areas: prioritizing investments to maximize profit, investing in renewable energy funds, and investing in community development loan funds. Points were awarded to all schools for investing to maximize profit, one component of a sustainable endowment.
Other elements of long-term endowment sustainability are investments related to clean energy and to the community. Accordingly, points were given to schools that investigated, or currently invest in, renewable energy funds or similar investment vehicles. Points were also given for investing in community development financial institutions. Such portfolio diversification at the local level strengthens communities that surround schools and contributes to their sustainability.
Leading by Example
The Investment Priorities "A" List is a group of 13 schools that earned "A" grades. Below is a sample of three very different institutions that all earned "A" grades. These summaries are based on data from each school’s profile page.
In 2006, Duke University announced a $5 million investment in the Latino Community Credit Union based in Durham, North Carolina. This investment is in addition to an initial investment of $400,000, which made Duke one of the credit union’s first and largest investors.
Northeastern University reports that it has invested in renewable energy investment funds or similar investment vehicles. Additionally, the University is exploring community development financial institutions or loan funds.
Williams College reports that it has invested in community development financial institutions or loan funds. Additionally, the College is exploring renewable energy investment funds or similar investment opportunities. The College also has a Social Choice Fund that allows donors to direct contributions to a special endowment fund that screens investments based on environmental and social criteria.