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Charities / Loans

Foundation Broadens Community Investment

December 2010 saw the release of a national report entitled Mobilizing Private Capital for Public Good.  While the report recommended seven recommendations aimed at encouraging regulatory changes to accelerate capital investments in Canada’s voluntary sector, there was one recommendation that captured the interest of the Niagara Community Foundation. Specifically, that Canada’s public and private foundations should invest at least ten percent (10%) of their capital in mission related investments by 2020 and report annually to the public on their activity.

In June 2011, the board of the Foundation started a due diligence process to determine whether this type of investment made sense, culminating in their decision to allocate a portion of their funds in mission related investments.  At the Foundation's 11th Annual Canadian Business Leaders Breakfast, board member Rob Welch who lead the board through the due diligence process, announced that a $500,000 investment will be made in the Community Forward Fund (CFF).  The Community Forward Fund (CFF) makes loans or arranges financing for Canadian nonprofits and charities.  Its structure has been designed to address a gap in access to patient, working capital and bridge loans for the sector for small and medium sized for-social-profit organizations.

“Like most pension and endowment funds, the Foundation normally invests in commercial stocks and bonds as we need to generate interest and dividend income to support our granting programs,” said Mr. Welch.  “Learning more about the CFF, the type of investments that are possible and how these more closely relate to the mission of the Foundation, made inimitable sense to the board.  We are pleased to be joining our colleagues from Hamilton, Ottawa, and Kitchener Waterloo community foundations in this initiative.”  

Community Forward Fund CEO Derek Ballantyne notes, “We look forward to working with the Niagara Community Foundation in pursuing their objectives of mission-related investment in area communities. The Foundation’s local knowledge and close community ties are an essential asset to this innovative approach to supporting and strengthening non-profit and charitable organizations. We are very pleased to receive this significant investment in the Community Forward Fund and welcome our collaboration with the Foundation.”
 
For further information visit Community Forward Fund.