Canada’s Philanthropic Communities Join Forces to Expand and Deepen Impact and Responsible Investing

In 2010, the Canadian Task Force on Social Finance called for Canada’s public and private foundations to invest at least ten percent (10%) of their capital in mission related investments (MRI) by 2020.

Nearly 9 years later, many Canadian foundations have begun or are exploring opportunities to invest their capital in ways that bring about positive social and environmental change, more closely aligning their investment portfolios with their visions. Some have made great strides and are national and international leaders in this space.

To continue to support these efforts, the Environment Funders Canada, Community Foundations of Canada, Philanthropic Foundations Canada and The Circle on Philanthropy and Aboriginal Peoples in Canada are working together on the next phase of their education programs to help Canadian foundations implement more and better impact and responsible investing strategies, across their endowment portfolios. This work will include an update of the Impact Investing Guidebook for Foundations, which was originally launched in 2017.

Foundation Investing 2.0 is being implemented by Rally Philanthropy and the Shareholder Association for Research and Education (SHARE). The project is designed for foundation trustees, CEOs, executive directors and senior finance staff, to support them wherever they might be in their journey. From the curious to committed, the project is designed for those who want to learn, begin, or deepen and scale their impact and responsible investing activities.

Over the next year, there will be opportunities to participate in webinars, access practical tools and resources and join in-person workshops and master classes on key investment themes and issues including climate change, decent work and reconciliation. All of the activities will utilize hands-on and peer learning approaches and provide practical steps to embed impact and responsible investing into investment oversight and governance.

We invite interested foundations to share the following information about three upcoming events with your investment committee members, CEOs, executive directors and finance staff.

Upcoming Events

PFC 2019 Symposium

October 16 and 17, Calgary, AB

Save the Date. More information about sessions related to impact and responsible investing will be provided when available.

From Intent to Action: Setting the Foundations for Impact and Responsible Investing

November 14, Vancouver, BC | November 19, Toronto, ON

Are you interested in getting started or further developing your Foundation’s approach to responsible and impact investing? This in-person masterclass is part of Foundation Investing 2.0, a collaborative effort by Canada’s philanthropic communities to expand and deepen impact and responsible investing. The workshop will look at the importance of investment beliefs in setting your total portfolio strategy.  We will explore best practices in developing policies and governance frameworks, working with your managers, identifying impact opportunities and possible quick wins. Participants will leave ready to take the next steps forward on their impact and responsible investing journey.

Please note, these workshops are for FOUNDATIONS ONLY.

Register here for the Vancouver event

Register here for the Toronto event 

Past Events

Webinar #3: A Just Transition: Making Climate Action Inclusive

October 7, 10 am PST / 1 pm EST

The transition to a low carbon economy will impact communities and workers that are already being affected by job losses, stagnant wages and precarious work. The Just Transition framework looks to place the voices of affected workers and other impacted communities at the centre of conversations on the transition to a low carbon economy. This webinar will look at the role that investors can play to ensure that the social dimensions of the low carbon transition are considered in efforts to tackle climate change.
This webinar will feature:
• Vonda Brunsting, Program Manager, The Just Transition Project, Harvard Kennedy School
• Colin Baines, Head of Investor Engagement, Friends Provident Foundation
• Nancy Neamtan, Strategic Advisor, Chantier de l’économie sociale


CEGN Conference Session: Investing for a Sustainable Future

May 8, King City, ON, 2 pm – 4:30 pm

Breakout session on Investing for a Sustainable Future led by Andrea Moffat from Ivey Foundation

Webinar #1: Addressing Climate Risk and Investing in a Low-Carbon Future

May 28, 10 am PST/ 1 pm EST

Participants will learn about various ways foundations can address climate risk and invest in a low-carbon future across different asset classes. In addition to hearing about opportunities in public and private markets, the webinar will include examples from individual foundations on steps they have taken to address climate risk and invest in low carbon products across their portfolio.


Master Class: Jump-Start on Social Finance

June 5, Victoria BC, 9 am – 4 pm

This Master Class is designed to support foundations of all types seed and advance their social finance practice. Building off the Impact Investing Guidebook with case studies and skills development, you will get expert guidance and practical advice from facilitators and guests/peers. The session will leave you with a roadmap to help you take the next steps forward, whether that be identifying management capacity, addressing policies and governance, working with your managers, determining opportunities and portfolio construction, impact measurement and sustainability, or quick wins.

Webinar #2: Advancing Reconciliation and Growing the Indigenous Economy: A Role for Investors

June 25, 10 am PST / 1 pm EST

Participants will hear about how foundations are addressing reconciliation in their investment policies and practices including identifying opportunities to invest in Indigenous enterprises and communities and to support the revitalization and growth of the Indigenous economy.