Solutions Consultant and Senior Vice President, LOCUS Impact Investing
|Baltimore Community Foundation provided a bridge loan to Healthy Neighborhoods, a local CDFI, to help “green” the historic Reservoir Hill neighborhood. The plan for the neighborhood includes increasing the tree canopy, expanding community gardens, and rehabilitating vacant lots.|
Fortunately, there are foundations out there creating a way to keep wealth local. One leading example is Baltimore Community Foundation which has committed to investing four percent of its endowed funds directly into Baltimore. They believe they can match or beat the returns their fixed income assets are receiving in the market. Because they were inexperienced in investing locally, they decided to start by working through Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) partners, who are already experts in this business. “We didn’t have anyone working in this area before, but people from all departments stepped up,” said Patti Chandler, the foundation’s Vice President of Finance and Administration.
In communities like Baltimore, families now have the option to make gifts that are invested in their hometown to support their hometown. Imagine if this became accepted - and expected - practice among place-focused foundations. While community philanthropy has a remarkable opportunity over the next decade to capture "just five percent" of that $9 trillion transfer of wealth, donors and community partners might want to encourage their foundations to "just invest five percent" in their hometowns.
- Travis Green and Deb Markley are part of the Local Impact Strategy Solutions team at LOCUS, helping place-focused foundations create greater impact through mission-aligned local investing.