Home > What We Do: Current Foundation Initiatives

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 approved the decision to embark on a local impact investing initiative.  We committed up to 10% (currently $4.5 million) of our pooled endowment assets to invest in promising local opportunities that promote our mission in northern New Mexico region while providing financial return.   

The Foundation considers investment opportunities in the following areas of impact aligned with our mission of building healthy and vital communities with equitable access to opportunities:

  • Economic security and opportunities (including housing)
  • Educational success and career pathways
  • Health and wellbeing
  • Sustainable agriculture and stewardship of resources
  • Cultural vibrancy, and
  • Nonprofit/grantee capacity building

Since the first investment in 2013, the Foundation has invested nearly $2 million in 11 local investments.  They include:

  • 4 investments in Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) that support affordable housing, microenterprises, rural economic development and job creation
    (Homewise, Accion, The Loan Fund, Rural Community Assistance Corporation)
  • 3 investments in innovative social enterprises advancing education, rural economic development and creative economy (MidSchoolMath, Mora Valley Woodworking, Meow Wolf)
  • 3 investments in nonprofits  supporting early childhood education, environment/science-education and food security (United Way of Santa Fe County, Santa Fe Watershed, and Food Depot).

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

Letters should be submitted to Joohee Rand, VP for Community Investment and Strategy.  Upon review of letters of interest, the impact investing committee will invite selected organizations to submit a formal proposal.

The Impact Investing Committee meets monthly on the 2nd Friday of the month.  To have your Letter of Interest reviewed during a particular monthly meeting, please submit your letter by the last Friday of the prior month (two weeks in advance of the Committee meeting). 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.


To download a list with brief descriptions of the SFCF Impact Investments made from 2014 – 2017, please click here.

  1. Homewise - Second Mortgage for Affordable Housing

    A $250,000, 7-year loan to a local nonprofit helped to expand the second residential mortgage programs for low-to-moderate income individuals and families in Santa Fe County, increasing access to home ownership. (February 2014; Active)

    Impact Area: Affordable Housing, Economic Security

  2. The New Mexico Community Development Loan Fund - Microloans for Small Business & Nonprofits in Santa Fe County

    $250,000, 5-year loan provides small business loans and technical assistance to low-to-moderate income entrepreneurs and non-profits that directly benefit low-income families in the northern New Mexico region. (April 2014; Active)

    Impact Area: Economic Security, Job Growth, Nonprofit Capacity Building

  3. United Way of Santa Fe County - Santa Fe Early Learning Campus in Agua Fria

    $250,000, 5-year loan provided contingency funding to support the construction of a child and parent services center in the Agua Fria early childhood campus in Santa Fe, a partnership between United Way, Santa Fe Public Schools, and other community organizations. The creation of a new early learning facility will provide full-day, year-round programs and support services for children and families in a neighborhood with a high concentration of children under five and a high poverty rate. (April 2014; Active)

    Impact Area: Early Childhood, Nonprofit Capacity Building

  4. Accion New Mexico - New Mexico Impact Campaign

    $250,000, 10-year loan helps to scale up Accion’s capacity to support microenterprise and business development loans for primarily low income, minority, and women entrepreneurs in the northern New Mexico region. (December 2014; Active)

    Impact Area: Job Growth, Economic Security

  5. Santa Fe Watershed Association - Bridge Loan for My Water, My Watershed Program

    $10,000 bridge loan helped close the cash flow gap in the timing of contract reimbursement for the nonprofit providing an experiential, science-based program to Santa Fe Public School students, providing them the opportunity to study and explore their watershed. (November 15, Paid)

    Impact Area: Environment, Education, Nonprofit Capacity Building

  6. Homewise - New American Home Loan Fund

    $165,000, 7-year loan supports a home loan program and financial education for immigrant families in Santa Fe County, helping them prepare for homeownership and improve their economic security. (February 2016; Active)

    Impact Area: Affordable Housing, Economic Security, Immigrant Support

  7. Meow Wolf - House of Eternal Return Art Complex

    $25,000, 5-year loan supported the construction of a 20,000-square-foot immersive, multimedia, story-telling art complex that brought over 100 local artists across several disciplines together in creative collaboration with economic benefits. (February 2016; Paid)

    Impact Area: Job Creation, Economic Development, Education, Arts and Culture

  8. MidSchoolMath - Innovating Middle School Math Curriculum

    $250,000 equity (converted loan) in the education technology company supported working capital needs and development of advanced, interactive digital toolsets for comprehensive Grades 5-8 math curriculum.  The company’s dynamic, multi-media curriculum solution tackles the problem of steep decline in math competences in middle school with a rich, immersive curriculum that combines multi-media storytelling with integrated technology and strong professional development, transforming how math is taught in the classroom. (April 2016; Active)

    Impact Area: Education, Job Creation

  9. Mora Valley Woodworking - Investing in Start-Up for Sustainable, Rural Economic Development

    $12,500 loan supported a rural community start up in the manufacturing of a product prototype and business development for green, wooden funerary urns.  The company was envisioned and formed as part of Mora County’s economic development plan to create a worker-directed, profit-sharing enterprise to produce sustainable, nature-based, biodegradable products utilizing the County’s natural assets while stimulating local business and economies. (June 2016; Active)

    Impact Area: Rural Economic Development, Job Creation, Environment

  10. Rural Community Assistance Corporation / Rainmakers Investment Collaborative - Investing in Native American Communities

    $250,000 loan targets investments in rural Native American communities in New Mexico for affordable housing, environmental infrastructure, community facilities and small business loans.  Through collaboration with national funders (Rainmakers Investment Collaborative) and partnership with a national intermediary RCAC, the project also aims at mobilizing greater investment capital into the region’s Native American communities and strengthening  community capacity for capital deployment. (June 2017; Active)

    Impact Area: Native American/Rural Economic Development, Affordable Housing, Environment, Job Creation

  11. Food Depot –New American Home Loan Fund

$150,000, 7-year loan supported the purchase of a semi-truck for a local food bank with a long track record of addressing food insecurity in the Northern New Mexico region. The conversion from a lease to a purchase of the semi-truck allowed the nonprofit to serve more families at a lower cost and improve operational efficiency. (September 2017; Active)

Impact Area: Food Security. Nonprofit Capacity Building.

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