Mission Related Investments

Mission Related Investments (MRIs) are one of the most powerful tools an organization can use to achieve social impact.

MRI Definition

An MRI is any investment activity that furthers the investor’s organizational mission. So for a nonprofit dedicated to creating affordable housing, an MRI might involve providing financing to a new affordable housing development project.

But don’t let the simplicity of the definition fool you. When an organization deploys a fully-integrated MRI strategy, the results can be profound. Imagine bringing the entirety of an organization’s resources to bear in serving its mission – even directing endowment capital to support mission-aligned programs and efforts. Then imagine the increased impact resulting from that capital coordinated with efforts in grant-making, portfolio screens, shareholder activism, and direct investing. The effect isn’t just local change, but large-scale social change. That’s the power of Mission Related Investments. And that’s why public and private organizations alike are increasingly looking to MRIs as the next “big thing.”

An effective MRI strategy involves developing an integrated approach to philanthropy and investing. This starts with aligning one’s vision and goals and leads to the coordinated deployment of all the tools in the impact investing toolbox. And while navigating the MRI journey may seem daunting, IFC offers valuable experience and insight working with organizations at all stages of the process. It’s that experience that has helped us develop a comprehensive, yet straightforward, framework for supporting our clients’ Mission Related Investing pursuits.

We break the work into four stages:

  • Stage 1: Data Collection and Assessment – allows for internal/external investment data collection and an organizational level-set. It establishes the “state of the organization” and a comparison to the broader market and market leaders;
  • Stage 2: Strategy and Design – provides an opportunity to broaden and deepen impact investing education for Board and staff and refine organizational alignment. It sets the groundwork for developing near-, medium- and long-term plans to achieve philanthropy and impact investing integration;
  • Stage 3: Implementation – involves the deployment of an organization’s resources – both capital and personnel – to achieve articulated goals and impact outcomes; and
  • Stage 4: Evaluation – creates a transparent, iterative feedback process to support those managing an organization’s investments and mission-focused activities.

To learn more about our advisory services and how IFC can help you leverage the power of MRIs, please contact us.

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