International Finance Corporation

Providing benefits to communities affected by a project can help a company to obtain and maintain a “social license to operate,” and manage project risks and stakeholder expectations. There are many different channels that companies can use to deliver these benefits. Depending on the channel, determining the appropriate implementation vehicle can be a key strategic decision. For a company that has selected community investment as a way to deliver benefits, this decision is particularly important. This Guide specifically explores the use of foundations, trusts, and funds (collectively referred to as “foundations” throughout this document) to deliver community investment (CI). The Guide does not intend to encourage or discourage companies from establishing foundations; rather, it lays out a process for deciding whether a foundation can be a viable implementation model and helps companies understand related risks and opportunities.