As a response to the economic dominance of some communities by a few large corporations and the interest of some investors in making their dollars work for their communities, a new approach has been developed by the social investment community to encourage grassroots economic viability. Community investing mobilizes investment capital toward philanthropic goals, helping people in the U.S. and around the world create opportunity in their lives.
The community investment movement comprises foundations, banks and mutual funds. A few of these institutions are listed below. For activism opportunities, also visit the Co-op America website at www.coopamerica.org.
Community Bank of the Bay was the first bank in California to receive designation under the Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), a division of the U.S. Treasury set up to encourage banks to issue loans to non-profit groups and enterprises serving low- and moderate-income neighborhoods. As a community development bank, Community Bank of the Bay is devoted to individuals, businesses and institutions that reside in its target areas. Target areas for loans include low- and moderate-income neighborhoods of San Francisco and Oakland, such as Bayview-Hunters Point, the Mission, Fillmore, Chinatown, East Oakland, West Oakland, North Oakland, and adjacent Bay Area cities such as Richmond, West Berkeley, Marin City and East Palo Alto. The Bank converts deposits into community development loans for affordable housing, small businesses and nonprofit organizations. For information, call 510-271-8400 or visit www.communitybankbay.com.
Northern California Community Loan Fund is a non-profit lender created in 1987 to assist in the revitalization of low-income and minority communities. The Fund serves as a bridge between socially concerned investors and community organizations that have limited access to financing from traditional lending institutions. For information, call 415-392-8215 or visit www.oaclf.org.
Opportunity International began making loans to poor people in 1971, years before the term "microcredit" was coined. The initial, small program in Latin America was so successful in breaking people out of poverty that Opportunity is now helping poor people around the world to start small businesses and transform their lives.
By becoming shareholders in a trust bank, investors help destitute mothers give their children safe, healthy childhoods and basic education, giving them a way out of poverty with dignity. You can support a trust bank for just $28 a month to help 20 to 30 women start small businesses and learn to manage them.
Your support provides loans, not handouts, so that trust bank members can get started in businesses that will support their families. Members co-guarantee each other loans. They are so eager to succeed that most trust banks have a loan repayment rate of 98% or higher. For more information, call 800-793-9455 or visit www.opportunity.org.
Calvert Community Investments facilitates investment in homes and neighborhoods and role models, in self-help and self-sufficiency, in new jobs and new hope. Investments help parents provide better nutrition, education and opportunities for their children. Your investment helps impoverished communities become vital and strong again, using your dollars as essential capital for successful microcredit, housing and community loan programs. Through this below-market program, you make an actual investment in helping people develop self-sufficiency and work their way out of poverty. With CCI, investors can set the term and return (up to 4%) on their investments. Contact Calvert Social Investment Foundation at 800-248-0337or visit www.calvertfoundation.org.
This donor-advised account permits you to donate to the Calvert Foundation, have the capital invested in a diversified, professionally-managed investment portfolio designated by you and used in ways prescribed by you, the donor. Contact Calvert Social Investment Foundation at 800-248-0337 or visit www.calvertgiving.org.