Charities are adopting SRISeptember 2009
More than half of large British charities now have an ethical investment policy, according to a new survey.
The study of 164 organizations indicated that 60 per cent of charities with investments of more than £1million had SRI policies in place.
The key reasons charities gave for investing responsibly were avoiding conflicts with their aims and activities, cutting reputational risk, and trying not to alienate potential donors.
Of those investing ethically, 88 per cent use negative screens, a quarter use positive screens and nine per cent vote shares on ethical issues. The most avoided area is tobacco, followed by pornography and military involvement.
ALthough only a quarter of smaller charities – those with investments of under £1m – have an SRI policy, there are signs that more plan to adopt ethical investment, with a third of charities that don’t currently invest ethically planning to discuss the issue in the coming year.
Sam Collin, charity adviser at the Eiris Foundation, which conducted the survey with the Charity Finance Directors’ Group, said the figures were ‘encouraging’ but added that too many charities were putting their reputation at risk by ignoring SRI.
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