Become a Good Returns partner to leverage
your assets for more impact.


The Trend

Foundations are playing a pivotal role in attracting private capital for solutions to humanity's greatest problems.

Many foundations, along with global humanitarian institutions, have begun to understand the importance of mobilizing resources from the business sector to create sustainable, large-scale impact.

Foundations now realize that they can do far more than just grant. They can leverage their assets to unlock substantial participation from businesses. They can also foster the growth of sustainable nonprofits that don’t need endless donations year after year.

Innovative programs like Good Returns are empowering foundations to mobilize business resources - capital, talent, and storytelling - on a whole new scale, and we are helping to grow a new generation of sustainable impact organizations.

The Instrument

Program Related Investments (PRI's) have created a new way for foundations to fund the growth of sustainable solutions, beyond traditional grants. Loan Guarantees, one form of PRI, play a key role in the Good Returns model.

For those foundations that are ready to engage in PRI’s, a partnership with Good Returns can unlock valuable capital for sustainable impact organizations to scale their proven solutions while preserving capital, with the potential for every dollar to do good multiple times.

For those foundations that are not yet ready for PRI’s, Good Returns offers grant-based participation in our programs, including foundation-branded permanent guarantee grant options.

The Process

A participating foundation in Good Returns can commit a self-selected amount of capital as a guarantee. The capital can remain invested in the foundation’s corpus the entire time – it is simply an advance commitment. (A grant can also be utilized if preferred.)

At the end of each one-year cycle, if all funds have been repaid by the Impact Organizations, the foundation has no financial obligations at all - the guarantee funds can be used for other mission-aligned purposes of the foundation. The guarantee facilitates Good Returns’ cycles to Impact Organizations and creates both impact and awareness that would otherwise be impossible to achieve.

Should an impact organization be unable to return all of its cycle capital on time, the foundation provides a grant to Good Returns for a part of the missing cycle capital – a “call.” Calls are spread proportionally among all the guarantors in our network, creating collaborative cost-sharing and reducing risk for everyone.

The process works as follows:

  1. Each participating foundation commits to a level of financial guarantee for Good Returns. In most cases, this guarantee can qualify as a PRI.
  2. Participating companies provide capital to Good Returns for cycling.
  3. Good Returns delivers the capital as zero-interest loans to top vetted impact organizations, who use the capital to scale their sustainable programs.
  4. We create powerful impact stories and utilize the companies’ resources to reach large audiences – creating even more good by increasing awareness and participation at no cost to impact organizations.
  5. After one year the impact organizations return the capital. If any capital cannot be returned, each foundation makes a grant to Good Returns for its proportional share of the deficiency.
  6. Good Returns provides the capital back to the participating companies, which can then donate to a local charity or cycle again.
  7. The foundation receives impact reports detailing the results created by their participation in the guarantee process.

When all loans are repaid by Impact Organizations, participating foundations experience no default costs at all. Even if a default occurs, the cost is spread among all guarantors. Through guarantees, foundations can facilitate the movement of new capital into the social sector at little or no cost. 

Other Options for Foundations

As a 501(c)(3) program, our cycling model is also open to traditional grants that increase our capacity and reach. Good Returns also offers an innovative way for community foundations to participate in our program through their Donor Advised Funds (DAFs). If you are looking for innovative ways to increase impact, we want to collaborate with you.

Let's Work Together

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