Maximizing Returns to Colleges and Communities: Handbook on Community Investing

The strategic investment of university endowment funds can improve the quality of life in communities throughout the United States and beyond. This handbook is a guide for college and university administrators, trustees, finance committee members, and all other university stakeholders interested in developing and implementing community investment policies for the institution's endowment. The goals of this handbook are to: Define community investing as distinct from, yet complimentary to other strategies of socially responsible investment; Make a case for why colleges and universities might choose to allocate a portion of their investments for community investing; Provide background on college and university endowment investment; Describe the legal framework for trustees embarking on a community investment strategy; Present examples of market rate community investment opportunities by asset class; Provide a list of firms, consultants, and other resources that a college or university might contact for information on community investments; and Offer examples of colleges and universities that have used endowment funds to implement community investment policies. Embarking on community investment requires four steps: education, policy setting, investment, and monitoring of those investments. This handbook describes each step to build the reader's understanding of how to create a community investment program at their institution.