Ford Foundation to Put $1 Billion of Endowment in Impact Funds

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

The Ford Foundation is committing $1 billion of its endowment over the next 10 years to money managers who invest in affordable housing and financial services for people in developing countries.

The move marks a shift by the New York-based nonprofit, from investing its $12 billion endowment in traditional assets to funds aligned with its mission that also aim to earn market-rate returns, the foundation said in a statement Wednesday.

“We believe the time has come to step up and put our money where our mouth is,” Ford Foundation President Darren Walker said in a conference call last week. “If we as a society are going to solve the world’s problems, every sector needs to play a role.”

Guidance from the U.S. Treasury Department in 2015 clarified that foundations can consider their mission as part of prudent investment decisions, removing concerns that doing so would conflict with their fiduciary duty to act in the foundation’s best interest, Walker said. The size of Ford Foundation’s commitment will hopefully push others to make similar pledges, he said.

Source: Bloomberg (link opens in a new window)

financial inclusion, impact investing