Program-Related Investments (PRIs) are a powerful tool in the philanthropic toolkit. They can be made to any type of entity (nonprofits, businesses, government, social businesses, etc...), structured in any form (loans, equity, guarantees, etc...), and used to advance any charitable purpose.
The power of PRIs has been demonstrated repeatedly by pioneering foundations, including Ford Foundation, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Northwest Area Foundation, and MacArthur Foundation, just to name a few. Looking at these PRIs together, the diversity of charitable purposes, financial structures, and recipient organizations is remarkable and demonstrates the power of PRIs to address all sorts of issues in many different ways.
When making the case for why Gates Foundation has prioritized PRIs in a recent report, Susan Desmond-Hellmann, CEO, puts it simply but eloquently, "We need all the tools at our disposal."