The has announced a $250 million bequest from the estate of , who died in 2017 at the age of 101.
The gift from the last of the five brothers who founded the fund in 1940 will boost its endowment to more than $1.2 billion. As a result of the substantial growth in its assets, the fund will significantly increase its annual grants budget in support of sustainable development, peacebuilding, and vibrant and inclusive democracy in the United States and around the world. As climate scientists predict ever more catastrophic effects from rising global temperatures, RBF also has prioritized its support of climate change work, pledging at least $75 million to mitigation and adaptation efforts over the next five years.
In recent years, the fund has reduced its exposure to fossil fuel investments to 1.1 percent of its total portfolio, and it currently has nearly $250 million in investment vehicles focused on companies that proactively consider and integrate environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors in their business. In 2010, the fund committed to allocating 10 percent of its financial portfolio to — market-grade investments with the potential to generate meaningful and measurable impact related to RBF's mission and program initiatives. In 2016, its impact investment target was increased to 20 percent, which the fund hopes to achieve over the next several years. As of September, the fund's impact investment commitments accounted for approximately $151.5 million, or 13 percent, of its investment portfolio.
"We are greatly indebted to David Rockefeller and his family for these gifts, which celebrate and reflect his incredible generosity and philanthropic spirit," said RBF president Stephen Heintz. "David understood long before many of his contemporaries the critical ways in which targeted, sustained philanthropy could not only ease human suffering and take on the world's contemporary challenges but could also address the underlying social issues at their roots to build a more just, sustainable, and peaceful world."
(Photo credit: Todd Shapera)