Darren Walker, president of the Ford Foundation, made headlines in April 2017 when he announced that Ford would commit up to $1 billion from its $12 billion endowment over the next decade to support mission-related investments that offer both social and environmental returns. So far, out of that billion-dollar commitment, Ford has made a $30-million investment in affordable housing in the US. Ford has indicated that its next investment is likely to support financial services for the poor in developing nations by “backing creative ways to provide savings, insurance, and payment options.”
Not only would this new initiative impact Ford and influence other foundations, but, “this moment,” wrote Walker, “offers us an opportunity to help capital markets become accelerators of justice.” Earlier this month, Fast Company named the Ford Foundation No. 24 on the 2018 World’s Most Innovative Companies list, an unusual accolade for a philanthropic institution.