The L.A. Times has posted the second part of its series on the Gates Foundation's investments. The paper includes information on several other large foundations with similar approaches to their assets - grant a little bit for good, invest a lot for bad. I posted part one of the series yesterday.
I find the most laughable response in this section to be that given by the spokesperson for the Hewlett Foundation. She cries 'victim' to the investigative reporter (a rare breed these days), claiming that the newspapers would come after the Foundation for its overhead costs if it spent "a lot of money screening its investments."
First of all, the Hewlett Foundation already spends huge money managing its investments - its Chief Investment Officer was paid $889,000 in 2005 (more than the CEO). Secondly, the screening gets done by the investment managers the foundations chooses to hire (or not). Foundations don't need more staff to invest their endowments in line with their missions - they just need a little will.
*Chronicle of Philanthropy, September 28, 2006.