GreenMoney Jan18_Community Impact Investing

And what a year it was…

GreenMoney Journal’s 25th Year has been one for the books, from our special 25th Anniversary issues, a guest interview on Marketplace Morning Report with David Brancaccio, an excellent article by General Motors CEO Mary Barra, the 2017 SRI Service Award, and the launch of our completely upgraded website, which has gotten almost a million impressions already. Whew.

The GreenMoney team is weary, yet invigorated as the New Year begins, and it all starts with this January issue on Community Impact Investing. As you are making your 2018 plans, be sure to check out GreenMoney’s Global Events Calendar featuring Sustainable Business and Impact Investing conferences from all over the world.

Cliff Feigenbaum, founder

Building an Economy that Works for Everyone

by Betsy Biemann, CEO & Keith Bisson, President, Coastal Enterprises Inc.

When CEI conducted a strategic review as part of its leadership transition, we found ourselves asking the same questions that were being asked across the country, on both sides of the political aisle. At the heart of those questions was the recognition that our economy is not working for everyone. And a major takeaway was that rural regions, gateway cities, and the people who live there were being left behind. We are taking strides to change that.

CEI invests in small companies, coaches people who are starting and growing businesses, connects low-income jobseekers with training and jobs, accelerates natural resources-based industries, and advocates for pragmatic policy solutions in Maine and other rural regions. We have developed a track record of expanding shared prosperity in these regions and we have helped to create new ways to channel public and private investments into communities that need capital.  READ FULL ARTICLE

Local Investing for Impact: A New Tool for Place-focused Foundationsby Deb Markley, Senior Vice President, LOCUS Impact Investing

After decades of working at the intersection of community development, philanthropy and community economic development, we see a significant shift in how philanthropic assets are being used to build vibrant, prosperous communities. More and more place-focused foundations are seeking to complement their grantmaking with local investments to create greater impact in their own communities.

There’s a growing recognition that traditional grantmaking is not enough to address complex, tough community issues like early childhood education, affordable and energy efficient housing, good jobs and career opportunities for all. But many place-focused foundations struggle with the “how to” engage in local investing for impact. Recognizing this gap, LOCUS Impact Investing, a new social enterprise owned by a nonprofit community development financial institution (CDFI) was launched in 2017 to be a resource and solution for foundations seeking to engage in local, mission-aligned investing.  READ FULL ARTICLE

Invest Close to Home with the Homewise Community Investment Fundby Laura Altomare, Director of Communications, Homewise

Homewise is a non-profit CDFI that offers a comprehensive suite of homeownership services for low-to-moderate income individuals and families, many of whom have been largely underserved by traditional lending institutions. Our services include financial education and coaching, real estate brokerage, mortgage lending, home improvement and refinance lending, real estate development and disinvested property rehabilitation. Each of our services is designed to bolster our other services, providing a one-stop resource for creating an accessible and affordable path to successful homeownership.

Since our founding in 1986, we’ve helped over 14,000 households become more financially educated, 3,600 become homeowners, 2,100 make energy-efficient home improvements and emergency repairs, 600 refinance to more affordable mortgages, and we have built over 600 high-quality affordable homes. These results are made possible through the support of our donors as well as investors in our Community Investment Fund.  READ FULL ARTICLE

January Cover Photo (top): Erika Balderas and her children; Erika became a homeowner through the Homewise New American Lending Program.

Community Impact Investing by Jamie Horwitz, CMO, Community Capital Management

CCM is an RIA, based in S. Florida, with offices in Boston  and Charlotte. The firm manages just over $2.4 billion, mostly in our CRA Qualified Investment Fund. “CRA” stands for the Community Reinvestment Act, which regulates banks within the U.S. The CRA Fund is a market-rate, fixed income fund that invests in U.S.-based community impact investments. Community impact investments focus on positive criteria for inclusion in a portfolio and can include a wide range of intentions such as affordable housing, neighborhood revitalization, and small business development.

Our pioneering research process combines impact with financial analysis providing an added layer of investment transparency by detailing the use of bond proceeds. We use a quantitative and qualitative approach to understand what each bond is financing and to report on each bond’s multiple positive-based outcomes. Since 1999, we have invested over $8.1 billion in community impact initiatives nationwide.  READ FULL ARTICLE