Committed to prioritizing social impact and financial return.
The AJL Foundation invests in people, programs and movements that benefit Colorado's youth and families. AJL recognizes that in order to increase impact and better serve more Colorado youth and families, the foundation has a responsibility to align its portfolio and investments more closely with its mission and prioritize both social impact and financial returns.
The process of more closely aligning investments with mission is a journey that requires navigating the complex landscape of varying advisor investing beliefs and philosophies, structures, strategies and capabilities. In an effort to share learnings and resources, we have included a timeline of our journey and links to resources below and will continue to update it as we move through the journey to impact investing.
Steps in AJL's journey to impact investing:
2015 - 2017: Research, Learning and Networking. AJL becomes interested in the potential social impact and financial returns through impact investing and embarks on a learning and networking mission to better educate the staff and Board around impact investing.
AJL attends Exponent Philanthropy’s Connect Conference in Denver, CO which features various speakers and panels on impact investing. AJL also reviews various resources provided by Exponent Philanthropy on impact investing.
Early 2018: Investment Beliefs and Values Identified and Formalized in Investment Policy Statement.
Mid to Late 2018: Current Investment Advisor Assessment results in New Investment Advisor Search. AJL assesses current investment advisor’s services and capabilities based on the new Investment Policy Statement and identifies a mismatch. AJL begins search to find a new investment advisor.
Mid to Late 2018: First Program Related Investment. AJL makes
first program related investment, a low interest loan to CASA of the
7th Judicial District, to help purchase a building that will provide
offices for CASA of the 7th Judicial District, 2-3 offices for partner
agencies, a work-training partnership for youth in foster care with
the bagel and coffee shop next door and space designed for and
by foster youth. Click here to see PRI details or watch the video to
November 10, 2018: Expression of Interest Closes. AJL issued an
Expression of Interest and received 40 responses. The EOI can be
December 11, 2018: Request for Proposal Issued. The RFP was by
invitation only and AJL appreciated learning more about Natural Investments, Syntrinsic Investment Counsel, The Caprock Group, Sonen Capital LLC, Cornerstone Capital Inc., BSW Wealth Partners, Tiedemann Advisors, Abacus Wealth Partners, Pathstone, Graystone Consulting, and Innovest. The RFP can be viewed by clicking here and responses were due January 11, 2019.
February 5, 2019: Investment Advisor Interviews Scheduled. AJL selected Syntrinsic Investment Counsel, Cornerstone Capital Group and BSW Wealth Partners to move forward to interview in mid-February 2019.
Early/Mid 2019: New Investment Advisor Selected and Onboarded. AJL selected Syntrinsic Investment Counsel as our investment advisor and onboarding completed in May 2019. AJL also assessed custodians for opportunities for positive social impact.
Commitment to impact codified in revised IPS. AJL codifies commitment to positive social impact and financial return in revised Investment Policy Statement which can be viewed by clicking here.
Case Studies and Examples
Any questions about impact investing or to explore a potential PRI partnership with AJL, please contact Kristi Petrie, Executive Director at or 720-308-4431.