11 June 2020

Ford Foundation issues $1bn in bonds – a first by a foundation

The Ford Foundation has announced that it will borrow $1 billion by issuing social bonds so that it can substantially increase the amount of money it distributes in response to COVID-19.

To raise the money, the foundation — one of the US’s most well-known and oldest charitable organisations, is preparing to issue a combination of 30 and 50 year bonds, a financial maneuver common among governments and companies but extremely rare among non-profit groups.

Four other leading charitable foundations pledged the same day (11 June) that they will join with Ford and increase their giving by at least $725 million. These include the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation; the W.K. Kellogg Foundation; the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation; and the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.

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