When making a difference in a new way is important to you, knock on the door of a community foundation. That’s what Helaine Levy did when she wanted nonprofits in Southern Arizona to have access to loan capital that would increase their impact in our community.

Helaine and Clint Mabie, the President and CEO of the Community Foundation for Southern Arizona (CFSA), did their homework and established Nonprofit Loan Fund of Tucson and Southern Arizona (NPLF) in 2010.

“CFSA has invested in NPLF from the beginning,” says Clint, who added that hiring Maura Grogan to direct the loan fund was another smart decision. “She has extensive experience in both nonprofits and banking, and because of Maura’s expertise and that of NPLF’s board members, a whole new level of technical assistance that helps nonprofit leaders strengthen their financial acumen is available locally.”

“Foundations across the country, CFSA included, are interested in how to use the power of the balance sheet to expand local impact in ways that have both a financial and a social return,” says Clint. “It’s called impact investing and it’s an awakening field in philanthropy.”

Impact Investing

In addition to investing in NPLF, CFSA is exploring the development of an Impact Investment Fund, which will encourage community improvements while advancing investors’ financial goals.

Impact investing incentivizes socially minded organizations and businesses to increase their positive impact in their communities in, for example, education/workforce development and diversity; neighborhood revitalization; health and environment; and job creation, particularly in more economically challenged neighborhoods and communities.

A Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN) & JP Morgan study reveals $77 billion was committed to impact investing nationally in 2015, and that number is expected to grow to $650 billion by 2020.

“We’re adding impact investing to our portfolio of ways we fund change in our community,” says Clint. “That portfolio includes program related investing, grant making, loans, and impact investments. Stay tuned.”