(Bloomberg) – The largest US charities are increasingly turning to investment firms owned by women or people of color to manage their wealth.
30 of the richest philanthropies put 16.6% of funds – more than $ 11 billion – in companies of various kinds, according to a report released Thursday by the Knight Foundation and the Global Economics Group. That is an increase of 13.3% in the previous year.
It is encouraging “that investment in companies owned by diverse companies is increasing,” said Robert Raben, founder and managing director of the Diverse Asset Managers Initiative, in a statement. “We are relieved by this positive progress, but we are also deeply aware of how far we still have to go.”
The researchers requested data from the 55 largest charitable foundations by total assets, and 30 foundations with total assets of more than $ 166 billion participated in the survey.
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation – the largest philanthropy in the study, with assets of nearly $ 50 billion – was the only one to report that 0% of its stakes are in various companies. Most of the foundation’s assets are managed internally by Cascade Investment LLC. “The study therefore only looks at part of our portfolio,” says the foundation’s comments.
“The Knight study is profoundly flawed for an asset manager like BMGFT who manages its assets directly with an in-house gender and ethnicity team,” Cascade Investment said in an email statement. “We have also invested billions of dollars with outside managers or investment firms owned or run by women or minorities. These companies and managers represent a significant part of our assets. “
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The Gates Foundation pledged $ 2.1 billion earlier this year to advance gender equality, Melinda French Gates’ primary philanthropic focus.
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