From the Executive Director
Dear Friend,
It's another exciting spring as we pursue our goal of mobilizing and deploying $100 million towards a healthier, stronger Chicago.  
We are well on our way. We have raised significant funding and deployed funds to important endeavors that meet our goals of enhancing community wealth, creating jobs and ensuring a prepared workforce. 

In this issue, you'll meet NowPow and Community Reinvestment Fund, USA - the two latest beneficiaries of funding. Additionally, we hope that you'll visit our newly redesigned website,, to learn more about all of the beneficiaries, which are building and growing with the help of Benefit Chicago. 
With thanks for all you do,

William W. Towns, Ph.D., MBA
Executive Director


Benefit Chicago Fund Commits $3 Million to Enterprises Poised for Growth and Impact 

Capital for growing small businesses, creating jobs, and improving health 

A woman-owned and operated company that uses a digital platform and data analytics to connect patients in under-resourced neighborhoods to nearby vital health and social services, and a national nonprofit lender that provides financing to small businesses in low-to-moderate income communities are the recipients of the latest loans from the Benefit Chicago fund. 

The result of a collaboration among The Chicago Community Trust, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and Calvert Impact Capital, the Benefit Chicago fund began lending in 2017 to mission-directed for-profit and nonprofit enterprises that need capital to grow but are unable to access financing from conventional sources.

NowPow, which received a $1.5 million loan, grew out of a health initiative of the Affordable Care Act to jump-start new approaches to promoting good health and well-being. The Hyde Park-based company uses a digital platform to link patients or people with chronic health and social problems to community based organizations providing vital health and social services that have been e-prescribed for them.

Nonprofit lender and Community Development Financial Institut ion,  Community Reinvestment Fund, USA  (CRF) will use its $1.5 million loan to increase its capacity to make loans to small businesses in the Chicago area-particularly to minority entrepreneurs who experience difficulty securing loans from traditional lenders. 

"The loans we announced today demonstrate there are organizations poised to help build wealth, generate jobs and connect people to needed services throughout our city," said William W. Towns, Executive Director of Benefit Chicago. "This patient, flexible, risk-tolerant capital helps fill a gap in the marketplace, and the new borrowers will provide concrete evidence to investors that their resources are at work building stronger, more vital communities and improving people's lives." 

For the complete  press release   click here .   

For the  NowPow borrower profile click here

For the  CRF, USA borrower profileclick here.

Growing Capital

Benefit Chicago Fund Reaches $95 Million 

With more than 600 total investors, including individuals, families and private foundations, directly or through donor-advised funds, as well as institutions and corporations, the Benefit Chicago fund, which finances impact enterprises throughout the Chicago region to build wealth, create jobs, and enhance job readiness, continues to expand. 

Many impact enterprises want to expand, grow, or increase their effectiveness for greater impact; they often cannot access traditional financing due to factors such as lack of collateral, the need for customized terms, and perceived risk. 

Benefit Chicago makes it easier to invest in local impact enterprises through an accessible, fixed-income investment product. Flexible, patient, risk-tolerant capital is already at work helping impact enterprises grow, add, and train more staff, provide additional services, open new markets, serve more people, and achieve greater impact. 

The Benefit Chicago fund continues to grow and has reached $95 million.

"Investing in Benefit Chicago allows individuals, corporations and philanthropies to engage with local enterprises that are improving communities by creating jobs, building wealth, and improving people's lives," said William W. Towns.

Towns encourages individuals, corporations, and philanthropies to consider investing in Benefit Chicago as an excellent way to support local businesses and nonprofits. Individuals wishing to invest can purchase Chicago-targeted Community Investment Notes from Calvert Impact Capital for as little as $20 online. Larger Notes of any size are also available through brokers, financial advisors or by establishing a Donor Advised Fund at the Chicago Community Trust. 

Individuals, institutions, or organizations interested in purchasing a Chicago-targeted Note should visit to learn about different investment options and read the prospectus. Applications for loans or other investments through Benefit Chicago are considered on an ongoing basis. 

To learn more about the lending process, basic eligibility, and loan requirements, please  click here .    

By the Numbers

$173 million  
in financing requests
for-profit and non-profit applicants 
$95 million  
in investment capital raised, closing in on our goal of 
$100 million
8 loans
for $15 million with more to close soon
For Benefit Chicago's announcement of second round loans, click here.
News and Views
"Chicagoans are committed to supporting the fabric of the city by starting businesses that spur growth and provide meaningful employment. One initiative leading the way is Benefit Chicago , a collaboration innovating the way impact investments support social enterprises."

 Read the full article here.

Upcoming Event

May 29 | Chicago, IL