Putting Capital to Work in Distressed Communities

Innovative social investment practices can transform the community finance sector—however, this market faces real challenges in attracting mainstream private investors at scale. In 2015, attendees in the Community Investing Working Group will focus on actionable strategies to broaden the U.S. social finance market through private capital investments in the areas of health, housing, small business lending, and community development.

2015 Subtopics

Health and Community Investment

There is significant opportunity to invest in community-based interventions to improve health outcomes and lower costs. Attendees will focus on the convergence of community development practitioners and health care providers to develop new partnerships, investment opportunities, and scalable methods of monetizing health improvements.

Innovations in Small Business Lending

New credit technology tools can provide more accurate lending at a lower cost, but community development financial institutions (CDFIs) still encounter challenges when it comes to adoption. Attendees will focus on partnership opportunities for mission-based lenders to utilize emerging technologies to improve access to credit and lending for small businesses.

Outcome-Based Financing

Pay for Success is a promising tool to align investments with proven interventions. Attendees will explore the market tools required to scale and accelerate these transactions and focus on strategies to improve the collection and dissemination of social impact data.

Future of CDFI Capitalization

Without new CDFI capitalization approaches, mission-based lenders face limited opportunities for investment and scale. Attendees will discuss how new investment products can unlock new sources of capital for CDFIs.

Innovative Commitments

Scaling Community Advantage Capital for Small Business

By: Bank of America Corporation; U.S. Small Business Administration(SBA); eight Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs)
In 2014, Bank of America Corporation, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), and eight leading CDFIs committed to a collective strategy to significantly scale up small business lending under the SBA Community Advantage Loan Program. The participating CDFIs committed to reach a small business lending volume of $100 million per year by 2017.

Denver’s Supportive Housing Social Impact Bond

By: City and County of Denver
In 2014, the City and County of Denver and its local partners committed to fully develop a Social Impact Bond to finance an evidence-based supportive housing initiative for at least 200 chronically homeless individuals who also struggle with mental health and substance abuse challenges. The initiative will use housing units from an existing scattered-site in the short-term and build new permanent supportive housing units for the long-term.

Monetizing the Social Value of Community Investments

By: Low Income Investment Fund (LIIF)
Partner: The Ford Foundation

In 2014, the Low Income Investment Fund (LIIF) and its partner committed to launch an open-source social impact calculator, along with a suite of innovation tools to spur large-scale systems change in the community development sector. Specifically, LIIF will share its social impact calculator methodology, leveraging high-quality academic research to translate output data into monetized impact estimates.

Ours to Own: Invest in the City You Love

By: Calvert Foundation
Partners: The Kresge Foundation; Citi Foundation; Wells Fargo Bank; Community Reinvestment Fund; JPMorgan Chase Foundation; The Piton Foundation

In 2014, Calvert Foundation, along with local and national partners, committed to launch the Ours to Own campaign in the Twin Cities, Denver, and an additional three cities by the end of 2015. In each city, Calvert Foundation will raise capital from citizen-investors through a city-branded Community Investment Note and deploy this capital through loans to experienced community development organizations that target neighborhood revitalization or small business development.

Voices from the Meeting


Grace Fricks
Founder and CEO
Access to Capital for Entrepreneurs, Inc. (ACE)

Grace Fricks, a participant in the 2014 Community Investing Working Group, describes how innovative mechanisms for capital access could help small businesses across the country grow. Read her story

Featured Past Participants

Ascension Health
Bank of America Corporation
Calvert Foundation
Enterprise Community Partners
Global Impact Investing Network
Goldman Sachs
Kentucky Highlands Investment Corp
Low Income Investment Fund
Morgan Stanley
Self-Help Federal Credit Union
Social Finance
The Ford Foundation
The Kresge Foundation
The Reinvestment Fund