Platform: Building Our Operational Model

Building Our Operational Model

Our approach outlines an ambitious vision that we’re still in the process of operationalizing. From time to time we update the field on what we've learned in this process through a letter from Heron's president.

So far, the following tools have become key components of our new platform:

Long-Range Model

We use a long-range model to ensure the long-term viability of our strategy. The long-range model helps us manage our liquidity, project our returns, and calibrate our expenses so we can maximize our impact over time.

A Customized CRM

We worked with a vendor to create a highly customized version of Salesforce that maps our networks of financial and social opportunities. The system helps us draw connections across the portfolio and bridge the divide between "grantmaking" and "investing" that characterizes most traditional foundations.

A Bloomberg Terminal

Like any other investor, we rely on Bloomberg data to help us track the financial and social performance of our publicly traded securities. We simultaneously work with the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) to help standardize and enhance Environment, Social and Governance (ESG) data for public equities.


For our direct investments, we do not keep any special reports inside the foundation, but instead route reporting to an outside data warehouse called CoMetrics. CoMetrics works with each enterprise to scrape financial information directly from their general ledgers, and also enables them to report social performance metrics through the same system. This minimizes the burden of customized reporting that would usually be required by a foundation.