Investment Management FAQ for DAF Advisors

What is TBF’s Donor Advised Fund Investment Philosophy?

Since 1915, the Boston Foundation has been the trusted repository and steward of philanthropic capital. We are a long-term investor seeking balanced, stable, and strong returns to help meet pressing community needs. Our guiding investment philosophy is to promote the prudent stewardship of funds entrusted to us for the benefit of the community of donors and charitable organizations we serve. We currently manage $1.8B in assets. We aspire to be at the leading edge of charitable impact investing. We are proud to provide best-in-class options to our donor community and donor advised fund program.

We recognize that donors have different time horizons, risk tolerances and other criteria that influence their recommendation of how the Foundation should invest their donor advised fund. To meet these needs, the Boston Foundation offers three investment options to all our DAF funds, with the ability to allocate across these options. No matter which investment pool(s) you choose, your fund will retain strong liquidity that allows quick deployment of grant dollars to support our community.

How do you describe the different investment management options?

Impact Pool

The Impact Pool aims for competitive market rate returns without concession or compromise. It features a competitive and balanced mix of socially responsible investments that uplift companies with strong corporate governance and shareholder advocacy while reducing exposure to industries such as fossil fuels, alcohol, tobacco, gambling and weapon manufacturing. The Impact Pool also features private investments that create affordable housing and green energy infrastructure. As it produces returns to support your grantmaking, it generates positive social impact on a global scale and right here in Greater Boston. A portion of the Foundation’s endowment, the Fund for Boston’s Future, is invested in the Impact Pool. 

Asset mix: 90% equity-type risk, 10% fixed income.

Balanced Plus Pool

Our longest-running investment pool, the Balanced Plus Pool is highly diversified and designed to produce a high return over the long term.  As the Boston Foundation has been entrusted to carry out the philanthropic legacy of hundreds of generous families, the bulk of the Foundation’s endowment, the Fund for Boston’s Future, is currently invested in this Pool. About 20% of the equity portion of the Balanced Plus Pool is allocated to private partnerships in private equity, venture capital and real estate.

Asset Mix: 90% equity-type risk, 10% fixed income.

Short-Term Pool

The Short-Term Pool is invested in U.S. Treasury bills and money market funds. Sometimes referred to as our “Preservation Pool”, this option is appropriate for those who do not want equity-market exposure.

Asset Mix: 100% in money-market mutual funds and U.S. government treasury bills.

Where can I find out more about each of these funds?

The TBF website provides additional information on each of these investment options, including the most recent performance data.

Do I need to do anything for my fund balances to be moved?

No!  As of October 1, 2023, the portion of your fund’s balance invested in the Balanced Pool will be reallocated to our Impact Pool. Should you prefer to allocate some or all your fund balance to a different investment pool, you can simply send an email to your Relationship Manager with a copy to our Donor Services team,

I have a few questions, what do I do?

Just let us know and we’ll be happy to answer them! Respond to the email you received from TBF and we’ll make sure we answer any questions you might have. You can always reach us by emailing or calling (617) 338-2213.