Gender-Lens Investing 101
An Interview with WFCO’s Investment Advisor
Akasha Absher is the chief consulting officer of Syntrinsic Investment Counsel, leading the firm’s efforts to create
enduring strategic partnerships with nonprofit clients to help them invest all resources with mission and business strategy. Syntrinsic is WFCO’s investment advisor. Akasha is a WFCO fundholder, PEP member, and Women Will member. We asked her a series of questions to help our donors learn more about gender-lens investing.
What is unique about opening a donor-advised fund at WFCO?
What’s great about WFCO is it provides donor-advised fundholders (DAF) two options to invest alongside it in its gender-lens investment platform. The first option is a long-term portfolio, which is well-diversified with a 15 percent gender-lens allocation. And the second option is a 100 percent gender-lens portfolio, which no other community foundation in Colorado offers.
What is gender-lens investing?
Gender-lens investing is a form of impact investing, which is investing with the intent of both a financial and measurable, beneficial, social return. The folks at the Global Impact Investing Network define gender-lens investing as strategies that are applied to an allocation or to the entirety of an investment portfolio that seek to intentionally and measurably address gender disparities and/or examine gender dynamics to better inform investment decisions.
Why should a donor-advised fundholder consider investing in WFCO’s 100 percent gender-lens portfolio?
Investing alongside WFCO in the gender-lens investing program supports WFCO in achieving its top priorities. More specifically, through their investment dollars, donors will advocate for equal pay, family-friendly work policies, and gender diversity on corporate boards and executive management. Also, they’ll support companies that are “best in class” based on scoring for issues such as climate change, human capital and labor management, corporate governance, privacy, data security, among others.
What are WFCO’s investment goals?
WFCO is broadening its gender-lens investment strategies while giving donors even more options to expand their impact. WFCO’s goal is to use all forms of capital from investments to grantmaking for greater social and economic change for women statewide. In fact, WFCO aims for the entire asset base to be 51 percent gender-lens invested by spring 2021.
How can donors participate in gender-lens investing?
Learn more! Donors can become involved in gender-lens investment options by opening a donor-advised fund or
joining a giving circle or group-advised fund at WFCO. Contact Renee Ferrufino, vice president of development, at
303-285-2969 or firstname.lastname@example.org.