Investment Information

Our approach to investment

The prime purpose of our investment approach is to ensure that we can continue to fund work which improves the quality of life for people and communities in the UK for decades to come. We aim to align our investments with our charitable objectives, whilst maintaining a consistent real value for the endowment over the longer term.

How we invest

Our portfolio is diversified across a broad range of asset classes, geographies, investment managers and investment strategies. All of our portfolio is invested via pooled funds, which means that we invest in a large range of companies, which changes from day to day.

Our investment advisors, Cambridge Associates, manage the day to day running of our investment portfolio, under instruction of our Investment Committee, working with our staff.

Responsible investing

We aim to be proactive asset owners by engaging with companies on issues that are aligned with our funding priorities. We work with other foundations and investors through the Charities Responsible Investment Network and look for opportunities to promote corporate behaviour which is in the interests of long term shareholders. Examples include becoming joint signatories with other investors to an initiative asking global food producers to focus on sustainability in their sourcing practices and another initiative asking corporates to commit to renewable energy sources over time.

We do not rule out any investments, but avoid investing in any new funds which might directly conflict with the outcomes of our funding.

Grant funding and social investment

We use our grant-making to fund organisations advocating for systemic change in investments, including ShareActionClientEarth and Carbon Disclosure Project. We are actively investing in new, innovative and alternative social and environmental models, such as community energy and land purchase initiatives, through our social investments.

Investing for ESG impact

We have a £25m allocation within our endowment that invests in funds looking to achieve enhanced environmental, social and governance (ESG) impact alongside financial return. This allocation is for funds which don’t currently fit our criteria for mainstream investments due to size, focus or risk profile.


The Foundation is also a signatory to the United Nations’ Principles for Responsible Investment (UNPRI). This initiative brings together an international network of investors who are committed to putting six key principles into action. As signatories we will:

  1. Incorporate environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) issues into investment analysis and decision-making processes.
  2. Be active owners and incorporate ESG issues into our ownership policies and practices.
  3. Seek appropriate disclosure on ESG issues by the entities in which we invest.
  4. Promote acceptance and implementation of the Principles within the investment industry.
  5. Work with the PRI organisation and other signatories to enhance our effectiveness in implementing the Principles.
  6. Report on our activities and progress towards implementing the Principles.

The PRI Initiative has quickly become the leading global network for investors to publicly demonstrate their commitment to responsible investment, to collaborate and learn with their peers about the financial and investment implications of ESG issues, and to incorporate these factors into their investment decision-making and ownership practices.