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The Ford Foundation ...announced it is committing up to $1 billion from its $12 billion endowment over the next 10 years to the nascent investment field known as mission-related investing.
The commitment is one of the largest ever made to MRIs, and the largest by a private foundation. The move sends a signal to other foundation and institutional investors that perhaps the time has come to consider the potential of impact investing.
Using a deliberate and phased approach, the foundation will gradually carve out funds from its existing investment portfolio and deploy them over time into funds seeking to earn not only attractive financial returns but concrete social returns as well. Initial investments will focus on areas where the foundation has deep prior experience and sees both significant investment opportunity and significant alignment with its mission to reduce poverty and injustice. Two initial areas of focus are affordable housing in the United States and access to financial services in emerging markets.
“My conviction is that this moment offers us an opportunity to be accelerators of justice. And my hope is that, before long, many more foundations will find ways to tap into the power of their own endowments,” said Mr. Walker.