A new model for meeting today’s challenges

Community Investment Revolving Fund

Every investment has an impact. The question is, will the impact be positive or negative, and will it complement or contradict your philanthropic goals?

Why This Matters

Our local impact investments pursue opportunities that return both financial and social gains—right here at home. In 2015, we began making low-interest loans. Funds are loaned to nonprofits and businesses solving social challenges and spurring economic growth in key issues in our community. Unlike traditional philanthropy which typically relies on grants, our impact investments are structured as flexible, cost-effective loans that are expected to be paid back, thus recycling the dollars to consistently fund new initiatives into the future.

“What the Foundation is doing is a beautiful thing, to have the opportunity for more people like me to continue their passion of owning their farm and making a difference in our community. My little organic farm has gone from an acre and a half to 130 acres."

- Javier Zamora, local berry grower and California FarmLink borrower

About the Fund

In 2018 our Community Investment Revolving Fund (CIRF) launched with an anonymous gift. The CIRF makes loans to projects that address critical social issues we face in Santa Cruz County – like housing affordability, sustainable agriculture and economic mobility for our county’s diverse workforce. To date, we have partnered with four organizations, deploying more than $2.5 million to create local impact and local returns.

Impact Investing Portfolio Report June 2020

“I was going to have to move away. Then the Foundation helped me with 50% of a down payment on our first house. Now I’m living and teaching in my community, where my kids go to school.”

- Christina Canavan, Soquel teacher and new homeowner who benefited from our investment in Landed.

Together with Landed, we’ve helped local teachers become homeowners with new access to down payment assistance. With our lending partner California FarmLink we’re helping small farmers on the Central Coast strengthen our sustainable agriculture economy. We’re investing in affordable workforce housing with a loan for new construction by New Way Homes.

Our region offers many more attractive opportunities and we are growing our impact investing portfolio over time.

Join us and other donors in making these loans possible. Our Philanthropic Services Director, Sam Leask, would love to discuss options with you. Email him at sleask@cfscc.org or give him a call at (831) 662-2060.

Contribute to the Community Investment Revolving Fund

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Sam Leask

To learn more, please contact Sam Leask, Philanthropic Services Director, at sleask@cfscc.org or (831) 662-2060.