The PRI Pulse is an ambitious research project undertaken by Venn Foundation to learn how Minnesota private foundations have historically used Program-Related Investments (PRIs) from 1998 to 2016.

Our goal was to put our own fingers on the state’s PRI pulse and then report back the results, providing Minnesota’s philanthropic and impact investing communities with high-quality baseline statistics on how PRIs have been used in the past, right at a time when many are discussing how best to utilize them in the future.

Here are the headlines from our research:

  • PRI activity was higher than many expected, but overall PRIs clearly remain underutilized.
  • From 1998 to 2016, 39 Minnesota private foundations invested over $164 million in 554 PRIs.
  • Each year, on average, 11 Minnesota private foundations invested $8.7 million in 29 PRIs.
  • Most PRI activity was conducted by a very small group of Minnesota private foundations.
  • PRIs comprise a tiny fraction of all private foundation charitable distributions in Minnesota and of overall charitable giving in the state.
  • Private foundations in Greater Minnesota conducted a disproportionate share of PRI activity.
  • The top three issue areas for PRIs were economic development, human services, and education.