By Erik Schultz May 2022 – I believe in the fundamental premise that in exchange for privileged tax-advantaged status, private foundations like ours should do everything they can in pursuit of their charitable missions. Until just a few years ago I thought we did that, by often exceeding the legal requirement to give away 5% […]Read more...
Our rebranding represents much more than a name and mission change. It is a substantive reinvention updating all facets of how we interact with and empower those we exist to serve.
On this page we will discuss controversial, even uncomfortable subjects SK2 and philanthropy generally needs to be wrestling with, for example:
• how to shift power and wealth to communities we serve;
• challenging the premise of win-win impact investment;
• democratizing and co-designing program, grant and investment objectives/terms;
• honoring local knowledge, expertise, and agency
• influencing much greater resource deployment and risk-taking by family foundations.
SK2 Fund is now implementing an integrated capital approach to pursuing a more equitable and sustainable world. But we are not experts in how to do this, in fact, we are only at the beginning of the journey, and there will be successes and failures along the way. Recognizing this, we will openly share what is working well and what is falling short in our philanthropic and investment approaches, including links to articles and other media shaping and challenging our current thinking.
"There is no path. You make the path as you walk.”
–Spanish poet Antonio Machado, from Proverbios y Cantares, 1912
Read more about integrated capital below.
We are pleased to read about more and more foundations declaring their intention to invest increasing portions of their endowments in alignment with their missions. The vast majority however do nothing of the sort. In 2020, only 16% of “small” foundations (<100m) like SK2 reported engaging in mission-related investing or impact investing. The biggest reason […]Read more...
Until last year, our charitable work focused on supporting disadvantaged and underserved entrepreneurs internationally (and much of it still does). But over the years, people often asked us why we don’t do the same here in the US? We would mostly respond: the need is so much greater and our scarce dollars go so much farther. While this is true on many levels, that answer avoids addressing the social and economic disenfranchisement of African-Americans and other people of color here at home. With limited resources, we are not able to be everywhere or help out on every important issue.Read more...
In theory, impact investment balances positive social and environmental returns with competitive profits to investors. But mandating competitive profits for investors often reduces the potential social and environmental impact of investees. What if the focus shifted from maximizing profit to maximizing impact, or profiting only modestly enough to make the financial investment sustainable?Read more...
Creating a portfolio that is not rooted overwhelmingly in the stock market is not easy. It takes serious financial acumen, deep understanding of mission and values objectives alongside impact measurement, and no small amount of due diligence and monitoring. Without our partners at 3rd Creek Investments, it is highly unlikely we’d have the bandwidth to […]Read more...