August 2018 Newsletter
Community Development Loan Funds:
An Effective Partner for Local Impact Investing
- Bonny Moellenbrock, LOCUS advisor, shares insights on how Community Development Loan Funds (CDLFs) can be used for local impact investing.
This spring, the Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN) and investment firm Symbiotics released The Financial Performance of Impact Investing Through Private Debt , the latest in a series of reports that benchmark impact investing opportunities in different asset classes. For U.S. place-based investors, Community Development Loan Funds (CDLFs) provide a particularly promising impact investing opportunity. The report analyzed data for the past five years from 102 participating CDLFs across the country. On our blog, I’ve shared some of the highlights from this report relevant to foundations and others interested in place-based investing. Read More
Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs)
are mission-driven bodies that serve communities in need. CDLFs are the most common type of CDFI .
LOCUS at theUnited Philanthropy Forum.  Teri Lovelace , Don Macke and Travis Green joined regional and national philanthropic serving organizations in Boston for the largest ever United Philanthropy Forum Annual Conference .

The forum brought together powerful voices in philanthropy. Artist Titus Kaphar , scholars Elizabeth Hinton , Ibram Kendi , and Richard Rothstein , and foundation leader Grant Oliphant encouraged philanthropy to double-down on efforts to promote racial equity, diversity and inclusion. Throughout the conference, several speakers identified impact investing as a way to expand their mission-aligned philanthropic practices.
Pictured: Don Macke , LOCUS Senior Vice President and Co-Founder, Center for Rural Entrepreneurship.
LOCUS at BALLE Fellows Immersion. LOCUS Senior Vice President, Deb Markley , participated in her second BALLE Fellowship Immersion in Santa Fe, NM. Fellows shared their work building more sustainable, equitable local economies, and were introduced to a host of amazing work experiences, including a tour of Meow Wolf , a 200 artist collective and B Corporation which provides an interactive arts experience.
Client Spotlight
LOCUS in Central Texas. LOCUS team members spent a week in Central Texas with the Waco Foundation , the CLC-America , and the CLC-Heart of Texas to strengthen nonprofit payday lending substitutes.  Community Loan Centers (CLCs) are sustainable alternatives to predatory payday lending. The CLC program operates nationally by engaging reputable community-based lenders to provide access to fairly-priced small dollar loans.
Mississippi Association of Grantmakers completed a Transfer of Wealth™ study to engage in conversations with state lawmakers about the importance of community philanthropy and help grow community foundations throughout all of the state’s 82 counties.
Filling Funding Gaps in Rural Arkansas.
In a blog for Locavesting , Deb Markley outlines what place-based impact investing looks like from the ground up, highlighting the success of Communities Unlimited (CU) , a not-for-profit CDFI, in deploying an Arkansas Community Foundation impact investment.
Pictured: A small business park in Dewitt, AR, where an abandoned fuel station once stood.
In 2016, the Foundation provided CU with a 10-year, $1 million loan at 1.5% interest. Using the funds, CU is bringing low interest, flexible capital and technical assistance to communities throughout Arkansas. – Read More
SOCAP18: Re-Thinking Investability in Rural America. Social Capital Markets (SOCAP) has announced the full list of open sessions for its 2018 Flagship Conference . Members of the SOCAP community submitted over 427 session proposals, resulting in a record breaking final selection of 78. One of the lucky winners was LOCUS' own session, " Re-Thinking Investability in Rural America: Models for Overcoming Capacity and Capital Absorption Challenges ."

This October, participants will hear from four place-based practitioners on how their organizations are working to creatively deploy philanthropic assets to better address financing gaps and capital absorption obstacles unique to rural America. – See More
News From the Field
In 2017, The Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation invested 100 percent of its portfolio using a mission-related strategy governed by environmental, social, and governance (ESG) criteria, increasing portfolio performance. – Read How
At least 10 impact fund managers are taking advantage of the tax incentives created by Opportunity Zones to jump start impact investing projects. – Read How
The Opportunity Finance Network’s (OFN) President and CEO, Lisa Mensah , testified before the Joint Economic Committee at a hearing on “The Innovation Economy, Entrepreneurship, and Barriers to Capital Access.” She spoke about how CDFIs work to meet the economic needs of under-resourced communities. – Read More
Virginia Community Capital’s Caroline Nowery was a panelist at the inaugural convening of the Higher Education Anchor Mission Initiative . Participants discussed strategies for leveraging assets to support and sustain inclusive economic development in their local communities. – Read More
Barlow T. Mann , COO of the Sharpe Group , drafted a review of the findings from " 9 Trillion and Counting: How Charities can Tap into the Transfer of Wealth ," drafted by the Chronicle of Philanthropy using data and analysis by LOCUS. – Read More
In May, the Urban Institute released " Investing Together: Emerging Approaches in Collaborative Place-Based Impact Investing ." The report details how properly implemented collaborative impact investing can be used to create inclusive local economies. - Read More
At Intentional Endowments Network’s (IEN) roundtable on Community Impact Investing, more than 70 endowment and foundation decision-makers convened to share their interest in working with local communities. – Read More
Where You'll Find the LOCUS Team
Here is where you will find members of the LOCUS team in the coming months:
Aug. 28-29 Minneapolis, MN
Bonny Moellenbrock is a speaker.
Sept. 12-14 Tupelo, MS
Jane Henderson is a speaker.
Oct. 14-16 Wichita, KS
Deb Markley and Don Macke will design and facilitate multiple sessions. LOCUS is a sponsor and speaker. Sydney England and Travis Green are participants.
Oct. 23-26 San Francisco, CA
LOCUS is a speaker.
Nov. 1-3 Chicago, IL
Teri Lovelace is a speaker.
Nov. 14-16 Asilomar, CA
Deb Markley is a participant.
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LOCUS Capital, Inc. is a Registered Investment Advisor Firm. Advisory services are only offered to clients or prospective clients where LOCUS Capital, Inc. and its representatives are properly licensed or exempt from licensure. LOCUS Capital, Inc. and its representatives do not furnish investment advice or services through this website. Past performance is no guarantee of future returns.