In May, more than 500 people from philanthropic organizations from across the country descended on Baltimore for the biannual Mission Investors Exchange conference. With ideas and inspiration from leading minds in philanthropy and finance, the conference introduced and explored major trends disrupting typical investing by the private sector, government and philanthropy.
Mission investing is the growing practice of philanthropic organizations using their endowments in pursuit of their charitable purpose. Some organizations, such as the Baltimore-based Annie E. Casey and Abell foundations, have been doing this for years. They have taken money traditionally invested in hedge funds or large public companies and used it to address community challenges core to their mission, whether it be in education, inclusive job creation, affordable housing or neighborhood revitalization.
This activity from innovative foundations is a subset of the broader field of impact investing, whic