Feb. 2020 Newsletter
A New Way to Unlock Impact
US Sees the Launch of the First Guarantee Pool for Community Investments
Pictured: In September, LOCUS and representatives from nine different philanthropic institutions and one healthcare system convened to discuss the launch of the Community Investment Guarantee Pool, the first domestic, multi-investor pool of guarantees for lending intermediaries involved in the affordable housing, small business and climate sectors. That vision became an exciting reality last month.
Impact-oriented institutions have their work cut out for them going into 2020. Lack of affordable housing, shortage of livable jobs and looming climate-driven changes all weigh on philanthropies and the communities they serve. Foundations and their balance sheets today control almost $1 trillion in assets nationwide, and a new initiative is aiming to bring more of those resources to bear against complex challenges. ... . READ MORE ON OUR BLOG
Exploring Communities' Impact Potential
Community foundations are uniquely positioned to create lasting change in the regions they serve. Their on-the-ground expertise and long-term commitment to place offer a springboard to recognizing and acting on the most critical areas of concern in their communities. This month LOCUS staff - Senior Vice President Deb Markley and Solutions Consultant Lisa O'Mara - will travel to Modesto, CA, to facilitate several exploratory sessions with community partners, staff and board members of the Stanislaus Community Foundation designed to help the foundation identify and plan for its best role in furthering more inclusive economic development in the county. Learn more about how we work with our partners to explore, unlock and deploy resources for impact investing here.
Impact Companies Make a Difference
Real Leaders, Big Path Capital and B Lab released the second edition of the Real Leaders Impact Awards. The collaboration teamed up to once again assess and rank the "100 Top Impact Companies," recognizing companies driving a dynamic and growing focus on the impact economy. LOCUS parent company Virginia Community Capital was again recognized for its innovation in finance aimed at supporting under-resourced communities.
Opportunity Zone Updates
Opportunity Virginia traveled to Abingdon, VA, last month to support Opportunity Appalachia during the last of its scheduled regional outreach meetings. Rebecca Richardson and Adam Northup gave presentations and facilitated stakeholder conversations about supportive grant programs, technical assistance, and investor and project identification in rural Appalachia. The capital-flight driven challenges faced by underserved rural communities are a key focus area for Opportunity Virginia, representing exactly the kind of systemic issue the OZ program was created to address. Opportunity Appalachia is now accepting applications for stakeholders seeking technical assistance; click here to learn more about their work.

As national and local level conversations continue on how to address Opportunity Zone impact reporting, the Urban Institute joined the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Kresge Foundation to create a tool assessing the social impact of Opportunity Zone investments. The tool, currently in beta, uses a series of questions to account for a variety of community priorities and types to create score tracking potential social benefits.
News from
the Field
Where You'll Find LOCUS
Feb. 12-13 | Modesto, CA
Deb Markley and Lisa O'Mara will lead a workshop with foundation stakeholders (private event).

Feb. 24 | Danville, VA
Adam Northup will attend

Mar. 18-20 | Wichita, KS
Deb Markley, Travis Green, Lisa O'Mara and Teri Lovelace will facilitate (private event).

Apr. 14-16 | Pigeon Forge, TN
Deb Markley and Travis Green will attend.

May 11-13 | Atlanta, GA
Members of the LOCUS team will participate.

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