Program Related Investments are made for more than financial return with a focus on supporting a solution to a social, cultural or environmental issue.
Grantmaking is not the only way community foundations can better our communities. There’s another way to make a difference—Program Related Investments (PRIs). PRIs are a flexible financing tool that The Foundation is now providing that allow investment in solutions to social problems, while also recycling those dollars and earning some return for new investments.
The Foundation’s PRI Guidelines state that the purpose of these investments is to amplify the strategic research and programming directions of The Foundation. At present, these investments are made with Foundation funds with oversight from the Investment Committee supported by its PRI Deal Review Sub-Committee, with final decision making by The Foundation’s Board of Directors.
For more information, including financial information, please see the 2019 Community Impact Report.
Participating in Program Related Investments
Donor Advised Fundholders who are interested in participating in PRIs must agree to contribute from their Fund. At this time, Donor Advised Fundholders can:
Become an Angel Investor
They can choose to invest funds in Program Related Investments. This means they can use endowed or flow through funds to invest in segregated PRI opportunities that are approved by the Investment Committee and The Foundation Board. Following maturity of the PRI investment, the funds will be reinvested in accordance with The Foundation’s Investment Policy, and may be used again in future for another PRI opportunity.
The Foundation’s Current Program Related Investments
This is The Foundation’s first Program Related Investment, a trilateral loan alongside the Burlington Foundation and Hamilton Community Foundation. The PRI loan supported the purchase of a new home for the Halton Children’s Aid Society’s Bridging the Gap program.
The home, located in Burlington, houses homeless and at-risk youth aged 16-24. It serves as transitional housing for six youth and a mentor, alongside onsite support staff. The home has so far housed 16 youth.
The Foundation joined with the Hamilton Community Foundation to fund and support an expansion and renovation of Food For Life’s current facility, to facilitate a growing need and demand for food in our community.
This loan has provided immediate impact and improvements, including an expanded storage space, new offices and a brand new onsite composter.
The Foundation’s latest Program Related Investment is with Windmill Microlending, which provides microloans of up to $15,000 to newcomers so they are able to meet Canadian professional certification requirements. To date, Windmill Microlending has supported 60 people living in Halton Region.