Scott grant acknowledges innovative tool for unlocking capital to strengthen community solutions for affordable housing, small business development, and climate change through a racial equity lens.
Richmond, VA – Today, the Community Investment Guarantee Pool (CIGP) announced it is the recipient of a $12 million gift from novelist and philanthropist MacKenzie Scott. The grant, part of Scott’s multi-billion-dollar investments in equity-oriented organizations, will fuel CIGP’s efforts to accelerate community investments and address America’s most pressing community-identified issues, including affordable housing and climate change.
“CIGP is honored and humbled to receive this grant from MacKenzie Scott. We are proud to be recognized for our innovative efforts to unlock capital and resources to the organizations leading the way to make our country an equitable, more just place,” said Jim Baek, CIGP Executive Director.
Launched in 2019, CIGP is a first-of-its-kind platform that compiles guarantee commitments from a wide-reaching coalition of mission-minded investors. It pools those commitments into one entity to support projects that help communities flourish and strengthen local economies.
As of August 2023, CIGP has issued guarantees totaling $26M across three sectors: climate, affordable housing, and small business financing. CIGP guarantees have enabled more than $70 million of direct investments and are anticipated to activate $230 million in total capital for community development nonprofits and other beneficiaries. The pool has secured $58M of guaranteed commitments and has directly or indirectly supported more than 300 organizations.
CIGP, managed by Locus (formerly VCC Social Enterprises), started with investments from some of the nation’s leading philanthropic organizations and health systems. Guarantors include: The Kresge Foundation, The Annie E. Casey Foundation, The California Endowment, Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, CommonSpirit Health, Gary Community Ventures, Jessie Ball duPont Fund, Phillips Foundation, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Seattle Foundation, Locus, Weingart Foundation, Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation, Arnold Ventures, Sierra Club Foundation, The California Wellness Foundation, and California Community Foundation. Their pooled guarantee commitments provided the capital needed to accelerate community investments in affordable housing, climate solutions, and small businesses that otherwise would not be possible.
“As an early guarantor, we’re proud that CIGP has succeeded in providing a powerful new tool to support community investments and access to capital,” said Kimberlee Cornett, Director of Impact Investments at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. “The grant from MacKenzie Scott underscores the importance of investors coming together to increase the flow of capital to communities.”
“Rarely do philanthropic organizations collaborate together at the scale CIGP has achieved so quickly,” said Rip Rapson, President & CEO of The Kresge Foundation, which incubated CIGP before its launch. “That alone is remarkable and worthy of celebration. But Scott’s generous support also speaks to CIGP’s positive impact on community development and the innovative model it provided to the field. Private foundations must consider ways to unlock their balance sheets and multiply their efforts to solve the country’s most insidious and entrenched generational economic problems. CIGP is the vehicle allowing more philanthropies to do just that.”
“I’m glad the Community Investment Guarantee Pool continues to gain momentum among funders who see the value in combining resources to make a real impact in communities while meeting critical needs such as affordable housing,” said Tracy Kartye, Director of Social Investments at the Annie E. Casey Foundation. “Guarantees are an important tool that complements our grantmaking and impact investments to support strategies that foster entrepreneurship and resilient communities.”
“With this grant, CIGP aims to further push philanthropy and mission-driven investors to use the strength of their balance sheets to deploy essential capital to rebuild our economies,” said Amir Kirkwood, CEO of Locus. “This grant comes at a moment of growth and transition for our team as we unify our resources under one streamlined structure that will allow us to create greater impact.”
As part of its continued evolution and growth, VCC Social Enterprises has unified under one streamlined organization named Locus. This new name captures the multipronged nature of the organization’s mission by evoking the importance of place, the commitment to local communities, and its bold and innovative approach to investing and community development that brings people together to do the most good. Founded in 2006, Locus creates equitable access to capital by developing community partnerships and innovative tools that tackle systemic challenges and advance promising opportunities.
The Community Investment Guarantee Pool (CIGP) is a financing tool launched in December 2019 by impact investing organizations to create a pooled commitment of financial guarantees for intermediaries in affordable housing, small business and climate finance. CIGP accelerates community investments by more fully leveraging philanthropic balance sheets for mission. The guarantors that help make CIGP possible are The Kresge Foundation, The Annie E. Casey Foundation, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, The California Endowment, Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, Common Spirit Health, Gary Community Ventures, Jessie Ball duPont Fund, Phillips Foundation, Seattle Foundation, Locus, Weingart Foundation, Arnold Ventures, Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation, The Sierra Club Foundation, The California Wellness Foundation, and California Community Foundation. Learn more about CIGP by watching this short video produced by The Kresge Foundation.
Locus (formerly Virginia Community Capital) is a $335 million nonprofit and parent organization for a family of social enterprises, which includes Locus Bank, Locus Impact Fund, Locus Capital, and the Community Investment Guarantee Pool, or CIGP. The mission of Locus is to create equitable access to capital by developing community partnerships and innovative tools that tackle systemic challenges and advance opportunities. Locus employs solutions to address inequities, including lending, banking, impact-driven programs, place-based investments, and strategic consulting and work with each community to build investment strategies that lift their assets and meet their unique needs. To learn more, visit locusimpact.org.