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Ivey Foundation models leadership in environmental grantmaking and impact investing

Hoca

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The Ivey Foundation made headlines in 2023 when they announced their plan to wind up operations by the end of 2027. Their Foundation will fully distribute its endowment, channeling approximately $100 million to environmental grantees over the next five years. This also involves waiving the balance of a loan they made to TAF to co-invest in several retrofits.

Ivey Foundation is the sixth oldest family foundation in Canada, incorporated in 1947 to “improve the well-being of Canadians by focusing its resources on selected issues of significance.” Over the past 50 years, Ivey has made significant contributions to climate and nature-focused causes, granting to organizations like Pollution Probe, WWF, and TAF.

TAF’s relationship with Ivey began with their current president, Bruce Lourie, who was one of TAF’s first board members in the 1990s, prior to joining the foundation.

Collaboration between our teams on impact investing has been the domain of Roz Ivey, who leads investment of the Foundation’s funds and has been a pioneer and leader in responsible investing in the philanthropic sector.

Ivey does not have the capacity for direct investing, so we crafted a unique approach that involved TAF ‘selling’ Ivey a portion of several of our direct investments. Through this relationship, TAF and Ivey co-invested over $1.8 million in energy efficiency retrofits, achieving significant energy and water savings in housing co-operatives and community buildings.

The loan was repaid based on their share of the savings achieved. The borrowed funds allowed TAF to invest in more retrofits, which helped us demonstrate the value proposition of ESPAs with numerous retrofit case studies, and helped us incubate Efficiency Capital. Following Ivey’s co-investment, two other foundations expressed interest in adding impact investments to their portfolio, so we used the same model with the Catherine Donnelly Foundation and Lutheran Foundation Canada.

The Ivey Foundation Board and staff are dedicated to supporting leading-edge, long-term work to protecting the planet through grantmaking, thought leadership and investing. They are not only willing but eager to take risks to achieve their goals. The decision to disperse their funds sends a signal about the urgency and nature of the environmental work that needs to be funded in a few short years.

We’re grateful for the impact the Ivey Foundation has had and trust their legacy of collaboration, innovation, and generosity will continue to inspire the environmental community.
 
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