Responsible investment – resources and events

Over the last few months, Access has undertaken a series of interviews to find out where other foundations are up to with responsible investment and consider how best to share our own learning with others.

This is a list of existing resources and events that we have identified are available to support foundations looking to develop and pursue responsible investment. It is by no means exhaustive but hopefully a useful starting point for those newer to this field.

We would be happy to hear from any foundation CEO or trustee that would like a more in-depth conversation about Access’s approach. Please get in touch.

You can also read about our broader findings from this work in a parallel blog piece here.

Responsible investment seminars

The Impact Investing Institute, together with ACF, BSC & Charities Responsible Investment Network, host a 3-part seminar series Impact Investing in the Main Endowment aimed at foundation trustees or staff who are looking to develop a responsible investment approach. Access will be speaking at the second of these seminars. The series will be re-run regularly.

EIRIS Foundation is hosting a series of peer-to-peer workshops on sustainable and responsible investment looking at various practical aspects such as developing an investment policy. More here. 

2023 conferences

JRF hosted a 2nd Next Frontiers conference on 11 July 2023, following their first well-attended one last year. It will draw on their recent discussions with a group of foundations focussed on “just transition investment models”.

ACF holds an annual conference in the autumn – date tbc – as well as various member events throughout the year, such as ‘Integrating Climate Action into a Foundation’s Work’ on 11th May 2023. 

EIRIS and Access will co-host an event on 28 September. This builds on EIRIS’s 2022 Utilising Whole Endowments for Mission conference (joint with Friends Provident Foundation). The event covered everything from making the case and getting started, to what to look for to identify good ESG and impact investing, to integration and leveraging your endowment for maximum mission impact.


Charities Responsible Investment Network is a membership-based network hosted by Share Action. Its supports members with events, an online forum and taking joint advocacy actions.  

ACF’s Social Impact Investors Group is a membership group for those making direct social impact investments.

There are many other networks that may be of interest to specific foundations e.g. Church Investor’s Group, European Venture Philanthropy Association, as well as the Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN) and Toniic (a global community of asset owners).

Other resources

Access have published information about their own approach to investment with an updated Impact report launching shortly.

Charity SRI includes a range of useful resources – including how to draw up a responsible investment policy and case studies (useful for informing board papers).

The report from an ESG Olympics held in 2020 and EIRIS Charity Pooled Funds report 2021 are both good overviews and offer insightful commentary on the shortcomings of funds’ ESG commitments to date.

The COP26 declaration (Access is a founding signatory) calling on the asset management industry to adopt minimum standards in support of the Paris Agreement objectives.

NCVO’s sector-wide campaign encouraging charities across the voluntary sector to think about divesting from fossil fuels.