Capital Impact Partners Awarded $15 Million to Advance Racial Equity Work as Part of Giving Pledge Commitment

Arlington, VA (July 29, 2020) – Capital Impact Partners today announced that it was awarded $15 million as part of a Giving Pledge commitment by philanthropist MacKenzie Scott. The award represents the single largest individual gift in the organization’s history and will help advance the organization’s racial equity work with communities nationwide. 

Capital Impact joined a number of leading social justice organizations who were named as part of Ms. Scott’s nearly $590 million dollar commitment to racial equity causes. Since 1982, the mission-driven Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) has been working closely with communities across the country to understand their specific needs, and develop and advance solutions with local leaders and organizations to overcome historic barriers to success and create pathways to wealth building and economic empowerment.

“I am both thrilled, and humbled, by the fact that Capital Impact Partners was included as part of this generous Giving Pledge commitment,” said Ellis Carr, president and CEO of Capital Impact. “Capital Impact, and the organizations focused on racial equity that Ms. Scott recognized, are uniquely positioned to work with communities to create strong, vibrant places of opportunity. This generous grant is an affirmation of that important work being done and I am excited about the transformational impact we can have through Ms. Scott’s generosity.” 


An Opportunity to Scale Solutions

Capital Impact plans to strategically utilize the unrestricted grant to scale the organization’s lending and programmatic initiatives to address community needs. In addition to expanding current lending and programmatic initiatives, Capital Impact will be seeding new and disruptive ideas to accelerate the pace of change for communities of color. Examples of these kinds of projects include:

  • Equitable Development Initiative: A training and mentorship program designed to better ensure that real estate developers truly reflect their city’s diversity and that minority real estate developers are able to participate in growth and revitalization efforts.
  • Diversity in Development – Detroit Loan Fund: Designed to create pathways of success for developers of color who have not been able to enter the real estate industry due to lack of capital, equity, and experience. This loan fund deploys low-cost and flexible financing to developers of color who live in and around Detroit.
  • Entrepreneurs of Color Fund: With a focus on Washington, D.C.’s historically disinvested communities, this fund pairs low-cost capital with business advisory services to help entrepreneurs of color start and grow businesses, create jobs, and build wealth.
  • Co-op Innovation Award: This grant initiative supports scaling food, worker, and housing cooperatives, with a focus on increasing cooperative development in low-income communities.


A Pledge That Supports Diversity and Leadership

In total, Ms. Scott committed $1.54 billion to 116 organizations representing a wide variety of causes. The organizations chosen each had a “track record of effective management and significant impacts in their fields” as noted in the announcement

In addition, the organizations had a diversity in leadership, “driven by a deep belief in the value different backgrounds bring to problem-solving on any issue…[and] supporting [a] vital variety of perspective and experience in solutions on every cause.” As part of Capital Impact’s Equity Vision Statement, the organization reports out on diversity within its leadership, board, and staff.

The Giving Pledge is a movement of philanthropists who commit to giving the majority of their wealth to philanthropy or charitable causes, either during their lifetimes or in their wills. Ms. Scott published her initial letter of support to the Giving Pledge website here


About Capital Impact Partners:

Through capital and commitment, Capital Impact Partners helps people build communities of opportunity that break barriers to success. Through mission-driven financing, social innovation programs, capacity building, and impact investing, we work to champion key issues of equity and social and economic justice. Our commitment to community focuses on ensuring that individuals with low-to-moderate incomes have access to quality health care and education, healthy foods, affordable housing, and the ability to age with dignity.

A nonprofit Community Development Financial Institution, Capital Impact has disbursed more than $2.8 billion since 1982 to ensure that individuals with low-to-moderate incomes have access to quality health care and education, healthy foods, affordable housing, and the ability to age with dignity. Our leadership in delivering financial and social impact has resulted in Capital Impact being rated by S&P Global and recognized by Aeris for our performance. Headquartered in Arlington, VA, Capital Impact Partners operates nationally, with local offices in Detroit, MI, New York, NY, and Oakland, CA. Learn more at www.capitalimpact.org.

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