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Proxy guide

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A group of foundations has published a guide to help other foundations use their proxy votes to further their missions.

The guide, “Proxy Season Preview Spring 2005: Foundations Aligning Missions and Investment,” was released by the As You Sow and Jessie Smith Noyes Foundations and Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors.

The document organizes social issues into six groupings, including “hot” issues, “fastest growing” issues, and “future” issues, and lists that companies are schedule to have proxy votes on each issue this spring.

Hot issues include global warming, HIV/AIDS and sexual bias, while the fastest growing issues are political contributions and animal welfare, the guide says.

Most foundations delegate their proxy votes to their investment managers, which typically vote in line with the recommendations of corporate management, rather than voting based on the mission of the foundation.

Foundation endowment assets are now greater than $476 billion, a total the guide says gives foundations power similar to institutional investors, power than can be used to further issues foundations care about.

The document also provides relevant new and information, as well as a list of resources.

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