Key Terminology

Commingled fund: A pool of assets owned by several investors that allows for investment diversification and economies of scale but can obscure individual asset ownership.

Endowment: An investment fund established by a nonprofit institution to provide a long-term or permanent source of income to support charitable activities. Endowment funds are typically funded by donor contributions.

ESG investments: Investments proactively screened for Environmental, Social, and Governance criteria. While ESG criteria may differ, they can include factors such as carbon emissions, land use, labor management, health risk, board diversity, and financial transparency.

Fossil fuel reserves: Proven or probable reserves of coal, oil, natural gas, and tar sands.

Impact investments: Investments that both deliver market-grade returns and generate meaningful and measurable impact toward the RBF’s mission to advance social change that contributes to a more just, sustainable, and peaceful world.

Mission-aligned investing: The selection of financial investments that can support progress toward the Fund’s philanthropic priorities.

Proxy vote: A ballot cast on behalf of a shareholder to a corporation to decide matters such as electing directors to the board, approving mergers and acquisitions, authorizing executive pay, and other business decisions.

Outsourced Chief Investment Office (OCIO): A third-party business charged with managing the investment portfolio of an individual, family, or institutional investor pursuant to its investment policy. The RBF’s OCIO is overseen by the Investment Committee.

Screened divest: Investments with negotiated side letter agreements stipulating fossil fuel screening criteria.

Shareholder engagement: Recommendations, proposals, or resolutions submitted to a corporation by an investor in order to raise environmental, social, or governance issues.

Stranded assets: Fossil fuel resources that are no longer able to earn economic returns as the result of a regulatory shift, change in relative costs and prices, or physical impediment to supply or production.