Our Mission - Sorenson Impact Foundation of Salt Lake City
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Our Mission

The Sorenson Impact Foundation was created to advance the flow of capital into innovative, scalable solutions to the world’s most pressing needs.

Foundations historically use only 5-10% of their assets each year to advance their missions. Learn how we decided to use 100% of our assets every year to accomplish our mission.

A letter from our founder, James Lee Sorenson 

After almost a decade of learning-by-doing and a never-ending commitment to forging ahead in a nascent space, I am proud that the Sorenson Impact Foundation (SIF) has held true to its mission of serving the needs of underserved communities around the world through supporting innovative, game-changing start-ups and the impact investing space broadly. Part of our success has been our parallel commitment to be nimble, react to the inevitable change in a new and growing space, and open our hearts and minds to the notion that some of the greatest discoveries are yet to be realized. 

In the year 2021, most people and institutions do not need to be convinced of the validity of the statement:

Where you invest your money, matters

For the Sorenson Impact Foundation, why we invest in impact investments is clear:  to do more with our money than just earn a return. As a charitable foundation, we have a philanthropic portfolio that we use to make concessionary investments whereby we accept higher risk or potentially lower returns for the prospect of high social return. But in the larger portfolio, the endowment of our Foundation, we invest the endowment in a portfolio that generates a strong return and grows so that we can continue to distribute grants and investments and conduct our work in perpetuity.

It is our belief, backed by the data we’ve collected on our own journey, that investing for impact as well as returns is not just a “feel good” thing to do, it is an opportunity to capture outsized financial returns. Impact is increasingly being used as a proxy for quality:  companies that do better by our people and our planet tend to do better financially. When they treat their employees and suppliers well, they have lower turnover, higher innovation output, and far less headline and political risk. When they treat the communities they work in and the environment they are a part of with care and respect, they establish long-term foundations and partnerships for sustainable growth.

We focus on sustainability by focusing on impact 


of the funds we are invested in are either owned or managed by a woman or a person of color, which is over 5x higher than most institutional portfolios, including other foundations.

Our strategy has paid off

Since we began this journey, our portfolio performance has beat our benchmark by a wider margin than ever before. Changing our portfolio allocation helped us avoid the negative impact of some of the largest industry failures in 2019 and 2020. And importantly, our investments are now doing more than earning money:  they are lowering carbon emissions, supporting diversity and inclusion efforts, accelerating new education and healthcare access solutions, and building affordable housing among others. 

It was a learning process for us to embark on a novel strategy like this, but this process has yielded a great benefit:  we are proud that our dollars are invested in alignment with our values, and we believe that we are supporting the growth of a more sustainable, equitable world.