Impact Investing

About Impact Investing and our Initiative

Impact investing is a growing movement in philanthropy to invest in funds, organizations, and companies with the intention of generating a beneficial social and environmental impact, as well as a financial return. The process enables foundations to unlock and deploy a greater share of their capital to advance their mission in an innovative way, beyond just grantmaking.

In August 2012 the Santa Fe Community Foundation's Board of Directors embarked on a local impact investing initiative. We are using at least $1.5 million of our endowed assets to invest in promising local opportunities that promote our mission in northern New Mexico region while providing financial return over the next few years. The Foundation will consider opportunities in the areas of economic development and job growth, affordable housing, financial security for vulnerable families, nonprofit capacity building, education, food security, and environment.

While we will consider investment opportunities on a case-by-case basis, initially we are prioritizing opportunities to invest in intermediaries. We hope that, by partnering with local intermediaries, we can help to build stronger impact investment infrastructure and opportunities in our community.

Letters of Interest

Organizations with potential opportunities or current projects with an interest in seeking investments from the Foundation should submit a letter of interest. The letter should contain the following:

  • Contact information
  • Brief project overview including proposed project title and timeline.
  • Statement of the need and the expected social impact of the project
  • Investment request with amount, proposed terms, and use of the fund
  • Total project budget or amount being raised
  • Other key investors/partners in the project

Upon review of letters of interest the impact investing committee will invite selected organizations to submit a formal proposal. Letters should be submitted to Joohee Rand, Director of Strategic Initiatives.

The Impact Investing Committee meets monthly on the 4th Thursday of the month.  To have your Letter of Interest reviewed during a particular monthly meeting, please submit your letter by the 2nd Thursday of the month. The process make take approximately 3~6 months from receiving the Letter of Interest to closing the investment.        

For more detailed information on the Letter of Interest and Proposal process, click here.

First Investment: Homewise

In February of 2014, the Foundation made its first impact investment, a $250,000 low-cost loan to Homewise, a Santa Fe-based nonprofit that helps make home ownership a reality for low- to moderate-income families. This loan will help Homewise expand its second mortgage program. We couldn’t be happier to help make affordable housing a reality for more Santa Feans.

Second Investment: The Loan Fund

 in April of 2014, the Foundation made its second investment of $250,000 to The Loan Fund, a New Mexico non-profit that has helped hundreds of small business owners and nonprofits achieve self-reliance and financial success through loans, training, and business consulting.  This work will support low-to-moderate-income small business entrepreneurs and nonprofit organizations that directly benefit low-income families in our communities.

Third Investment:  Santa Fe Early Learning Center at Agua Fria

In September 2014, the Foundation’s Impact Investing Committee approved a $250,000 line of credit to United Way of Santa Fe County (UWSFC) to advance the implementation of child and family support services at the Santa Fe Early Learning Center at Agua Fria.   The Santa Fe Early Learning Center at Agua Fria is a partnership between UWSFC, Santa Fe Public Schools, and other community organizations to create a new early education facility at the old Agua Fria Elementary School campus that will provide full-day, full-year programs and support services for children and families primarily within the Agua Fria census zone.  This area is home to approximately 34% of the Santa Fe County’s children under five and also characterized by the highest rate of poverty, lowest academic achievements and other risk factors.

The impact investment from the Foundation will allow the project to restore the existing WPA-era adobe schoolhouse building and provide other contingency funding to allow early implementation of support services in 2015 and provide a strong foundation for the capital campaign for an additional new 35,000 square foot Early Learning building.

Fourth Investment:  Accion New Mexico

In December 2014, the Foundation made its fourth impact investment of $250,000 in Accion New Mexico to expand Accion’s support of emerging entrepreneurs and existing small businesses in the northern New Mexico counties of Los Alamos, Mora, Rio Arriba, San Miguel, Santa Fe and Taos.  

In 2014, Accion issued $3.5 million in new loans to New Mexico small businesses, up 33% from the same period last year.  Accion’s investment in northern New Mexico in 2014 amounted to $715,690 through over 35 loans to small businesses, helping to create and/or sustain 68 jobs.

Over the next several years, we will monitor the progress of the investment to gauge both the financial and social return on our investment.