Road bridge

A US foundation’s innovative approach to creating a more just, equitable and resilient world

By Alex Miller 26 April 2021 2 minute read

In the closing session of our annual conference last year, we were delighted to host a discussion with one of the world’s largest foundations.

The world continues to be in the clutches of the coronavirus pandemic and it has now learnt the verdict of the trial of Derek Chauvin, the former police officer has been found guilty of the murder of George Floyd. That death sparked global protests against racial injustice and furthered discussions about the need for an equitable recovery from the Covid-19 crisis.

At our conference, we learnt about how the MacArthur Foundation, an American philanthropic organisation that is active worldwide and has $7bn in assets, used an innovative approach to generate funds to help tackle these ongoing crises and enable an equitable recovery from the pandemic.

As part of a wider approach with four other foundations, announced in June 2020, the MacArthur Foundation issued a $125m social bond in order to generate funds for grant-making. These funds were raised to support the reinvention of systems and structures, with the goal of building a more just and resilient world. The organisations involved in this effort shared a joint commitment to ‘increase their payouts to nonprofit organizations with more than $1.7bn within the next three years to help stabilize and sustain a nonprofit sector facing devastating economic effects due to the global pandemic and the epidemic of social injustice.’

This conversation with Debra Schwartz, Managing Director of Impact Investments at the MacArthur Foundation, was led by Sarah Gordon, Chief Executive of the Impact Investing Institute. They discussed the decisions that led to the implementation of this approach, some of the challenges they faced and the impact they hope to achieve. Watch the full recording of this session here.

You can buy your tickets to this year’s annual conference now.

Last year, @NPCthinks hosted a discussion on how one of the world’s largest foundations generated funds to help drive an equitable recovery from the pandemic. More here: Click To Tweet