Thoughtful stewardship of your philanthropic dollars

Investment Options

At the Community Foundation, we know that you are entrusting us with your philanthropic funds. We take pride in managing your dollars according to best practices. To that end, we hold ourselves to rigorous standards in order to mitigate risk and identify opportunities. Our internal experts collaborate with Colonial Consulting, LLC, and are guided by a volunteer investment committee that bring a wealth of knowledge to our investment strategies and process.

As a philanthropist, you may request that your fund be invested according to one of four diverse investment options to meet your grantmaking and time objectives:

The Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta’s management of the Investment Pool (“Pool”) relies on a long-term investment strategy—one that’s diversified across a wide range of asset classes, including alternative assets such as private equity, hedge funds and absolute return strategies. After all, diversification is vital to managing risk and achieving the best possible returns.

The Pool consists of a wide array of institutional money managers, each selected for specific portfolio characteristic deemed important to building a well-diversified total portfolio with a likelihood of delivering long term returns that preserve the purchasing power of dollars invested in the Pool. The investment committee of the Community Foundation Board selects managers with the assistance of a neutral investment consultant.

For our pooled assets, we rely on the advice of an independent consultant, Colonial Consulting, LLC, to craft a long-term investment strategy and recommend expert asset managers that invest each component of the Foundation Pool’s asset allocation.

This option provides a diversified portfolio of American Funds mutual funds selected by the investment committee of the Community Foundation Board and purchased without commissions.
The conservative option is invested primarily in a money market fund and is considered appropriate for those wishing to protect principal and avoid market risk while earning money market rates of return.
The Community Foundation permits donors to recommend the investment advisor of their choice to manage the assets in their funds.
The GoATL Fund is designed to accelerate positive social outcomes in our community through impact investing, the concept that strategically invested capital can achieve both a positive social outcome and a financial return. This innovative fund will provide cost-effective capital to address our region’s most critical needs and represents Atlanta’s first ever impact fund that is open to investment by our philanthropic community.

For questions regarding investments, please contact:

Contact our donor gift planning director

Diana Champ Davis
Vice President, Capacity and Chief Financial Officer

Asset Allocation and Investment Performance

The Community Foundation’s investment philosophy for the Investment Pool and American Funds program focuses on long-term investments using diversified portfolios with a bias toward equities. We seek to:

  • Achieve investment returns that provide reasonable funding for donors’
    charitable distributions
  • Augment the value of the corpus at a rate greater than inflation, net of grant distributions and associated expenses

Results – September 30, 2019

Market Overview – Q3 of 2019 was marked by increased equity market volatility, which can create meaningful opportunities for active investors to purchase or sell stocks at attractive prices. Gains in the US markets and Japanese markets offset the weakness in European and emerging Asian markets and currencies. The S & P 500 returned +1.7% for Q3. Returns of the non-US market indices were negative. The US fixed income market posted positive absolute returns in Q3 2019 as evidenced by the +3.2% return of the Bloomberg Barclays US Aggregate Bond Index for the period.

Investment Pool – The Foundation’s broadly diversified Investment Pool (Pool) returned -0.6% for Q3 2019. Longer term Pool results are strong with its 5 and 10 year results ranking above the Target Benchmark returns for each time period. The Pool continues to benefit from its exposure to a wide array of asset classes and carefully curated portfolio, which has an active management focus.

American Funds – For Q3 2019, the American Funds program returned +0.6%. Its 3 year return matches its Benchmark. 5 and 10 year returns are both above the related Benchmark. Given the absence of alternative investments (hedge funds, private equity and private real assets) in the American Funds program and other portfolio differences, it is expected that the American Funds performance results will vary from Pool returns during each time period.

Conservative Fund – The Conservative Fund continues to provide returns in line with a fund constructed to preserve principal and maintain a high degree of liquidity. It returned +0.6% for Q3 2019.

Summary – The Foundation offers a diverse set of investment options designed to meet the varied needs of our donor advisors. These options continue to produce results in line with their respective objectives.

IMPORTANT MESSAGE: The performance information presented is being provided to donor advisors with an interest in the Foundation’s investment options. It is not intended to constitute an offering of any kind. The performance information is shown net of investment management fees and has not been audited.

Investment Returns Report – September 2019
Investment Returns Report – June 2019
Investment Returns Report – March 2019
Investment Returns Report – December 2018
Investment Returns Report – September 2018
Investment Returns Report – June 2018
Investment Returns Report – March 2018
Benchmark Information


The investment committee of the Community Foundation Board closely monitors the investment of our assets, as well as the managers who implement our investment strategies. As stewards of our assets, the Foundation’s investment committee holds the selected investment managers to the highest standards of ethical behavior and professional performance.

Committee members:

  • Russ Allen, Chief Investment Officer, Berman Capital Advisors
  • Thomas J. Asher, President, The Rich Foundation
  • Mary Cahill, Chief Investment Officer, Emory University (Retired)
  • Millard Choate, Founder, Executive Chairman, Choate Construction
  • Bert Clark, Wealth Management Advisor, Estate Strategies Group, LLC
  • Bernard Gray, President, Gray Ventures
  • Stephanie Lang, Chief Investment Officer, Homrich Berg
  • Jeffrey Muir, Partner, Fulcrum Equity Partners
  • Michael A. Nadal, VP, Portfolio Manager, Montag & Caldwell
  • Galen Oelkers, President, The Zeist Company, LLC
  • Bryan Rand, Chairman, Senior Director, Tritium Partners
  • Wendell Reilly, Chairman, Berman Capital Advisors
  • Anne Sterchi, Executive Director, J. B. Fuqua Foundation