Croatan Institute is an independent, nonprofit research institute whose mission is to harness the power of investment for social good and ecological resilience by working at the critical nexus where sustainability, finance, and economic development intersect. With initial funding from foundations, sustainable investment groups, civil society, and community development organizations, the Institute’s activities address some of the most complex sustainability challenges of our time, often in close partnership with practitioners in the field and movements for social and environmental change.
The Institute’s initial projects have centered around fossil-free pathways for a more resilient future and develop new models of impact investing, new approaches to engagement with corporations on social and environmental issues, and new forms of sustainable investment in underserved communities, clean energy infrastructure, sustainable food systems, and alternative economic paradigms.
The Institute’s team includes a group of committed, interdisciplinary experts, researchers, and critics working on issues such as climate change and energy, environmental and social impact investing, food and agriculture, inequality, institutional accountability, international development, land use, labor and social equity, social history and theory, resilient community development, sustainable and responsible investment, transportation, and water.
Launched publicly on Earth Day in 2014 in the Research Triangle of North Carolina with an extended team based in Boston, New York, and Geneva, Croatan Institute was initially incubated at Tellus Institute, the Boston-based sustainability think tank where several of the founding team members and advisers remain affiliated. The Institute is governed by a board of concerned citizens and environmental entrepreneurs and counseled by a Board of Advisers drawn from a diverse cross-section of leaders representing organizations working on environmental sustainability and social equity in science, civil society, business, and academe.
Croatan Institute’s name draws inspiration from the Native American Croatan people associated with the “Lost Colony” of Roanoke, the first effort at English settlement in the Americas. In the late sixteenth century, families of more than 100 English-speaking colonists settled on an island nestled between the Outer Banks and the inland coast of present-day North Carolina. Within the space of less than three years, the colonists had mysteriously vanished. When the colony’s governor returned to rejoin the settlers, his crew found an abandoned settlement with the word “Croatoan” carved in a gate post and the letters “CRO” on the trunk of a tree. Read more.
FOUNDERS CIRCLE MEMBERS
- Archimedes' Point
- Big Path Capital
- Richard S. Bookbinder
- Breckinridge Capital Advisors
- Clean Land LLC
- Jason Cooke
- Erickson Advisors
- Essex Investment Management Company LLC
- Matthew Patsky
- David and Jocelyn Sand
- Trillium Asset Management
- Mary Ellen and John Zellerbach
Learn more about the Founders Circle Campaign here.
SPONSORS AND PARTNERS
The Baffler Foundation
Big Path Capital
Boston Common Asset Management
Breckinridge Capital Advisors
Center for Rural Entrepreneurship
Clean Energy Group
Clean Yield Asset Management
Community Capital Management
Essex Investment Management Company LLC
First Affirmative Financial Network
Fossil Free Indexes
Global Fund for Women
The Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN)
Green Century Funds
Jonathan Rose Companies
McIntosh County Sustainable Environment and Economic Development (McIntosh SEED)
Mountain Association for Community Economic Development (MACED)
Natural Capital Investment Fund (NCIF)
NorthStar Asset Management, Inc.
Pathstone Federal Street
Rainforest Action Network
RBC Global Asset Management
Responsible Endowments Coalition
Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors
SEIU Capital Stewardship
Social Justice Fund NW
Southern Partners Fund
Sustainable Endowments Institute
Thirty Percent Coalition
Trillium Asset Management
Walden Asset Management
Wallace Global Fund
Yellow Wood Associates