Ford Foundation Working with Visionaries on the Frontlines of Social Change Worldwide

Program-Related Investment

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Program-related investments offer foundations an alternative to the traditional grant. They provide a tool that can help bring long-term financial stability to organizations that are addressing critical social needs.

Learn how the foundation uses PRIs to advance social change.

In 1968, the Ford Foundation pioneered use of a new tool known in the philanthropic sector as program-related investments (PRIs). Ford-funded PRIs use low-cost loans, loan guarantees and equity investments in a strategic way to strengthen the work of our grantees and to provide risk-capital for cutting-edge initiatives.

Financed from the foundation's endowment, PRIs support the work of organizations in the United States and around the world by helping them to establish a loan repayment history, generate earned income, gain access to new funding from mainstream banks and other funders, and to develop new financial management strategies.

To date, the foundation has committed $560 million for program-related investments, and sets aside annually an average $25 million for new investments.

If you are interested in learning more about program-related investments, read GrantCraft's Assessing and Managing PRI Risk (PDF) and the foundation's guide, Investing for Social Gain (PDF).

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