At work, we helped put on a great panel session on program-related investments (PRIs)  earlier this week. We had a packed house of 80+ folks and they asked a ton of great questions, including one from the CEO of a nonprofit with a revenue-generating social enterprise program: “As a nonprofit, who can I approach to invest in my social enterprise?”
Panelist (and my colleague) Peter Berliner offered the following answer: Foundations make PRIs for the same reasons they make grants: they see alignment between their philanthropic goals and the goals of the social enterprise. Second: they ask, “is it a reasonable business proposition?” So, it makes sense to ask for mission investments from foundations with whom you have existing relationships. Who supports your goals already?
Not only did I think this was a fantastic answer, it was almost verbatim the answer I gave for many years to nonprofits who asked me, “What foundations will be interested in funding my technology capacity needs?”
The old world connects with the new.
 PRIs, as the jargon goes, are foundation investments that are designed to yield below-market financial returns and accomplish social change goals.