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For over 35 years, MacArthur has made impact investments to advance the Foundation’s philanthropic strategies and programs through the use of “catalytic capital”—investment capital that is patient, risk-tolerant, concessionary, and flexible.

These investments have financed important work in affordable housing, community development, energy efficiency, and climate change mitigation, among other sectors. They focus on equity and inclusion, furthering MacArthur’s Just Imperative. Collectively, they have helped deliver valuable services to low-income communities, while building durable institutions that fuel ongoing progress.

Through close collaboration with our Big Bets and Enduring Commitments, our Impact Investments team helps advance the goals of the Foundation’s strategies and programs. For example, we continue our longstanding and deep commitment to our hometown of Chicago by investing in local nonprofits, enterprises, and intermediaries across the region. We also support the Climate Solutions Big Bet, with an initial focus on rooftop and off-grid solar in India. Read more about some of our current investments.

In order to understand the impact of our investments and grantmaking, we develop customized evaluation designs based on the problems we aim to address; our approach to the work; and Foundation priorities around outcomes, impact, and learning. 

We use external consultants and resources to track the financial, organizational, and programmatic progress of impact investment recipients. In addition, our recent and upcoming initiatives are aligned with industry norms. 

In addition, we have undertaken evaluations for several other aspects of our impact investing work through the years. Findings and analyses from our future evaluation activities will be posted publicly as they become available.

Benefit Chicago ›
Catalytic Capital Consortium ›
Grants for Field Support ›


Impact Investments strategy ›

Source of original article:John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation (
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