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How The Ford Foundation is investing in change

Fast Company    Translate This Article
1 March 2018

On 1 March 2018 Fast Company reported: The 82-year-old Ford Foundation is upending the model for grant-making institutions by wielding its endow­ment like an impact investor. Though foundations traditionally spend 5 percent of their funds on cause-related grants and initiatives, the other 95 percent typically goes toward unrelated investments that keep the endowment growing. Ford spends between $500 million and $550 million a year to support social justice work around the world. But last year, it also pledged to plow up to $1 billion of its overall $12.5 billion endowment over the next decade into so-called mission-related investments (MRIs) that generate both financial and social returns. Global Good News service views this news as a sign of rising positivity in the field of business, documenting the growth of life-supporting, evolutionary trends.

Since April (2017), Ford has committed $30 million in MRIs aimed at solving the affordable housing crisis in the United States. That includes backing fair-rate housing developers like Jonathan Rose and Avanath, along with a community-improvement development bond from Capital Impact Partners. Next up, the investment team plans to dedicate money to improving financial services for the poor, backing creative ways to provide savings, insurance, and payment options.

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