The St. Croix Valley Foundation (SCVF) has launched a new socially responsive investment option for its long-term fund advisors. Seeded with $25 million, this new investment pool utilizes factors such as a company’s environmental record (E), its efforts to impact ethical social welfare (S), and policies surrounding equitable and transparent corporate governance (G). These ESG factors are considered alongside regular long-term financial assessments when making investment decisions for the pool.
The SCVF communicated the ESG investment opportunity to fund advisors this spring and launched the fund in late summer.
“We are thrilled with the response to this new investment option,” said Heather Logelin, SCVF President. “Fund advisors interested in this option told us that they expect competitive financial returns but also want to support long-term social and environmental well-being. This ESG investment pool ticks both boxes.”
Carpenter Nature Center (CNC) was the first to say yes, by unanimous board approval, to participating in this new investment pool. CNC Executive Director Jen Vieth explained, “This ESG fund aligns with our mission and values. We appreciate this opportunity to do well by doing good.”
The St. Croix Valley Foundation works with Fund Evaluation Group (FEG), which specializes in nonprofit endowments and has a dedicated team focused on ESG. To be included in its ESG portfolio, publicly traded companies must meet a threshold for corporate policies and actions which do not negatively impact, and indeed promote, factors related to a healthy environment (E), social well-being (S), and transparent and inclusive corporate governance(G). ESG factors are reviewed by FEG alongside regular long-term financial assessments. Companies in the ESG portfolio seek to gain both financial and societal benefits, maximizing good and profit.
Moving forward, existing SCVF fund advisors may opt into the ESG investment pool during an annual spring “open enrollment” period. Those establishing new philanthropic funds with SCVF can discuss ESG investing as a part of the fund set-up process.
The St. Croix Valley Foundation’s mission is to enhance the quality of life in the St. Croix Valley by encouraging charitable giving, connecting donors with programs that match their charitable interests, and encouraging collaboration. It manages close to 500 charitable funds with over $90 million in total assets, providing $5 million in annual grants and scholarships throughout the St. Croix Valley and beyond.