In 2014, Calvert Foundation commits to launch the Ours to Own campaign in the Twin Cities, Denver, and an additional three cities by the end of 2015. The Ours to Own campaign will inspire investors passionate about their city and enable them to put a portion of their investable assets to work in redeveloping their beloved neighborhoods and communities. Through this effort, Calvert Foundation plans to lend at least million to its partners in each city, with at least million of the total amount of this commitment going towards small business lending and development. Over the next three years, Calvert Foundation's goal is to raise this capital from at least 5,000 investors across the five targeted cites.
In each city, Calvert Foundation will raise capital from citizen investors through a city-branded Community Investment Note and deploy this capital to community development organizations with vast experience rebuilding, supporting, and empowering their local communities. The Community Investment Note, a registered fixed income security, will be available to retail (non-accredited) and institutional investors through three channels: 1) online, through a new Calvert Foundation platform, Vested.org; 2) through a brokerage account, where it trades electronically; or 3) directly through the Calvert Foundation, via a paper application. This product is available at five different rate and tenor options (one year, three years, five years, seven years, and 10 years) and provides annual interest and principal at maturity.
The capital raised from these investors is deployed through loans to community development organizations in their city, targeted towards neighborhood revitalization and small business development; organizations who otherwise cannot access capital with the flexible, responsive terms that Calvert Foundation can offer.
The Ours to Own effort will create the direct connection between the investors and the development happening on the ground. Each investor will be able to visit or view the community impact of their individual dollars through an on- and off-line public campaign. This will be the first time in the history of community and urban development that it will be possible for private citizens to invest en masse to support targeted projects in their cities and neighborhoods.
When Calvert Foundation enters a new city, it first looks for strong capital deployment partners through which it can put dollars to work at scale in high-impact community development. Once Calvert Foundation has an investment strategy in the city, the campaign development and implementation in each city is a product of active collaboration between multiple parties, including several deployment partners, philanthropic organizations, grassroots organizers, local political offices, national, regional, and local banks, a creative agency, and Calvert Foundation.
Calvert Foundation is piloting this campaign across an initial five cities by the end of 2015, but hopes to expand to additional cities. Calvert's ambitious goal for this campaign is to exist in 20 cities by the end of 2020.
-Create a city-branded Community Investment Note, available to investors online or through their brokerage accounts for Denver and the Twin Cities
-Launch Ours to Own campaign alongside local partners in Denver and the Twin Cities
-Deploy responsive capital to anchor community development organization(s) such as CDFIs and/or non-profit developers, at least million in Denver and the Twin Cities, spotlighted throughout the campaign
-Launch the online and offline campaign with creative and grassroots partners to engage a diverse community of potential investors across Denver and the Twin Cities
-Work with local nonprofit organizations to get city-wide engagement in the campaigns
-Track and monitor success of the first two cities by following the development work on the ground as well as understanding the diversity and size of our investor base
-Compile lessons learned that can applied to future city campaigns and launches
-Work with partners to plan for the launch in a third city
-Launch the Ours to Own campaign in a third city, including online and offline campaigns to engage investors and the local community and deploy at least million in capital in that city
-Continue to track and monitor success of all three cities currently in action
-Work with partners to plan for the launch in a fourth and fifth city, likely Baltimore and the Bay Area
-Launch the Ours to Own campaign in a fourth and potentially fifth city, including the on- and off-line campaign to engage investors and the local community, and at least million deployed in each city
-Continue to track and monitor success of all cities currently in action
-Continue to track and monitor success of all three cities currently in action
-Reflect on and report out major lessons learned from this effort, including a potential white paper or report to help inform the fields of community development and impact investing; focus a portion of the report on the effects of a coordinated marketing campaign and digital strategy to engage and motivate a movement around investing in communities
-Run five successful pilots across major US cities
-Deploy a total of at least million in capital raised from over 5,000 investors into the five cities, with at least million of that for small business development
Nearly every community across the country is still experiencing fallout from the Great Recession: a lagging employment market, a decline of social services, stagnant growth, and an unaffordable housing stock. Furthermore, traditional sources of capital from philanthropy and government are largely insufficient to turn many of these communities around.
Calvert Foundation has been working to provide these communities with private sources of capital for nearly 20 years, but this post-Great Recession reality forced Calvert Foundation to rethink how it lends capital to community development organizations across the country. In 2013, with the help of their partners, Calvert Foundation embarked on a listening tour across major metropolitan areas in the US to better understand their specific capital needs.
Through this work, Calvert Foundation found that critical community organizations were often hamstrung by inflexible sources of capital or capital with investment terms that did not match the community's long-term needs. In Denver, Calvert noted a great need for longer-term, flexible funding to support developers whose mission is to promote equitable community growth. This equity framework is designed to ensure that all citizens and all neighborhoods benefit from economic expansion, not just a select few. In the Twin Cities, community development organizations lacked sufficient capital to support the small businesses that were trying to drive economic growth and job creation in underserved areas.
Calvert Foundation has a track record of success in channeling responsive, flexible capital from private, retail investors to community development efforts. Calvert Foundation has an 18-year history of raising investment dollars from individuals and institutions, in increments from to million through its Community Investment Note (CI Note). The CI Note enables people of all backgrounds to participate in making a positive investment their community's future. Calvert Foundation creates issue-based campaigns in order to provide transformative capital to critical areas of development and empower investors to engage in the issues that matter to them most. This was first demonstrated by the success of our Women Investing in Women Initiative (WIN-WIN), launched in 2012 to invest in women's economic empowerment. Just as WIN-WIN galvanized a community passionate about economic inclusion for women and girls worldwide, the Ours to Own campaign aims to inspire investors passionate about their cities.