You Can Influence How Colleges Invest
American colleges and universities have over $400 billion in endowments. Unfortunately, almost all of that remains invested in the fossil fuel industry, in private prison corporations, and other socially unjust companies. Colleges don’t invest responsibly, yet millions of alumni donate to support these colleges and universities every year. Students around the country are fighting to make these investments more responsible, urging their schools to divest from private prisons and the top 200 fossil fuel companies with the largest reserves, and organizing for transparent, just, and sustainable reinvestment.
What You Can Do: Leverage Your Donations
Colleges care deeply about the financial support of donors to grow the endowment, which makes alumni, parents, and community members extremely influential. You can leverage your power as a donor by refusing to donate to the school and instead, donate to your college’s Responsible Endowments Fund. When you donate to the Responsible Endowments Fund, you are expressing support for the responsible investment of university endowments and for student and alumni engagement in the investment process.
Alumni: Find your alma mater by clicking the button below and make a contribution to your school's Responsible Endowments Fund. Your donation will be held, along with all the others to your school, until the school meets the benchmarks listed on the donation page. If even 1% of the 61 million college graduates in the US take action, we will have a huge influence.
Students: Make a contribution to existing REF's to support other campaigns. Consider if setting up a Responsible Endowments Fund is strategic for your college's divestment campaign. Fill out the Responsible Endowments Fund interest form or email the alumni organizing team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Responsible Endowments Fund is a project of the Responsible Endowments Coalition in partnership with the Triskeles Foundation, As You Sow, and student and alumni groups around the country. Your donation will be held in an account at the Triskeles Foundation and invested responsibly until the college you selected has been deemed to meet the benchmarks listed by a representative of the group who set up the fund at your college and the Responsible Endowments Fund management committee. The management committee is advised on investments by Federal Street Advisors, a Boston-based investment consultant, and is supervised by the board of the Triskeles Foundation.
To learn about how this fund is invested, how it works, and who is involved, click here.