Investing With Purpose

Ric and Ann Adams, founders of The Adams Family Fund, said that they embraced the opportunity to align their investment with their values. 

When you create a fund with the Community Foundation, you can recommend one of five investment portfolios for your fund. In keeping with our mission to enrich the quality of life in Frederick County now and for future generations, and our goal to create a more sustainable and inclusive, equity-focused community foundation, we are proud to be offering an additional investment choice: the “Sustainable Focus Option” in addition to our more traditional investment options.

What is sustainable investing?

Sustainable investment portfolios have the dual objectives of generating strong investment returns while also having positive effects on society. Investors often construct a sustainable portfolio by screening out companies that are rated poorly on sustainable factors and then refine their selection by giving extra weight to the stocks and/or bonds of companies with high ratings for sustainability.

What are some of the benefits of sustainable investing?

Investors have the option to allocate money in a way that is consistent with their values. Put simply, a sustainable portfolio is a portfolio with a purpose. Donors can recommend that their fund be invested in ways that aim to have a positive impact on people and the planet, via the Community Foundation’s Sustainable Focus option.

What are some of the challenges related to sustainable investing?

While there are many benefits to sustainable investing, measuring success can be difficult. There are no universally accepted standards for quantifying the effects of a company’s sustainability activities. Investors should be mindful of “greenwashing” – instances of inflating a company’s socially responsible credentials.

There are also some challenges related to confusing terminology – words like “sustainable,” “impact,” “socially responsible” and acronyms like “ESG” (meaning a focus on Environmental, Social, and Governance factors) can be used interchangeably, often with different intent. This is why working with our Investment Committee and consultants to address these challenges is an important part of our process.

Read more frequently asked questions.

Want more information? We’d love to discuss the varying investment options for creating a new fund, please call 301.695.7660.