Ford Foundation to put $1 billion in MRIs

The Ford Foundation announced that over 10 years, $1 billion of their endowment will be allocated to Mission-Related Investments (MRIs).

Read the Ford Foundation announcement >>


US tax law [mandates] that foundations pay out a minimum of five percent of their total assets each year. For the Ford Foundation, in recent years, meeting (and often exceeding) this requirement has translated to an annual grant-making budget of around $500 million to $550 million. Meanwhile, we put the other 95 percent of our assets to work in the investment market, with the goal of earning financial returns that sustain the grant-making power of our endowment over time...

I believe the time is right for us to look at this paradigm with fresh eyes—to consider how we might start to bridge the gap between philanthropic impact and investments... And so I am pleased that after many months of analysis and planning, the Ford Foundation’s Board of Trustees has authorized the allocation of up to $1 billion of our endowment, to be phased in over 10 years, for mission-related investments (MRIs).

How do you approach the issue of impact investment? Is it in your current philanthropic toolkit?

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