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Asset Owner

With a $2.2 billion endowment, the McKnight Foundation has the opportunity to align its money with its mission. Using a prudent approach to risk and return, the Foundation seeks investment opportunities that reflect new economic, environmental, and social realities for almost 10% of its portfolio ($200 million). As we learn more, we are finding exciting opportunities to align portions of our traditional portfolio with our mission as well — in other words, we are surpassing the 10% commitment.

Our Portfolio Includes:

High Impact Investments:

  • $75 MILLION in private market high-impact investments. These may include funds or direct private debt and equity deals. We expect a minimum financial return of 6%.
  • $50 MILLION in program-related investments (PRIs), a common foundation tool for making non-commercial investments with higher impact. McKnight often structures its PRIs as long-term, low-interest loans at 1-3%.

Aligned Investments:

  • $245 MILLION in public market funds  measured against traditional investment benchmarks such as the S&P 500 or the MSCI World. These funds have strong processes to identify social, environmental and governance (ESG) risks or see sustainability as an organizing imperative of the new global economy.
  • $100 MILLION seed investment in the Carbon Efficiency Strategy, reducing our exposure to businesses that produce carbon pollution inefficiently. It is benchmarked against the Russell 3000.
  • $190 MILLION bond portfolio with no exposure to coal companies or corporate issuers that own underground coal reserves.
  • $60 MILLION in lower-cost defensive equity strategy that includes minimal standards of ESG practices for publicly traded company holdings