By Ellis Carr, President and CEO, and Rosemary Mahoney, Board Chair
We believe everyone deserves a voice and economic pathways that allow them to shape their own futures.
We believe that a community’s voice and economic opportunities can be strengthened with the right tools. Our objective is to develop tools for and with our communities that amplified their voices and created hope, shared prosperity, justice and inclusion.
By Alison Powers, Program Officer, Strategy, Innovation & Impact
So many qualities define the life of a Cooperative Hall of Fame hero. Conviction and focus. Vision and persistence. Innovation and leadership. All contributing to a life dedicated to cooperative development and shared prosperity.
These characteristics are a perfect way to describe Rosemary Mahoney and Paul Bradley, lifelong champions of cooperative development. This week, Rosemary and Paul join other cooperative heroes as they are inducted into the Cooperative Hall of Fame, commemorating decades as cooperative developers. Rosemary and Paul’s contributions to the cooperative industry are undeniable; both have shaped our cooperative framework through their work and insights. It is great to have two long-term innovators in the co-op space so closely connected with Capital Impact, and we are proud to see them join this illustrious group of cooperative visionaries. A brief look at each of their histories shows why they are truly Co-op Heroes.
By Ronald Kelly, Director, Impact Strategies
“3. 7. 8. 2. 4. 0. 3. 7. The first thing that happens when you go to prison, they take away your name, and from that moment forward, you’re that number: Hodge, 37824037. It’s the beginning of the dehumanizing experience of mass incarceration.”
The words of Teresa Hodge give a brief and disheartening glimpse into the truth of America’s criminal justice system. What is worse is that, as Teresa alluded to, the dehumanizing experience of incarceration continues beyond the walls of the facility; it has lasting and far reaching impacts on those who have been caught up in the system.
Diane Borradaile recently joined Capital Impact as its new Chief Lending Officer. She leads her team to support Capital Impact’s mission to empower communities to break barriers to success by facilitating loan transactions for health care centers, charter schools, affordable housing, healthy food projects, and more. Diane’s commitment to community development has spanned more than 35 years, through lending at both commercial banks and Community Development Financial Institutions.
In this blog, we take some time to get to know more about Diane, her history, and what keeps her committed to building communities of opportunity.
By Nicole Boone, Business Development Officer
Boyle Heights is a bustling Latino neighborhood just east of downtown Los Angeles with a history dating back before the Mexican-American War. However, it’s the pressures of the present day that weigh heavily here. Approximately 66 percent of the population lives below 200 percent of the federal poverty level, 22 percent are uninsured, and few primary care doctors remain. The systemic poverty the residents grapple with creates ripple effects throughout their lives.
By Virginie Arnaud LePape, Senior Director, Lending
In 1982, Capital Impact was created with a single focus – support the development of cooperatives in underserved communities.
Charter schools create opportunities for innovation that drive academic success for students in underserved communities.
Along the way, we gradually expanded our scope to meet the growing needs of the communities we served by working to increase access to health care, education, housing, and healthy food.
A handful of loans slowly grew into a truly diversified portfolio of offerings as we took the risk to partner with those organizations that traditional financial institutions shied away from. Twenty-five years after we began lending in 1984, we hit an incredible milestone of deploying $1 billion into low- and medium-income communities across the country.
I am humbled that just eight years after that initial milestone, we more than doubled that achievement by deploying more than $2.5 billion through the end of our record-breaking efforts in 2017.
It is a true testament to our mission-driven team for living our mission statement by delivering both the capital AND commitment that enables those most in need to build communities of opportunity that break barriers to success.
While we pause to celebrate, we also know that we must increase our resolve. Too many of us continue to struggle, with a disproportionate impact on people of color.
To help solve the key social and racial justice issues facing our society, we must continue to make inroads in achieving our strategic pillars to address systemic poverty, create equity, build healthy communities, and promote inclusive growth.
Innovative health care models support older adults to age with dignity in their communities.
This requires supporting our lending work by deploying new and innovative programs backed by cutting-edge research; making the case for support from lawmakers at the federal, state, and local levels; amplifying our impact investing efforts with both individuals and large institutions; and forming partnerships that ensure that our solutions are grounded in what communities both need and can act on.
We did not get to this point alone, and for that I want to thank all of those who have supported us, as well as those organizations who are working directly with often-neglected communities every day to deliver the services they need to thrive.
By working together, I know that we can empower communities to achieve transformative progress in 2018 and beyond.
By Will Robison, Senior Loan Officer
As wildfires burned through California’s Napa and Sonoma Counties in late 2017, Sandy Cesario was forced to evacuate her home and all she knew. Like many of the 5,000 residents of her small Calistoga town, she took refuge at one of the county’s evacuation centers filled with uncertainty.
That was the last place she expected to see her personal doctor.
By Emilie Linick, Senior Loan Officer
Equitable access to education provides all children with the chance to live up to their full potential and lead choice-filled lives. With racial and socio-economic inequity growing across the nation, high-quality education is crucial to giving students from low-income communities the opportunity to achieve the same life successes as their more affluent peers.
As a mission-driven Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), Capital Impact Partners aims to create communities of opportunity, and education is one cornerstone of that mission. For more than 20 years, we have partnered with and financed charter schools to extend high-quality education to the children who need it most.
By Michelle Betton, Writer
Across the country, unemployment numbers are down and the news talks of economic recovery and the booming stock market. Outside of that news, however, are many people who are still struggling to achieve equal opportunity and prosperity with the rest of the country.
Transformative investments are needed to get struggling Americans into the mainstream economy and working toward a brighter future.
By Ellis Carr, President and CEO
This year has been a whirlwind for our country and for Capital Impact Partners.
For all the headlines of stock market records and rising incomes, the reality is that too many of us across America are struggling. People of color are disproportionally impacted, with black households still lagging behind where they were in 2000, and Hispanic households not doing much better.
Due to this stark reality, the question “How can we bring about improved outcomes in access, income, health and opportunity in the communities we serve?” remained central to our efforts.
Through our dedicated focus on breaking the barriers to success – and with your support – I am proud to report that this has been our most impactful year ever in working to turn underserved communities into communities of opportunity.
Fostering Innovation to Address Inequity
To answer that central question, we concentrated on identifying and addressing inequalities within systems and driving equitable means for individuals to propel themselves out of poverty and live the dream America is known for.
Several resources were researched and developed to inform practitioners and communities and influence policy makers about best practices in our areas of practice.
Capital Impact’s Answer Key walks charter school operators step-by-step through facility construction.
We heard from many charter school operators that the school construction process can be daunting. In support of their efforts to build or expand high-quality charter school facilities, Capital Impact published The Answer Key, a step-by-step guide to the school construction and financing process.
With the influx of development in Detroit, long-term residents face the risk of relocation or displacement. Capital Impact published a report to help groups involved in development manage processes to reduce resident displacement.
Alongside these resources, we also developed programs to directly address inequity in access to services and economic participation.
Capital Impact’s Equitable Development Initiative will support minority real estate developers with resources and capital.
In Detroit, where lending and resources for minority real estate developers are limited, we launched the Equitable Development Initiative. This two-year, $5 million program is designed to help minority developers participate in Detroit’s continued economic recovery by providing them with critical training opportunities and access to capital. Our longtime partner JPMorgan Chase provided initial support.
More broadly across Michigan, the Michigan Good Food Fund invested more than $10 million in statewide healthy food programs since its launch two years ago, creating approximately 213 construction jobs, 366 full-time jobs and 32 part-time jobs.
Cooperatives can provide a considerable economic and social benefit for communities. Our cooperative work focused on expanding racial and economic equity to the communities we serve by supporting worker, food and housing co-ops. We gave our third year of Co-op Innovation Awards to Project Equity and the Food Co-op Initiative for exemplifying innovation in the co-op space with a focus on communities of color. Additionally, there has been movement in the home care worker cooperative space. Capital Impact partnered with the AARP Foundation to create quality work options for women 50 and older through a national effort to scale worker-owned, home care cooperatives. With women – mostly women of color – making up 90% of all home care workers and wages for these jobs keeping workers hovering around the poverty line, worker ownership is a viable option for giving older women employment empowerment while providing quality care for their clients.
Supporting Communities to Succeed
Our lending team also had an incredibly full year. Fueled by a record-breaking projected loan volume of more than $200 million, 2017 will be our largest year ever.
Martha’s Table’s relocation and expansion in a new community-services campus will help address local disparities.
As we have expanded our lending, we have also expanded our footprint. We’ve reached into new geographic areas to continue addressing the increasing need of communities across the country, including work in the Southeast and Midwest. I am particularly excited about our growing focus in the “backyard” of our headquarters. We helped launch a number of impactful projects in Washington, D.C., including a focus on education with the Mamie D. Lee development, Martha’s Table and the D.C. International School.
Setting a Foundation for the Future
Along with these outward successes to empower new communities of opportunity, we made great strides in focusing inward to further position ourselves to address the nation’s biggest challenges. In January, S&P Global, the world’s leading provider of independent credit ratings, assigned Capital Impact a “AA issuer credit rating.” Being one of a few Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) that have received an S&P rating is not only an honor, but it improves our ability to access financial tools that allow us to support vibrant economic opportunity and shared prosperity.
That set the stage for the October launch of our Capital Impact Investment Notes. This first-of-its-kind offering from a CDFI – with its own “AA” S&P rating and offered on a continuous basis – gives us the flexibility to invest in new programs and initiatives in communities needing support. It has already been incredibly well-received, selling more than $41 million in the last quarter, making it among the most successful in the impact investment space by a non-profit.
We closed the year by launching a unique partnership with Annaly Capital Management. Through this first-of-its-kind $25 million joint venture with the world’s largest REIT, we were able to raise direct equity for our mission. We are thrilled to embark on this partnership, as it enables us to expand our work to new communities.
Of course, these numbers mean little without impact. We reached more than 200,000 beneficiaries this year and created more than 750 jobs.
I am immensely proud of the work that our team has done to make this year our best yet. Their commitment allowed us to increase access to health care, education, affordable housing and healthy food for many deserving individuals. You can learn more about our approach and focus on equity from my interview with the More Than Money podcast.
More than ever, communities across the country need support to help themselves out of poverty, and Community Development Financial Institutions are becoming an ever greater tool for realizing that goal.
Capital Impact is well placed to continue affecting positive change for communities in 2018 and beyond.
Of course, we can’t do it alone. Thank you for all of your support, this year and in the future.