Changing Corporate Behavior Through Shareholder Activism

American foundations as a group are significant asset owners. By law, foundations are required to pay out about 5% of their assets each year in furtherance of their programmatic goals, but what about the other 95% that remains in a foundation’s endowment? What if this substantial amount of money could be leveraged to further a foundation’s mission and address some of the causes and fallout of the recent financial crisis while preserving and maximizing long-term shareholder value, and strengthening a foundation’s adherence to its duties as a fiduciary?