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

Belinda Brady
Director, Investments

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 – March 31, 2019

Market Overview – Equity markets roared back in 2019 after posting generally negative returns for calendar year 2018. The S & P 500 returned +13.6% for Q1 2019. Non-US broad equity market indices also had strong absolute returns for Q1 2019. The Barclays Aggregate index, a well-known measure of the US fixed income market, returned +2.9% for Q1 2018.

Investment Pool – The Foundation’s Investment Pool (“Pool”) participated in the market rebound returning +7.8% for Q1 2019. Its relative annualized long-term performance ranks above the respective Target Benchmark return for the 3, 5 and 10 year periods ending 3/31/2019. The Pool’s meaningful and thoughtfully constructed equity positions have contributed to its good long-term results. Private equity and real asset exposures have also helped the Pool achieve its favorable long-term results.

American Funds – The American Funds program returned +9.4% for Q1 2019. Its longer-term results are also attractive in both absolute and relative terms. For the 10 year period ending 3/31/19, the American Funds program returned +12.0%, 80 basis points ahead of its benchmark. The American Funds investment option has a higher US equity position than the Pool. Another distinction between the American Funds program and the Pool is the American Funds option does not include any alternative investments whereas the Pool has allocations to hedge funds, private equity and private real assets.

Conservative Fund – The Conservative Fund gained +0.6% in Q1 2019, which conforms with realistic expectations for a short-term oriented investment in the current market environment.

GoATL Fund – With a financial goal to maintain capital preservation, this fund’s primary purpose is to achieve measurable social impacts by making fixed-rate debt investments in nonprofits and social enterprises that benefit metro Atlanta. Because social returns are a priority, debt investments are typically priced below market rates. The GoATL Fund returned .5% for Q1 2019 and 1.3% for the 12 months ending 3/31/19 on a gross basis.

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 – 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)
• Edward S. Croft, III, Managing Director, Croft & Bender, LP
• Bernard Gray, President, Gray Ventures
• Stephanie Lang, Chief Investment Officer, Homrich Berg
• 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