Investing for Impact: A Case Study

At LNWM, we spend a lot of time developing and implementing impact investing strategies. We customize ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) screens for many of our clients so they can invest in a way that is more closely aligned with their values. We evaluate and invest in private equity and debt offerings aiming for impact, such as a recent venture to build more affordable housing in Seattle. And we are constantly on the lookout for new ways to invest for impact. We’ve been doing this for a long time.

During the past few months, we sat down with past and present leaders at the Laird Norton Family Foundation (LNFF), as well as members of LNWM’s Investment Strategy & Research team, to review LNFF’s decades-long experiences with impact investing.

What emerged is the story of one organization, which started with modest efforts and increasingly prioritized social responsibility. Today, the LNFF portfolio is well on its way to being 100% invested in impact-related funds and projects. That journey is documented in a case study — see links below — which highlights not only LNFF’s successes, but lessons learned along the way that go beyond the numbers.

Executive Summary
Impact Investing: A Case Study

Lessons Learned

Impact investing is an ever-evolving discipline that continues to attract individuals, families and foundations that want to put their wealth to work creating societal good. The Laird Norton Family Foundation (LNFF) is certainly one such investor.

In the case study, you’ll see that that it’s easier to get started with impact investing than it’s ever been before. You’ll learn why due diligence – especially in private investments – takes on such a prominent role. And you’ll read how LNFF built its impact investing strategy within the complexity of a multigenerational family, one with many differing viewpoints.

Smart and sustainable impact investing is a long-term strategy, one that requires as much intention and commitment as it does the desire to align your investments with your mission.

This dedication continues to drive LNFF in making impact investing central to its purpose. We hope, in reading about their experiences, you’ll be inspired to join the Laird Norton Family Foundation, Laird Norton Wealth Management, and a growing cohort of individuals, families and foundations around the world in putting your wealth to work for societal good.