The Annie E. Casey Foundation

By Laura Arrillaga-Andreessen, Victoria Chang
2006 | Case No. SI74 | Length 9 pgs.

In 1948, Jim Casey, one of United Parcel Service’s founders, established the Annie E. Casey Foundation with his siblings. The foundation’s mission was “to build better futures for disadvantaged children and their families in the United States” and to “foster public policies, human service reforms and community supports that more effectively meet the needs of today’s vulnerable children and families.” As the foundation grew, it developed a grantmaking strategy that included making grants that focused on: 1) improving major systems serving disadvantaged children and families; 2) transforming neighborhoods; and 3) promoting accountability and innovation (by providing available data and analysis on issues critical to disadvantaged families). In 1998, the foundation expanded its grantmaking strategy to include program-related investments (PRIs) and mission-related deposits (MRDs). In 2002, the foundation hired a director of social investments to more fully develop the strategy and execution plan for its $20 million of PRI and MRD funding. By 2005, this number had been increased to $100 million (3 percent of the foundation’s total assets). Challenges facing the director of social investments included how to: 1) enable the long-term sustainability of grantees; 2) track financial and programmatic performance of PRIs and MRDs; and 3) resolve the tension between social investment and programmatic strategies, particularly related to the foundation’s focus and outcome assessment.

Learning Objective

Basics of social investing (particularly PRIs and MRDs), developing an internal infrastructure to support cross-department decision making and collaboration and foundation strategic decisions.

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