Foundation launches Social Impact Fund

Sep. 12, 2017

The Social Loan Fund is a social investment program that turns donations into capital loans for community and non-profit groups. With access to funding that they typically couldn’t get from a bank, groups can further their mission more efficiently and effectively.

Paul Seale, Manager OEV Grocer and ATN, at 630 Dundas St.In 2016 the Loan Fund’s main priority was the development of safe and affordable housing in the London Community. Offering builders of affordable housing up to $500,000, the loan fund is a social investment that contributes to building a resilient community.

In last year’s annual report we shared the first success of our Social Loan Fund, providing a $500,000 loan to support a local entrepreneur who was building an affordable housing project in the downtown core.

In 2016 we issued our second loan in the amount of $500,000 in support of the Italian Seniors Project (ISP). Building off the success of their inaugural “Residenza Italia”, an affordable housing project built in 2011 and winner of numerous awards for both its architecture and social impact, this second loan will support a new affordable housing project for individuals of all ages.

The Social Loan Fund held outside of the Foundation endowment gives donors who have contributed to this fund the ability to directly support affordable housing projects. In 2016, the Foundation set aside $1,000,000 for the purpose of providing the loans that will support this program and entered into an agreement with the Libro Credit Union for the purpose of supporting and administrating access to the loans.

Like many Foundations across Canada and around the world, our board challenged LCF to come up with a long-term social finance strategy that was sustainable and could align more of our investments with our mission.

A special task force was created consisting of volunteers from each of the Foundation’s committees, ensuring that the recommendation to the Board had an integrated and cohesive strategy aligned with the Foundation’s mission statement and values.

As a result in 2017, the Foundation will be launching the “Social Impact Fund”, which will replace the Social Loan fund. This fund will continue to be held outside of the Foundation’s endowment and will expand the mandate to include increased funding and financing options for not-for-profits and social entrepreneurs looking to unlock capital in order to achieve their desired social enterprise outcomes. We will continue to prioritize local and direct opportunities, however we will work with partners both on a regional and national level if investments exist that align with the Foundation’s values and target priorities.

An increased allocation of up to 5% of assets, will give the Foundation an opportunity to participate in additional projects and increase our “impact” in the community and beyond. Helping us continue to align more of our investments with our mission.

You can view our 2016 Impact Report here and our previous Annual Reports here.