The Ford Foundation uses its endowment to tackle the drivers of inequality. Every year, the foundation distributes 5% of its endowment to grants and program-related investments. The rest of the endowment is invested in mission-related investments (MRIs) as a way to keep providing the funds to for years to come that will help support organizations well into the future. This form of impact investing uses the power of capital markets to earn financial returns that sustain the grantmaking ability of our endowment over time.

The foundation is committed to dedicating $1 billion over 10 years towards MRIs. These investments are made with two aims in mind: to foster long-term social impact through promoting ideas like quality education, a sustainable environment and economic equality, and to seek attractive financial returns at the same time. These returns go back into the endowment to keep supplying the funds needed to fight inequality and create lasting social change.

By generating both social and financial returns, MRIs have become great tool for social transformation and are merely one way we are working to reimagine philanthropy to create a more equitable future.

Find out more about Ford’s commitment to mission-related investments by reading president Darren Walker’s essay: Unleashing the power of endowments: The next great challenge for philanthropy

This is part of the Ford Explainer series, which details how the foundation is working to reimagine philanthropy.

Other videos in this series

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How the Ford Foundation’s grantmaking works

Every year, the Ford Foundation makes around 1,400 grants to organizations fighting injustice around the globe. Our program teams identify and assess each organization, and then grants are made and monitored as part of the foundation’s aim to tackle inequality and reimagine philanthropy.

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How program-related investments disrupt inequality

Along with our grantmaking, the foundation makes loans and equity investments that advance equality around the world. These program-related investments benefit organizations deemed too risky by traditional investors. These investments, which are eventually paid back, are then reinvested in new projects designed to create social change.

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How our endowment works

The Ford Foundation is one of the world’s largest philanthropies with an endowment of $16 billion. Our endowment is channeled into grants and investments serving the public good and supporting visionary leaders on the frontlines of social change worldwide.