September 2020 Newsletter
Within our Reach
Equitable Local Economies through Action and Investment
With systemic gaps more apparent than ever, Philanthropy is in the middle of a gut-check moment brought on by a global pandemic and reinvigorated calls for racial justice. There's no time like the present to reimagine an economy that works for all, but for foundations, what would that project look like? There's no question we need broad reinvestment, but how would that impact grantmaking under traditional philanthropy?

This month, LOCUS Assistant Vice President Sydney England writes about actions philanthropy can take to leverage their endowments to root wealth locally and build community capacity. For her take, check out the most recent issue of Greenmoney Journal, here.
Action Items
ESG Investing and Fiduciary Duty
New Rules Limit Owner Influence Over ESG Decisions
As reported by ImpactAlpha, the US Department of Labor (DoL) is proposing a new rule governing when ERISA pension plan fiduciaries are allowed to vote as proxies on fund decisions. The change, if enacted, would place strict guardrails on a fiduciary’s ability to assert the interests of beneficiaries on plan functions outside of purely financial criteria, prohibiting votes on ‘non-pecuniary issues.’ This change comes on the heels of another proposed DoL finding that implied Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) investment criteria were non-financial in nature.

ESG investing has experienced a rapid mainstreaming as increasingly social-minded investors take broader view of investment performance. Critics of the proposal, “Fiduciary Duties Regarding Proxy Voting and Shareholder Rights,” see the change as potentially damaging to the movement, limiting plan owners’ influence over plans through their fiduciaries along ESG lines and beyond. Anyone can submit public comments on the measure before the input period closes on Sept. 30th by going to the Federal eRulemaking Portal, here.
Opportunity Zone Updates
The Governance Project has developed a new, web-based financial modeling tool for project-based community development, GroundUp. With a focus on Opportunity Zones, the platform aims to simplify project development for community leaders and help fund projects. In a recorded conversation with Governance Project Program Director Collin Higgins, Opportunity Virginia's Adam Northup and Valerie Lee discuss the new platform and why technical assistance is vital in getting community development projects off the ground. Click here to listen to the talk.
News from
the Field
Where You'll Find LOCUS
Oct. 15 | Virtual
Deb Markley will speak at this virtual talk.

Oct. 15 | Virtual
Deb Markley will speak at this virtual talk (private event).

Oct. 22 | Virtual
LOCUS parent company VCC hosts a talk with reuse development experts to discuss the pandemic's impact on their practice.

Oct. 26-27 | Virtual
LOCUS Impact Investing will lead a session during KACF's annual conference.
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