National Geographic Society commits $50m of impact investments
The National Geographic Society has announced that it will commit $50 million from its $1.1 billion endowment to impact investments, with the aim of increasing its dedication to furthering our understanding of the planet and generating a new range of solutions for global sustainability.
Commenting on the announcement, Gary E. Knell, president and CEO of the National Geographic Society stated that the organisation is committed to science discovery, exploration and education. She said: "We recognised the opportunity to double down on our ability to make an impact — contributing to a better society not just through the grants we make, but by making investments that deliver both financial and societal returns."
According to David Druley, chairman and CEO of Cambridge Associates, National Geographic's latest move is no longer unusual as nonprofit organisations increasingly seek new methods of developing impact investing programmes that successfully further both their philanthropic goals and their investment goals.
He said: "The way in which the National Geographic Society is leveraging its growing endowment to further its mission sets a true example for how institutional investors can create even deeper societal impact on a global scale through endowment investing."
Joan Case, chairman of the National Geographic Society Board of Trustees, suggested that the National Geographic Society hopes that impact investing can enable the organisation to further its commitment to innovation. Furthermore, Ms Case added that the organisation's ability to generate both social and financial returns would also push forward their research success and boost education programmes to ensure the public has a greater understand of the world's issues.
Kristen Tongberg, outsourced chief investment officer of National Geographic Society and a member of CA Capital Management, Cambridge Associates' outsourced chief investment officer (OCIO) business, was also positive about the announcement, stating that it would help to further the National Geographic Society's cause.
She added: "We look forward to continuing to work closely with Gary and his team to identify the best impact investment opportunities through diligent manager selection and strategic program implementation to ensure success financially and socially for National Geographic for decades to come."