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Issues in Philanthropy

Supporting Economic Justice? The Ford Foundation’s 1968 Experiment in Program Related Investments

How the largest US foundation began supporting market-based projects in the late 1960s.

In the fall of 2020, the Rockefeller Archive Center launched a new oral history and research project called Investing in the Good: Program-Related Investments and the Birth of Impact Investing. Directed by Dr. Rachel Wimpee, the assistant director of Research & Education at the Archive Center, the oral history project will include interviews with pioneers in the field. The book, coauthored by Wimpee, Eric John Abrahamson, and Alec Appelbaum will be developed as a resource for professionals and students in the fields of philanthropy, nonprofit management, and public policy.


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Rachel Wimpee is Assistant Director of Research & Education at the Rockefeller Archive Center. She holds an interdisciplinary PhD in French literature and French studies, with research interests in gender, cultural representation, and the role private giving plays in social change.