What is mission investing and is it different from impact investing?

Mission investments are made by foundations and other mission-based organizations to further their philanthropic goals. Mission investments (like impact investments) include any type of investment that is intended and designed to generate both a measurable social or environmental benefit and a financial return. Mission investments include:

  • Mission-related investments (MRIs) that are expected to generate a market-rate financial return on investment comparable to an ordinary investment of a similar type and risk profile. They are designed to have a positive impact while contributing to the foundation’s long-term financial stability and growth.
  • Program-related investments (PRIs) or other concessionary (below-market rate) investments that are primarily made to achieve programmatic rather than financial objectives.

Impact investments are investments made by any type of investor with the intention of generating both a measureable social or environment benefit along with a financial return. Impact investors include, but are not limited to individuals, foundations, institutions and funds. Impact investing is sometimes used to describe any investment that considers environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors, as well as shareholder advocacy and/or screening.

For more information on options for Market Rate and Below-market Mission Investments, please visit the Mission Investors Exchange website here.

NCFP Friends and FP Online community members may also view the replay of our recent webinars on this topic, including our October 2014 webinar, Mission investing: Overcoming resistance and getting started. See below for additional suggestions.