Welcome Cassie Archbold!
We are happy to welcome Cassandra Archbold to Stepping Stone Partners as an Advisor. Cassie is the founder of Aligned Solutions and brings deep expertise in complex community development transactions and will work with us on risk management and due diligence. Cassie held senior roles at Cinnaire, Opportunity Finance Network, and Nonprofit Finance Fund, where she has deployed and managed nearly a billion dollars of capital into distressed communities. She holds a B.A. from University of Virginia and M.A. from University of Pennsylvania. Welcome Cassie!
Individual Investor Report Update
We are thrilled to share the 2022 version of our report on CDFIs that accept investments from individuals. Working with the American Sustainable Business Network, our report lists over CDFI Loan Funds that accept investments from individuals. For those who would like to learn more, see the range of webinars and other activities put forth through ASBN.
Succession Planning Study
There seems to be an avalanche of long-time leaders announce their retirements. Anticipating this trend, in 2021 Appalachian Community Capital (ACC) commissioned Stepping Stone Partners to interview seven former CDFI CEOs to gain their perspective on the succession experience. The findings were eye-opening to say the least!
Here are four key recommendations that resulted from the study:
Individuals investing in CDFIs
"If you are an investor, you can be an impact investor. CDFIs are the ultimate double bottom line investment – earn a return on your principal and see the impact amplified many times over," says ImpactPHL guest columnist Pam Porter.
Thrilled to have a chance to talk with individuals who have invested in CDFIs. Read about their journeys and what inspires them. I love the quote from Dorothy Adams who said "CDFI investing is a no-brainer!" Also putting my money where my mouth is and starting my own investment portfolio in CDFIs. First two investments are in Capital for Change and Community First Fund. Stay tuned for more updates.
I'm thrilled to be starting a new role as Executive Director of the National Disability Finance Coalition. The mission of this organization is to bridge the CDFI and Disability Communities. I've been inspired by the work of CDFIs to serve people with disabilities and their families in a wide variety of ways -- from applying universal design principles to community facilities and housing to financing businesses run by people with disabilities to providing bridge financing for assistive technologies. I'm excited to be lead this organization to elevate the work of those engaged in this work and provide the resources to others to expand their services to serve this important target market.
Invest in CDFI Loan Funds Report
For the past 3 years, I've been a member of Social Venture Circle. Especially in the past year, there has been a significant rise in interest to understand CDFIs better. It has been a pleasure to contribute my experience and knowledge of the field to my fellow impact investors. Today we publish an original study providing the names of 60 CDFI Loan Funds that take investments from individuals.
Impact Investing and CDFIs
Thrilled to have been asked to draft an article on this important topic. The Center for NonProfit Governance at Drexel University's Lebow College of Business plays a strong leadership role in Philadelphia and the nation.
Please read the article, share it with endowment, foundation and nonprofit leaders. And also check out the other resources in the Knowledge Bank. Really impressive thought leadership!
#ImpactInvesting #Drexel #CDFIs
Opportunity Zones are a great "opportunity" for impact investors to deploy new capital into low income communities spurring economic development. While most of the attention has been focused on real estate transactions, I am most interested in using the Opportunity Zone mechanism to invest in businesses that start, growth, and expand into Opportunity Zones. For instance, an angel investor could make an equity investment in a start up business located in an opportunity zone. Perhaps the business is a spin off from a university, or operates in an accelerator or shared workspace, or has leased space in a warehouse. By investing equity, the business can employee more people, buy more services, and offer great products to their customers. Today, angel investors are doing this already. But may deals that angels evaluate are "on the bubble" -- they are attractive but not overwhelmingly so. The Opportunity Fund provisions put the thumb on the scale to do the deal rather than pass on it. How?
Here is a recently published primer from LISC on how to make Opportunity Fund investments
A first Impact Investment....
It is always great to celebrate accomplishments....and today Healthcare Georgia Foundation announced their first Program Related Investment in CHC Capital Fund, a national CDFI specializing in financing Federally Qualified Community Health Centers (FQHCs). Stepping Stone Partners is proud to have worked closely with the great leaders and board at the foundation to bring this milestone to life!
This is a great example of a foundation seeking innovative approaches to achieve its mission of "Advancing the Health of All Georgians." Along the way, the foundation has investing in building relationships with local, regional, and national partners to learn and share best practices related to social determinants of health, mobilizing resources to improve rural health, CDFI investing, and foundations investing their corpus aligned with their mission.
Read their recent announcement here.
Case study coming soon.
Rural LISC's e-Newsletter
Rural LISC publishes a must-read monthly newsletter for anyone interested in....rural America, funding opportunities, communication best practices....to name a few topics. Rural LISC is focused on working with local partners to build healthier rural communities with more opportunities. And their monthly newsletter is a great resource for any partner looking for a quick survey of the latest news from government agencies, foundations, and other partners. The May 2019 edition showcases grant opportunities from EPA, HUD, Department of Justice as well as Best Buy and Andrus Family Foundations. With so much information out there, Rural LISC does a great job pulling together all of this information. Kudos! Subscribe today here.