Building Your Endowment

Kwiḵwa̱sut’inux̱w Haxwa’mis First Nation created and contributed to its new stewardship endowment fund with Coast Funds in 2020. Photo by Brodie Guy
Since our founding in 2007, Coast Funds has generated more than $67 million in investment earnings (a 120% return that will grow every year in perpetuity) to finance First Nations’ stewardship authorities, Guardian programs, and conservation initiatives.

Investing at Scale, Aligning with Values

First Nations and funders are working with Coast Funds to leverage our institutional-scale investment portfolio, good governance, and strong financial performance to increase investment earnings to finance First Nations’ self-determined stewardship efforts now, and for generations to come.

Strong investment performance

Since 2007, First Nations have received an 8% average annual rate of return. Coast Funds’ total returns over the past five years have been: 10.9% (2021), 8.7% (2020), 13.4%, (2019), 3.4% (2018), and 9.4% (2017). Founding contributions to Coast Funds of $55.8 million in 2007 have returned $67 million to date—a 120% return on investment that will continue to grow each year, in perpetuity.

A diversified, pooled fund

All funds managed at Coast Funds are invested together across six diversified asset classes, safeguarding and growing First Nations’ own-source contributions and their funders’ donations. Coast Funds invests in long-term assets such as a values-aligned private infrastructure fund that is only accessible for institutional investors. To learn more about Coast Funds’ investment diversification, see our INVESTMENT GUIDELINES.

Indigenous-led investment strategy

In addition to reporting on our socially responsible investment practices, disclosing Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) factors, Coast Funds explicitly focuses on Indigenous Rights reporting, what we refer to as ESG+I. With this focus, we manage the investment portfolio with a long-term, sustainable strategy, creating strong returns for First Nations without compromising our core values:

  • We divest and avoid investing in harmful sectors or corporations that are in conflict with our values;
  • We take a portfolio-wide approach to investing for impact, specifically focusing on Indigenous Rights alongside environmental, social and governance priorities such as mitigating climate change, human rights, and more;
  • We explicitly direct our investment managers how to vote, in alignment with our values, on shareholder resolutions for the companies we own. Learn more about our PROXY VOTING GUIDELINES;
  • We carefully select investment managers that align with our values and holistically ensure impact throughout our portfolio.

Benefits of investing at scale

By making contributions to their endowed funds within Coast Funds’ $89 million portfolio, First Nations receive the benefit of collective scale and investment management expertise. All aspects of Coast Funds’ Indigenous-led governance, operations, and services are self-funded at a level that is of significantly lower cost, and considerably higher quality than individual investment funds can achieve.

Continuous learning and demonstrating impact

We work closely with First Nations to learn from every initiative financed through Coast Funds. Together, we monitor, evaluate, and learn how investments in First Nations’ stewardship authorities, Guardian programs, and conservation projects are strengthening environmental conservation, economic prosperity, social empowerment, and cultural vitality across the Great Bear Rainforest and Haida Gwaii. Learn more about WELL-BEING OUTCOMES.

Contribute to the Fund That’s Right for You

In keeping with our priorities of uplifting First Nations and increasing both the sustainability and self-determination of stewardship revenue sources, Coast Funds offers two funds: the Stewardship Endowment Fund and the One Generation Fund. With every new contribution, the First Nation’s governing council and/or their funder determine which long-term investment fund to deposit their funds.

Making a Contribution

Coast Funds manages the funds entrusted to us for First Nations governments’ current stewardship financing needs along with the enduring permanence of the funds for future generations. By partnering with us to build the value of their endowed funds, First Nations are working to secure sustainable, self-determined financing for their stewardship authorities for generations to come.

Below are the straightforward steps to making a contribution to your endowed funds at Coast Funds:

Partnering, together

The First Nations government and/or their donor or partner, decide to engage our team to build the value of the First Nation’s endowed funds with Coast Funds. See our services supporting FIRST NATIONS-LED FUNDRAISING to learn more.

Securing the contribution

The First Nation’s governing council resolves to make an own-source contribution to their stewardship endowment at Coast Funds—or the First Nation’s donor or partner decides to make a donation to Coast Funds for the First Nation they’re supporting.

Selecting the long-term fund

The First Nation’s governing council (or their donor) select either the Stewardship Endowment Fund or the One Generation Fund for the donation to Coast Funds.

Making the contribution

Coast Funds provides our simple deed of gift for the First Nation’s governing council (or their donor) to make the contribution, directing it to their chosen long-term fund. The council (or their donor) reviews and signs the deed, and then deposits the funds with Coast Funds. If the contribution is from a donor, Coast Funds administers all aspects of charitable receipting.

Investing the contribution

Coast Funds invests the contribution within our diversified investment portfolio within 15 business days. The funds begin generating investment income for the First Nation that will finance their stewardship authority in the next fiscal year.

Annual earnings in perpetuity

Coast Funds provides each First Nations with their net investment earnings to finance their stewardship authorities, Guardian programs, and conservation initiatives every year in March following our annual audit.

Financing stewardship authorities every year

The First Nation’s governing council decides the amount of earnings to draw from Coast Funds to finance their stewardship efforts each year. With council direction, the First Nation’s staff form their annual stewardship or Guardian program budget, providing it and an overview of stewardship priorities for the year to our staff to APPLY, thus securing operating funds each year.

Contact Us to Build Your Endowment

Ross Dixon

Director, Development