Via: The Advocate

By: Marissa Alvarado

2019-2020 Texas Women’s Foundation Community Grantee Recipients and TXWF
programs/grants team. Photo credit: Texas Women’s Foundation/Kim Leeson

Texas Women’s Foundation announced that 100% of the organization’s financial assets are now invested in a 100% gendered impact portfolio that yields strong financial returns and social benefits to women and girls. As a result of this strategic alignment of the Foundation’s financial assets – endowments, operating investments and donor-advised funds – with its mission, a new $10.5 million donor-advised fund was opened by the Simmons sisters, Lisa Simmons and Serena Simmons Connelly.

The Foundation’s 100% gendered impact portfolio, managed by the Chicago office of Graystone Consulting, a business of Morgan Stanley, is fully diversified across asset classes. Every fund within the portfolio is evaluated according to its financial benchmark as well as its gendered impact, measured by manager activation and intentional focus on one or more of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals that specifically and disproportionately affect women and girls.

Roslyn Dawson Thompson, Texas Women’s Foundation president and CEO, said in a press release, “Our journey to be the first women’s foundation aligning 100% of our assets with our mission has been many years in the making, and reflects the tremendous commitment by our Investment Advisory Committee and Board to the ‘all-in’ strategy, from the selection of the asset management team, to deep engagement in the gendered portfolio design for strong financial performance and significant social impact. The Simmons sisters joining our donor-advised fund family is a stunning affirmation of our strategy, and reinforces the opportunity it presents to donors to achieve a multiplier effect in their philanthropic goals for women and girls.”

According to Serena Simmons Connelly, “Lisa and I were eager to be part of Texas Women’s Foundation’s groundbreaking gendered impact strategy.  We are excited to see how much more can be achieved by putting financial capital and philanthropic capital to work toward gender equality and greater opportunities for women and girls.”

Dawson Thompson added, “We hope that we can inspire others to become part of what is now a global movement around impact investing. And specifically for women’s funds and foundations, we can demonstrate how, by mission-aligning 100% of our assets with our philanthropy, we can powerfully accelerate the change we seek in the world.”