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Program Related Investment research project

To support the development of advice to Government by the impact investing and partnership’s working group of the Prime Minister’s Community Business Partnership, the Department of Social Services commissioned Philanthropy Australia to undertake research in relation to how Program Related Investments (PRIs) could operate in Australia.

“PRIs are investments made by foundations in support of charitable purposes, with the explicit understanding that those investments will earn below-market returns, adjusted for risk and mission … (GrantCraft, ‘Program-Related Investing: skills and strategies for new PRI funders’, 2006, p2)

The project:

  • researches and reports on how PRIs operate in the United States and provides evidence of the potential for PRIs to increase the effectiveness of philanthropic giving;
  • identifies options for how a similar model might operate in Australia, including providing worked examples of PRI models that are likely to suit Australia’s needs/ the Australian context; and
  • analyses the outcomes of the consultation process and recommends a model suitable for implementation in Australia.



This report was commissioned by the Commonwealth of Australia, represented by the Department of Social Services. The purpose of this report is to assist the work of the Prime Minister’s Community Business Partnership.

Any views and recommendations of Philanthropy Australia expressed in this report do not necessarily reflect the views of the Commonwealth of Australia, or indicate a commitment to a particular course of action. The Commonwealth of Australia makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy, reliability, completeness or currency of the information contained in this report.