Investment: When Good Deeds Return Dividends

Scores of U.S. corporations, business coalitions, labor unions and foundations have contributed heavily to programs aimed at easing the plight of the nation's poverty-stricken citizens—a large proportion of whom are Negroes. In most instances, such efforts have been purely philanthropic. Yet it is becoming apparent that good deeds and financial dividends are not mutually exclusive.

The latest to make this discovery is one of the biggest contributors of them all: the Ford Foundation. Last week President McGeorge Bundy announced that the foundation, while continuing to give some $200 million a year...