Investment Principles


At the Chandler Foundation, we bring the rigor and professionalism from our investment business into our grant-making. As with investing, the business of grant-making requires critical thinking, good judgment, and accountability for results.

Investing Narrow and Deep

We make a small number of big investments in compelling opportunities that deliver asymmetric returns on capital. We seek to infuse growth capital at inflection points that have the potential to secure large-scale outcomes and long-term results. We want a legacy of strong and healthy communities, not short-term fixes.

Sector and Geography-Agnostic

The challenges facing the world today are complicated and interconnected. There is no single panacea for curing poverty and creating prosperity. This is why we do not cling to any specific paradigm of change or restrict ourselves to predetermined geographies or programs.

Independent Thinking

We believe in the power of knowledge and partnerships, but we value our ability to stand apart from the crowd, find revelation, take risks, and invest for exponential impact. We build strong relationships with our grantees, but we are careful not to create dependency.

“Ground Game” and Disciplined Analysis

Desk research only goes so far. The real work of getting to know a potential champion is done in the field. We call this the “ground game.” While we have a rigorous analytical process, we are practical and avoid paralysis by analysis. We value face-to-face time realizing that a conversation can often be more insightful than an application form.

Back the Winners, Take a Long-Term View

We celebrate our champions and the results they achieve. Where results meet or exceed our expectations, we evaluate follow-on grants and may recommend the organization to other funders. Most programs take a few years to bear fruit. Multi-year funding allows organizations to plan ahead and focus on delivering results rather than on raising funds.

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