Harvard University announced today the selection of a mutual fund through which it will invest its new social choice fund.

The Corporation Committee on Shareholder Responsibility, after consulting with students concerned about socially responsible investing and the Advisory Committee on Shareholder Responsibility, chose the Parnassus Equity Income Fund as the investment vehicle. Managers at the Parnassus fund give special consideration to social responsibility issues when making investments.

The decision was based in large part on the advice of the Harvard Management Company (HMC), which hired two Harvard College students as interns to research investment options for the social choice fund. The students analyzed several investment options across a series of investment and social criteria to inform HMC’s recommendations.

There will be no minimum gift amount for the fund, and each year 20 percent of the fund’s beginning market value will be made available to support financial aid across the University. The University plans to review and assess the fund’s performance within five years.

The University announced in December that the fund would be in place by the start of the next fiscal year, which begins July 1. In December, President Drew Faust said: “I have heard from many students and alumni who have asked for additional avenues to support both the University and broader social interests. This fund will offer donors another way to support Harvard’s financial aid program and the transformational opportunities it offers our students.”

Kevin Galvin
Harvard Public Affairs & Communications