Elizabeth Carlock Phillips, executive director at Phillips Foundation, was interviewed on June 5 by Emily Chasan.
Q: In addition to being a grant-making foundation, you describe yourself as a catalytic capital platform. How did that come to be?
A: We call ourselves a catalytic capital platform, because we seek to leverage the capital we deploy for value beyond the check amount. We have found that the best use of our philanthropic dollars is to serve as risk capital that is then leveraged through proof-of-concept work to tap additional philanthropic support or public budgets for sustainability.
Q: The foundation has almost all of its $60 million in missionaligned investments. Can you tell us a little about that journey?
A: We had to find the right financial advisers who could help us achieve our goal of reaching 100 percent value alignment across the foundation’s corpus. Since making that move, we have achieved better financial returns and feel like we are serving as good stewards of the foundation’s full assets — making an impact not just with our 5 percent in annual grant-making but with the whole platform under our direction.