Since our beginnings in 2004, Aeris has established risk management standards for private community loan funds (CDFIs) and has helped drive the development of impact measurement and management practices in the CDFI industry—a learning curve now being replicated in the broader impact investment world. In 2013, the Aeris Cloud became the first online platform to help CDFI investors understand the impact and financial performance of their investments. Today, the broader investing field seeks a reliable, high-quality tool to collect, manage, and analyze impact data. Aeris’ unique experience and expertise can help accelerate the pace of impact investing.
The Center on Philanthropy and Public Policy promotes more effective philanthropy and strengthens the nonprofit sector through research that informs philanthropic decision-making and public policy to advance community problem solving. We have long held discussions and hosted discussions on the topic of impact investing as a way to connect practitioners and researchers together and support the growing infrastructure in this space.
CIM partners with responsible lenders to finance small businesses in line with the Small Business Borrowers’ Bill of Rights and to effect economic, environmental, and social change. Since fund inception, we have provided financing to 4,200 U.S. small businesses which represent $4 billion in total revenue. These businesses have created 6,000 new jobs from loan proceeds with 45,000 jobs maintained and 131,000 lives affected. CIM also tracks impact metrics that are derivative of the core impact objective: to increase access to capital for underserved demographics and support impact businesses. Across the portfolio, CIM funds 2-3x more women-, minority-, and veteran-owned businesses than banks and financial institutions with an aggregate figure of 50% of the loan portfolio lent to WMV-owned businesses. CIM has additionally built an Impact Assessment system to identify and report on impact businesses across 8 areas of impact with 79 unique tags. These impact businesses expressly seek to create a positive social, environmental, or economic change in their community. 21% of the CIM portfolio (>800 loans) are lent to impact businesses in 8 categories: community health and safety, education and youth development, social justice, environmental sustainability, financial inclusion, healthy food systems, and clean energy and efficiency.
We provide legal counsel exclusively to nonprofit clients, many of whom are interested in advancing their mission by incorporating impact investments into their portfolios. We are often intimately involved in investment discussions pertaining to the nonprofit entities we help our clients establish and maintain.