New Hampshire Charitable Foundation Invests in Local Businesses
Community Investment Management’s Product Pools Ethical Online Lending Platforms; 50 percent or More of Platform’s Investees Are Small Businesses Owned by Women, People of Color, and Veterans
MIE member New Hampshire Charitable Foundation (NHCF) has made a $500,000 investment through its Impact Investment Fund into a market-rate impact investment strategy managed by Community Investment Management (CIM), also an MIE member. CIM supports innovative online lending platforms that responsibly finance small businesses across the United States, screening for predatory practices — such as hidden fees or prepayment penalties — that are more common among technology-driven lending platforms. CIM also collects and reports to investors impact-related data on the types of investees served via these secondary lenders: 50 percent of businesses served by the online lenders funded by CIM are currently owned by women, people of color, and veterans.
NHCF is a pioneer in impact investing among community foundations and began complementing its grantmaking programs with impact investments more than 45 years ago. In 2016, NHCF added an Impact Investment Fund to its investment options for donors, with the intention of offering a strategic way for donors to pool charitable resources for directed community investment in innovative business ventures and organizations while earning a financial return. Approximately $12 million is currently committed to NHCF’s Impact Investment Fund: in aggregate, donors have invested nearly $2 million, while NHCF has invested $10 million — or approximately 2 percent —from its own endowment.
In the Q&A here, Michael Wilson, Chief Financial Officer and Vice President of Finance of NHCF, and Jacob Haar, Managing Partner of CIM, share their organizations’ perspectives on this deal and their respective impact investing programs.