Investing Principles

The William Bingham Foundation has adopted a mission statement explaining that it “seeks to strengthen civil society and its institutions; works for a world that is environmentally self-sustaining; educates family members and others in the values and practice of philanthropy, community service, and stewardship; and seeks to build a sense of community among ourselves and with the world we share.” This mission is reflected not only in the Foundation’s grantmaking activities, but in the management of its assets as well.

The Foundation’s primary vehicle for reflecting its mission in its investments is a screening process for the Foundation’s investment portfolio based on criteria defined by Prentiss Smith & Co., Inc., one of the Foundation’s investment managers. The investment managers have primary responsibility for determining whether an individual stock meets these criteria, subject to review by the Board of Trustees:


  • Avoid companies that have demonstrated a consistent disregard for the environment
  • Favor companies that conduct business operations with respect for the environment and show leadership in addressing environmental challenges faced by their particular industries

Employee Relations

  • Avoid companies having a history of discrimination, anti-labor practices, or violations of health and safety regulations
  • Favor companies that provide equal promotion opportunities for all employees, fair wages, opportunities for professional development, and employee benefits

Human Rights

  • Avoid companies that contribute to repression of human rights through their business relationships, operations, or products

Products and Services

  • Avoid companies that produce weapons or weapons systems, nuclear power or equipment, and tobacco products
  • Favor companies that create products or provide services that enhance the quality of life