Trillium News

Nathan Cummings Foundation: Grant Makers are Ignoring One of their Most Powerful Tools

Laura Campos, Director of Shareholder Activities for the Nathan Cummings Foundation, recently wrote an opinion piece for that highlights recent shareholder activism.

Ms. Campos writes: “Over the past year, shareholder activists racked up a list of accomplishments that would be the envy of many foundations.

They secured agreements from some of the world’s largest companies to set targets for reducing greenhouse-gas emissions. They persuaded companies to be more transparent and accountable with corporate political spending and to abandon support for controversial organizations like the American Legislative Exchange Council, also known as ALEC. They pushed companies to adopt plans to increase board diversity. And they raised questions about problematic pay practices contributing to the upward spiral of CEO pay.

They did all this by using a strategy available to most foundations but ignored by many: They exercised their rights as owners of America’s publicly traded corporations. They filed shareholder resolutions and voted their proxies…The Nathan Cummings Foundation persuaded the Mylan pharmaceuticals company to begin disclosing its political spending and worked with Trillium Asset Management to prompt AT&T to issue a report on network neutrality.”

You can read the entire piece here.