Community Foundations and Impact Investing

Forbes reports that a growing number of community foundations are using impact investing to achieve their mission. The article is based on findings in   A New Anchor Mission for a New Century, a new report issued by the Maryland-based Democracy Collaborative.  The authors studied and report on 30 innovative community foundations  (29 in the States and one from Edmonton) that are doing much more than grant-making to effect change in their communities. In addition to highlighting the objectives, benefits, barriers and the steps for starting an impact investing program, the report identifies the following four strategies: Partnering with community development financial institutions (CDFIs) Creating loan pools Providing loan guarnatees Direct investment in local economic development efforts. The report also provides further details on each of the 30...

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Measuring Social Impact

Measuring Social Impact

How do we know if we’re succeeding?  We’re currently working with a US-based CDFI to refine and implement a usable and informative set of financial and impact metrics. As part of the process, we’ve uncovered some great examples from other funds.   Here are some of the best: SJF Ventures Impact Report – documents the impact of this 15-year old venture capital partnership The Reinvestment Fund – Impact Report from the Philadelphia-based CDFI Vermont Community Loan Fund’s most recent annual Social Impact Report – (Disclaimer – I still serve on one of their loan committees and was the founding Director…) If you have other examples, please share...

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US CDFIs – Oportunity Finance Network

Opportunity Finance Network (OFN) is the leading US network of community development financial institutions (CDFIs) investing in opportunities that benefit low-income, low-wealth, and other disadvantaged communities.   OFN Members have originated more than $30 billion in financing across rural, urban and Native communities particularly in markets that are often overlooked by conventional financial institutions,  with cumulative charge-off rates of less than 2%!   OFN offers membership, training, financing, consulting and advocacy on behalf of its members. OFN’s mission through 2025 is to lead CDFIs and their partners to ensure that low-income, low-wealth, and other disadvantaged people and communities have access to affordable, responsible financial products and...

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