Exchange-traded funds, or ETFs, are bundles of stocks that trade in the public markets. Most track a specific stock market index.
Rockefeller Foundation is putting up a $300,000 grant to Impact Shares, based in Dallas, to let non-profit organizations create their own ETFs.
Organizations would identify company stocks that are important to their missions — veterans’ organizations might select companies committed to hiring vets, for example — and bundle them into an ETF.
Impact Shares’ goal is to find a major nonprofit for every social issue. “If you really can organize corporate America around specific causes then you can make a meaningful difference,” says founder Ethan Powell.
Socially-responsible ETFs are growing as an investment option: ETFdb lists 38 socially-responsible ETFs in its database.