Our Investment Strategy

Ploughshares Fund invests in activities that promote reductions of nuclear weapons, prevent their spread, and address the root causes of conflict in regions where they exist. Ploughshares Fund:

  • Works to build a consensus among the world’s leaders to create a global norm against nuclear weapons and increase the momentum toward zero
  • Funds initiatives that take concrete steps to limit and reduce current arsenals – in large part by focusing on US and Russia as holders of 95% of all nuclear weapons
  • Helps prevent the emergence of new nuclear states and the spread of nuclear arms, by concentrating on two of the most significant threats to the global nonproliferation regime – Iran and North Korea
  • And in South Asia, works to address root causes – why people and countries want nuclear weapons – which has come in the form of grant aid work.

Ploughshares Fund employs three interlocking means to achieve its goals, funds directed through: traditional grantmaking; venture capital; and our impact philanthropy model.

  • Our traditional grantmaking consists of investments in policy/technical research and organizational capacity with a long-term view to change. This also allows organizations to maintain and expand their intellectual and operational reserves.
  • Our venture capital grantmaking provides seed money to high-risk, innovative ideas across our field. We are not a passive investor, however. Like a private sector VC firm, we incubate and nurture pilot initiatives, making bets on what we hope will become promising projects that we can support or encourage others to support.
  • Finally, our proven impact philanthropy tackles immediate policy opportunities through discrete campaigns, where we develop an action plan, convene stakeholders, and take the lead with grantees and partners. Our campaigns value concrete outcomes over a shorter time frame.

These three approaches leverage and sustain each other. To maintain the effectiveness of this unique investment model, it is critical that Ploughshares Fund does not invest too heavily in any one grantmaking vehicle over another. In other words, maintaining a “balanced portfolio” is essential. Our goal is to make the impact of all of our grants larger than the sum of each individual grant.