Taking Strong Positions on Our Values: A Q&A with Chief Strategy & Innovation Officer Scott Sporte

A veteran of the Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) sector, Scott Sporte has helped shape Capital Impact Partners’ lending priorities and has envisioned innovative pathways for supporting our communities. Scott recently transitioned from his role as Chief Lending Officer to a new role within Capital Impact, Chief Strategy & Innovation Officer.

In this interview, Scott discusses new focuses for CDFIs, outlines his vision for his role, and describes how championing equity and inclusion can transform the communities that Capital Impact serves.

2018 Equitable Development Initiative Class

Unlocking Pathways to Social and Racial Justice Nationwide​

​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. 

​Rosemary Mahoney and Paul Bradley, Cooperative Hall of Fame Inductees

Capital Impact Honors Rosemary Mahoney and Paul Bradley, New Inductees into the Cooperative Hall of Fame

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.

​Homeboy Industries in Los Angeles supports returning citizens with employment and training.

The Financial Community Has a Role to Play in Improving the Economic Mobility of Returning Citizens

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, Capital Impact's Chief Lending Officer

Getting to Know Diane Borradaile, Capital Impact’s New Chief Lending Officer

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.

A baby receives a check-up at a community health center.

Innovative Financing Expands Care for California’s Underserved Communities

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.

Father and son play in front of their house.

$2.5 Billion Milestone Only Makes Our Commitment to Underserved Communities Stronger

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.

Students stand in front of their school.

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.

Health care professionals joke with senior patients.

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.

Health center staff hand out medications to wildfire victims.

When Disaster Strikes, Health Clinics Come to the Rescue​

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.

Students at Lee Montessori play.

Diverse by Design: Charter School Integration Leads to Growing Academic Success

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.

Care giver helps older man in assisted living community play bingo.

What is a CDFI?

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.

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