Social-Impact Investments


The nonprofit and public sectors alone cannot provide all the ideas, resources, and talented people needed to advance the Foundation's strategic priorities.


The Foundation's social-impact investing enables mission-driven for-profit companies to secure the risk capital, networks, and resources they need to develop products, deploy services and address societal issues at the individual and community level.

Our For-Profit Social-Impact Investments (SII) program enables us to work with businesses and capital markets to pursue promising opportunities for charitable purposes that promote social good and address market failures. 

We primarily use Program-Related Investments (PRIs) to provide funding to for-profit companies. It is cross-functional and undergirds the Economic Development, Economic Mobility, Health and Well-Being, and Conservation programs. Under SII, our investments are typically structured as convertible notes. We use industry-agnostic and open to any phase of development beyond the idea stage.


Through our For-Profit Social-Impact Investment program, the Foundation aims to:

  • Invest in regional expertise to support the development of products, services and novel technologies that will benefit the region and society
  • Complement existing offerings from companies not eligible for traditional grant support
  • Leverage talent and innovation from local institutions to uncover new opportunities
  • Explore collaborations with industry to advance new technologies
  • Improve communications and access to capital for a broad range of companies
  • Attract new companies and talent to the region
  • Help to create and promote employment opportunities
  • Explore new finance mechanisms to attract additional sources of capital
  • Promote partnerships between for-profits and nonprofits to adopt new finance strategies aimed at growth and sustainability
  • Support innovating funding approaches by government


2021 Pitch Competition Results

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Since 1947, the Richard King Mellon Foundation has invested in the future of southwestern Pennsylvania.

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