Tools & Resources

Beyond the Grant: Foundations as Impact Investors

The surge in impact investing has invigorated discussions on leveraging capital for social progress, growing from a niche asset class to $715 billion in just over a decade. Seasoned philanthropists, accustomed to social impact through grantmaking, are now expanding their approaches in two key ways.
Firstly, they supplement traditional grants with financial tools like loans, loan guarantees, and equity investments, known as program-related investments (PRIs), aligning with the foundation's charitable goals. Secondly, they make mission-related investments (MRIs) to sustain endowments with competitive returns while advancing philanthropic objectives. The "Impact Investing Toolkit" illustrates the diverse investment options available to foundations, promoting novel collaborations and necessitating closer relationships between investment and program teams. This shift from a grant-centric to a holistic approach envisions foundations as asset managers for social good.
Beyond the Grant: Foundations as Impact Investors delves deeply into these changing times and provides a close look at the major topics affecting the field for foundations in impact investing. This resource was originally published on


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