Today Austin Community Foundation announced a new $1.5 million Impact Investment Fund which will invest in Central Texas social entrepreneurship and problem-solving working in areas of pressing community need. An open Call for Investments was launched on the organization’s website today.
The Impact Invest Fund complements the Foundation’s community grant program which has provided grants for nonprofits for nearly 40 years. The Foundation has committed over $600,000 in community grant funds so far this year.
“Philanthropy has always been our primary focus,” said Mike Nellis, CEO of Austin Community Foundation. “Yet our city’s current needs far exceed the Foundation’s grantmaking resources. One way we can increase our impact is by investing a portion of our permanent investments in social good.”
Impact investing generates both a financial return and a measurable social return. Examples of the types of projects the Foundation will invest in include:
· A short-term loan to scale up a nonprofit’s earned income line of business
· Equity investment in for-profit social enterprise companies
· A bridge loan for a nonprofit to purchase real estate
· A loan to a community development financial institution to fund small business loans to people with otherwise limited resources.
“Through our Impact Investment Fund we will put a greater portion of our assets to work doing social good in our community than ever before,” said Nellis.
By launching the Impact Investment Fund, Austin Community Foundation will:
· Increase the amount of capital available to address community needs
· Recycle philanthropic capital
· Scale solutions to local problems
· Engage donors who seek to augment their philanthropy with impact investment
· Supplement the Foundation’s traditional grantmaking
The Foundation will consider loans or equity investments to nonprofits and social enterprise companies working in Central Texas that offer a unique or innovative solution to a pressing need in one of the Foundation’s Community Impact Areas: Arts & Culture, Animals, Community Engagement, Education, Environment & Public Space, Health & Wellness, Human Services/Basic Needs and Recreation. Investments will be made for 3-5 years and range up to $250,000.
Interested nonprofits or for-profit social entrepreneurs are invited to complete the online Letter of Inquiry. There is no deadline to apply. Within 30 days of submission of the Letter of Inquiry, applicants will learn if their proposal will advance to the due diligence phase. After a second phase of review, the Foundation will make its first investments in early 2016.
About Austin Community Foundation
Austin Community Foundation fosters an ecosystem of philanthropy to create meaningful change in Austin. We do so by providing efficient and effective giving tools for donors, impactful grants for nonprofits and collaborative leadership around the most pressing needs in our community. Through the generosity and vision of our donors we grant more than $20 million annually, mostly through donor advised funds. Founded in 1977, we are the third largest charitable foundation in Central Texas by grants distributed. Through our long-term investment strategies we create assets for tomorrow while building a community of givers today. For more information: Austincf.org