On the road to impact investing

On the road to impact investing

This winter, our board adopted an impact investment strategy that will put more money into community and prioritize mission aligned investments.

Following a multi-year process, EHF’s board has adopted a new impact investment strategy that will transform the ways we are able to support our community. These new policies will target investments in companies and organizations that support our mission of health equity and allow EHF to expand the financial resources available to community partners in the Inland Northwest.

EHF’s existing investment policies have worked to restrict investment in companies and organizations that negatively impact health, like tobacco companies, weapons manufacturers and fossil fuel companies. Moving forward we’re going from a policy of excluding bad actors to targeting investments into two buckets that align with our vision, in financial speak: Mission Related Investment and Program Related Investments.

Mission Related Investments are investments that match our health equity vision, while projecting market rate returns. These investments represent more traditional financial tools with an added layer of accountability to ensure that we are supporting companies and organizations that promote health equity and will make up most of EHF’s investment portfolio. Having reliable market rate investments are essential to maintaining our foundation’s ability to reinvest in community each year through our grantmaking programs.

The larger, and more locally impactful departure from our traditional investment strategy is an expanded Program Related Investment program. Under the new policy, EHF plans to invest between 10-15% of our endowment directly in community projects where we’ll loan money without the expectation of receiving market rate investments.

These investments are intended to create opportunities for community partners that need additional financial backing to make projects work or aren’t eligible for traditional financing. Ultimately, the goal of this policy is to remove financial barriers for our partners tackling health inequities in their communities.

This new investment strategy expands EHF’s resource base for community impact. “What's really exciting for our programs and partners is that we have another tool to bring resources into the community,” said Leroy Eadie, EHF’s Vice President of Programs. “These investments will complement our existing grant funding programs and relationships with third party funders to support our partners.”