May 13, 2016

Letter to the Editor: Article Missed Spirit of Mission-Investing Conference

To the Editor:

We appreciated The Chronicle covering this week’s Mission Investors Exchange conference ("Foundation CEOs Struggle to Boost Mission Investing," May 12). The piece by Alex Daniels, however, missed the spirit and focus of the conference.

The conference was a testament to the increasing commitment to impact investing. More than 500 people from a diverse range of institutions — from the largest national philanthropies to family and community foundations — came together to explore how to do more to align their assets with mission. This was by far our largest conference ever. The vast majority of attendees are already doing impact investing, and the foundations profiled in The Chronicle’s story have been enthusiastic leaders in encouraging bigger and bolder impact investments.

Throughout the conference, we focused on the concrete investments foundations are making and, as important, the many new on-ramps and platforms that will enable even more investing in the future. It is clear from this gathering that mission investing is having a dynamic and growing impact in communities across the country. We’re seeing real results.

It is true that building an impact-investing strategy is hard work and often requires a shift in institutional culture. Our speakers this week were forthright about potential challenges, something we encourage so that all in the field can learn from one another. We are proud to be part of such an expanding field, and to share the room this week with hundreds of foundation leaders who are committed to doing more.

Matt Onek
CEO, Mission Investors Exchange

Stuart Comstock-Gay
Chairman of the Board, Mission Investors Exchange
President, Delaware Community Foundation