Stories

Mission Investing

  • Both/And Investing: Doing well AND doing good

    Lately we find ourselves asking how we can be better supporters of our grantee partners, who are working in increasingly difficult circumstances to advance social and economic justice across the South. With rapid expansion of income inequality, the gradual erosion of public goods and outright attacks on families’ safety and dignity, their work is more important than at any point in recent history. The Foundation, our partners and the communities we care about are at a critical juncture and “urgency” is the operative word.

    Fortunately, the Babcock Foundation board and staff now have the flexibility to consider increased grantmaking opportunities just when they are needed most. After years of planning and research, 2017 marked the first complete year MRBF’s portfolio was 100 percent invested in a mission-related strategy guided by environmental, social and governance (ESG) criteria. These ESG screens require best practices in labor rights, climate impact, natural resource use, corporate governance, supply chain management, community impact and other factors. Not only was the portfolio’s return up more than 20 percent last year, but every asset class outperformed its respective benchmark and achieved ESG impact. The timing of these market gains could not be any better, and we’re committing additional resources to our partners throughout the region.

  • Sparking Development where it’s Needed Most

    Big-money real estate developers are flocking to the American South, lured by aggressive economic development policies, generous tax incentives, lax regulations, low-cost land, cheap labor and a booming population. Investors are pouring considerable dollars into large real estate funds that typically target the same five to ten big cities. These dominance of these so-called “mega-funds,” which...

  • Celebrating a Year of Successes

    As we begin a new year, we’d like to toast all of our grantee partners across the South for a very successful 2016. Here are a few of the year’s achievements:

    The Georgia Budget and Policy Institute led the successful opposition to a tax-cut plan that would have damaged the state budget and eroded funding for schools and other services. Late in the legislative session, lawmakers...

    Coalfield Development Corporation
  • MRBF Joins Divest Invest Movement

    In addition to making grants to organizations across the South, the Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation achieves positive impact by aligning our financial investments with our mission of moving people and places out of poverty. The Foundation recognizes that climate change has disproportionate impacts on low-wealth people and communities of color across the American South, the nation and...

    Father and daughter fishing on Gulf Coast