Guides to the Law of Mission Investing for U.S. Foundations

by Mark R. Kramer; Anne Stetson

Oct 1, 2008

U.S foundations have considerable freedom to invest their assets in ways that further their missions, even at greater risk or lower financial return. The legal framework that governs the investment of foundation assets is both complex and ambiguous, however, with the result that many foundation leaders and investment advisors are unclear about what is legally permissible. Anne Stetson and Mark Kramer of FSG have prepared two reports, in consultation with nationally-recognized legal experts and senior foundation officers, analyzing the federal tax and state fiduciary laws as they apply to US foundations. In addition to legal analysis, the reports provide practical recommendations as to how foundations can best navigate these laws in making mission-related or program-related investments. Risk, Reward, and Social Impact: Demystifying the Law of Mission Investing by U.S. Foundations provides a 128 page report that offers a comprehensive analysis of the legality of mission investing, examples from leading foundations of mission investing in practice, and practical recommendations to foundations and their advisors to facilitate mission investing within the framework of the law. This report, suitable for foundation attorneys and advisors, as well as those foundation staff and board members seeking an in-depth study of the topic, analyzes the relevant Uniform Laws, IRS regulations and letter rulings, and relevant case law. In addition to a study of applicable federal tax law, it includes an in-depth analysis of the laws of California, New York and Oregon.

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