We employ supplemental tools in addition to our grantmaking to help create the educational, health and economic conditions in which children can succeed. Our Mission Driven Investments (MDI) program has dedicated $100 million of our endowment for investments in nonprofit and for-profit entities that advance our mission and generate both social and financial returns.
Why This Work Matters
Grantmaking remains the primary tool for foundations like WKKF. But in a fast-changing world with scarce resources and complex challenges facing children, families and communities, it is imperative that we look for additional ways to put endowment dollars to work to make a difference in the lives of vulnerable children and advance our mission.
Through the Mission Driven Investments (MDI) program, we support private-sector, for-profit entities working for social change. Many of these likely would not be funded through traditional grantmaking.
WKKF’s MDI program is unique in the philanthropic field. We place an equal emphasis on both social and financial returns. Each investment must meet specific criteria, including:
- Demonstrating potential for successful execution
- Making progress in areas aligned with our mission
- Meeting metrics for financial targets and market-rate or better financial returns
- Meeting metrics for mission and social targets aligned with our mission
What We Support
WKKF uses mission-driven investments to generate both social and financial returns directly tied to the foundation’s overall mission to support families and communities in creating conditions in which all children can thrive.
We approach those investments as we do our grantmaking, providing hands-on expertise and guidance. Additionally, we are able to apply lessons from our investee relationships to our grantmaking in order to increase our overall impact.
We diligently study each sector where we intend to make an investment, to identify the entities that most closely align with our overall mission and provide the greatest promise. In partnering with select for-profit entities, we are investing in new, potentially self-sustaining ways to provide families and children with critical resources.
We invest in all our program areas of interest, including education, health, financial security, community and civic engagement and racial equity with geographical emphasis in our priority places including Michigan, Mississippi, New Mexico and New Orleans. And we do so in a variety of asset classes, including cash deposits, fixed income and private equity.