Investing in programs – Funder pool steady

Loans and other investments by charitable foundations surged in 1999, fueled by the booming stock market, a new report says.

Charitable loans and other so-called “program-related investments,”
or “PRIs”, grew 31 percent to $266.5 million from $203.4 million in 1998, says the report by The Foundation Center.

“During periods of rapid asset growth, foundations are more likely to leverage a portion of their assets in the form of charitable loans and investments,” the report said.

It also attributed the growth of program-related investments to the long-term impact of funder education efforts pioneered in the mid-1990s by the Ford Foundation and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.

The two-year value of new authorizations for program-related investments grew to $427 million in 1998-99, up 141 percent from 1993-94, while the number of program-related investments grew by half to 581, according to an analysis of 122 leading PRI providers.

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