EFA works to link its grantmaking values with its investments to promote greater social responsibility of corporations. We seek to avoid investing in companies that contribute to the very problems we are attempting to address through our grants. Alternatively, EFA sometimes holds shares in companies whose practices it opposes and engages in “shareholder activism” with the company, which has become an increasingly effective tool for holding corporations accountable. In fact, whether the issue is the environment or diversity, corporate governance or sweatshops, there have been hundreds of interventions by concerned investors–and increasing responsiveness by many companies. Corporations do pay attention not only to the size of the shareholder vote, but also to who is voting. A strong showing by institutional investors, especially foundations, has been demonstrated to have an impact.
The EFA is proud to be a part of the Divest-Invest Initiative, a group of foundations that have pledged to divest their endowments from fossil fuels. For more information, please visit www.divestinvest.org.