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Requesting Proposals for Climate Guarantees

The Community Investment Guarantee Pool (CIGP) is publishing an RFP to solicit potential use cases for its climate change guarantee product. Proposals are due October 29, 2021.

CIGP is a first of its kind platform allowing philanthropies and other impact-driven institutions to combine resources and expertise to establish a one-stop-shop for issuing guarantees in support of lenders, intermediaries, and other innovative actors in the climate, affordable housing, and small business sectors. CIGP has deployed over $16M in guarantees since 11 philanthropies founded the Pool in December 2019 and hopes to expand upon this success in the climate sector. This pooled commitment of financial guarantees aims to unlock capital and accelerate investments that would not otherwise be possible across the United States.

New tools like guarantees are needed to de-risk, mobilize, and most importantly, accelerate private capital flows for climate change solutions. This pressing need for new financial solutions for climate change challenges led CIGP to issue this RFP and seek qualified beneficiaries to submit proposals to receive its committed unfunded guarantees to support financing for climate mitigation, adaptation, and disaster recovery.

Click here for the full RFP, and for more information, please see our RFP FAQs here or e-mail cigp_rfp@sustainablecap.com. For non-climate related inquiries, please e-mail CIGP@locusimpactinvesting.org.


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Jim Baek Joins LOCUS Impact Investing as Executive Director of The Community Investment Guarantee Pool (CIGP)

Experienced Community Development and Housing Finance Practitioner Will Scale the Use of Guarantees to Help Lenders Unlock Additional Investment Capital

Richmond, VA —July 22, 2021LOCUS Impact Investing (LOCUS) has announced that Jim Baek has joined The Community Investment Guarantee Pool (CIGP) as Executive Director. LOCUS is a registered investment advisor, consultancy, and servicing organization that works with mission-driven organizations to accelerate investment that builds more equitable, prosperous communities. LOCUS is the program manager for CIGP, a first-of-its-kind platform that enables impact-aligned guarantors to unlock their balance sheets by pooling resources and sharing risk in financial guarantees to catalyze greater investment in structurally underserved or excluded communities. Mr. Baek reports to Sarah Stremlau, President of LOCUS, and will work closely with CIGP guarantors to refine and execute on the vision for the Pool.

Mr. Baek joins CIGP from Deutsche Bank where he served as Head of U.S. Community Finance as well as the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) Officer. As Executive Director of CIGP, Mr. Baek will scale the guarantee program by attracting more guarantors to the pool and strategically deploying those guarantees around the country. To date CIGP has secured more than $38m of guarantee commitments from a dozen of the nation’s leading national and regional philanthropic institutions and health systems.

CIGP provides customized, unfunded loan guarantees to intermediaries throughout the United States in the affordable housing, small business, and climate sectors. These guarantees enable organizations to increase their lending capacity to more businesses and groups that have traditionally lacked equitable access to capital, in particular BIPOC- and women-led organizations. LOCUS became the program manager for CIGP in 2019.

“I am very pleased to welcome Jim to the CIGP team. Jim’s 20 years of experience working in community development finance and affordable housing, his deep transaction skill-set across the capital stack and knowledge of impact investing will be critical to building on the foundation CIGP has already established,” said Sarah Stremlau. “Jim brings a reputation as a changemaker as well as a demonstrated commitment to driving investment in lower-income and BIPOC communities across the country, an essential part of the LOCUS mission. He also brings a proven ability to foster a more equitable workplace, and we look forward to Jim supporting our efforts to embed DEI into our services and across the organization.”

LOCUS provides a range of consulting and investment services to current and potential impact investors through stakeholder education, investment strategy and policy development, strategic capacity building, community and economic development assessment, due diligence, fund aggregation, deal sourcing, and investment servicing, monitoring, and tracking. Clients include private foundations, community foundations, funder associations and collaboratives, fund sponsors, CDFIs, health systems and corporations. LOCUS is a wholly owned subsidiary of the non-profit, Virginia Community Capital (VCC), a regulated, certified CDFI with over $500 million in assets under management.

Ms. Stremlau added: “Whether you’re a mission-driven organization curious about how impact investing can advance your community-oriented mission or you already have a robust program in place, LOCUS’ customized, one-stop approach meets you where you are on your impact investing journey. Because we are specialists in impact investing as well as experts in community development in both rural and urban communities, we have a unique capacity to help organizations find ways to accelerate investment that builds thriving, more equitable communities. At the same time, we continue to innovate and champion new types of investment solutions like Invest Appalachia and CIGP. We believe CIGP’s novel approach has the potential to increase the use of guarantees at the national and regional levels to drive systemic change, and ultimately to change perceptions of risk when it comes to lending to BIPOC and women-owned and led businesses.”

“This is an exciting time to join the LOCUS organization. I am already impressed with the entrepreneurial and innovative foundation the organization has established in community development, and we are ready to push the boundaries even further to build more resilient communities in underserved markets across the country,” said Jim Baek. “For CIGP to be situated at the unique confluence of LOCUS as a one-stop shop for impact investment and VCC as a leading CDFI is exciting as it expands CIGP’s ability to influence systems change across the marketplace for affordable housing, small businesses and climate finance solutions.”

At Deutsche Bank, Mr. Baek was head of the Community Development Finance Group and oversaw the bank’s lending, investing and philanthropy for community development and impact in the U.S. As the CRA Officer he was also responsible for the bank’s performance under the Community Reinvestment Act regulation. Prior to joining Deutsche Bank in 2007, he underwrote affordable housing and community facility loans for the Low-Income Investment Fund and structured mortgage revenue bonds for Salomon Smith Barney. Mr. Baek is a graduate of Grinnell College (BA Political Science) and the University of Michigan (MBA). He serves on the board of IMPACCT Brooklyn, Restored Homes, and Project Rebuild, and is a former board member of Living Cities.

About CIGP:

The Community Investment Guarantee Pool (CIGP) is a first-of-its-kind platform that enables mission-driven guarantors to unlock their balance sheets by pooling resources and sharing risk in financial guarantees to catalyze greater investment in structurally underserved or excluded communities. Created in 2019, CIGP currently pools financial commitments from a dozen of the nation’s leading philanthropic organizations and health systems including The Kresge FoundationThe Annie E. Casey FoundationThe California EndowmentChan Zuckerberg InitiativeCommonSpirit HealthGary Community InvestmentsJessie Ball duPont FundPhillips FoundationRobert Wood Johnson FoundationSeattle FoundationVirginia Community Capital, and Weingart Foundation. Learn more about CIGP by watching this short video produced by The Kresge Foundation.

About LOCUS Impact Investing:

LOCUS Impact Investing is a registered investment advisor, consultancy, and servicing organization that works with mission-driven organizations across the country to accelerate investment that builds more equitable, prosperous communities. Our unique one-stop-shop model offers a comprehensive approach to community-oriented impact that includes stakeholder education, investment strategy and policy development, strategic capacity building, community and economic development assessment, due diligence, fund aggregation, deal sourcing, and investment servicing, monitoring, and tracking.. Ultimately we seek to increase the number of investors committed to community investing and to advance more effective, equitable investment practices that catalyze greater deployment of capital in lower-income and BIPOC communities across the country. LOCUS is a wholly owned subsidiary of the non-profit, Virginia Community Capital (VCC), a regulated, certified CDFI with over $500 million in assets under management.

 

Media Contact:

Chance Lee

Communications Coordinator, LOCUS Impact Investing

804.793.0980

chance@locusimpactinvesting.org


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Guarantee Pool Deploys Over $7M in its First Year

Guarantee Pool Deploys Over $7M in First Year

Innovative use of philanthropic balance sheets unlocks new community development capital

RICHMOND, V.A. – December 17, 2020 – The Community Investment Guarantee Pool (CIGP), a program of LOCUS Impact Investing, has deployed $7.1M in guarantees since 11 philanthropies founded the Pool in December 2019. Providing a central depository of philanthropic guarantees, the Pool allows qualified beneficiaries to access multiple philanthropic balance sheets in one place while providing flexible guarantee terms to meet the specific needs of guarantee-users. This year, three Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) utilized CIGP guarantees to support the development and preservation of affordable housing.

CIGP’s first guarantee for $1.5M went to Genesis LA to bolster financing of public-supported supportive housing and naturally-occurring affordable housing in LA County, CA. “We’ve been specifically targeting new developments that can be built without relying on tax credits, as well as the acquisition of existing ‘naturally’ affordable housing that has lower rents but lacks covenants to preserve affordability,” Genesis LA President & CEO Tom De Simone said. “To make these projects work, we are extending more flexible financing to fill gaps and account for the fact that these projects are not leveraging the conventional equity financing from tax credits. CIGP has been critical to our ability to not only provide such financing, but to do so on a larger scale than we could otherwise do.”

CIGP has also provided a $2M guarantee to Low Income Investment Fund (LIIF) to support a $20M fund that will provide liquidity to affordable housing developers who have been adversely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. This funding will fill gaps created when fees are stalled in phases of LIHTC development, allowing critically needed affordable housing projects throughout the United States to continue despite pandemic-related headwinds.

Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) will be using a $3.6M guarantee for their $36M Diverse Developer Loan Fund to provide loans for minority-owned or -led developers with limited balance sheets. These loans will help them conduct pre-development, acquisition, and construction of affordable housing projects throughout the United States.

With a robust pipeline of additional affordable housing opportunities, as well as use cases for small business and climate, CIGP looks forward to accelerating its deployment of guarantees in 2021, and interested parties are invited to reach out to discuss if a guarantee can be a helpful tool for unlocking new capital. Additionally, CIGP is establishing Finance Advisory Teams in each of its three focus areas (affordable housing, small business, and climate) to convene national thought leaders and identify opportunities for guarantees to address current financial gaps. This will help ensure the Pool is maximizing its impact and truly unlocking capital that would otherwise not flow to community development projects.

A collection of both funders with national scope (e.g., The Kresge FoundationThe Annie E. Casey Foundation) as well as local and regional funders (e.g., The California EndowmentSeattle Community Foundation) founded CIGP in order to mobilize more community development capital in low-income communities and communities of color. For these funders, CIGP allows for risk sharing with other institutions while also providing back office infrastructure and an opportunity to learn how to leverage their balance sheets in new ways. This increases the diversity of thought and allows for philanthropies of varying size and scope to have equal power in shaping the direction of the Pool while learning how guarantees can unlock capital in the communities they care about. To support this learning journey, CIGP is launching a five-year evaluation effort to understand the impact of the Pool and regularly incorporate lessons learned to improve the Pool’s performance.

Since CIGP’s launch in December 2019, The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) has joined as a guarantor, bringing the total number of philanthropic guarantors to 12. Additionally, the Rockefeller Foundation has provided operating support, and The Hewlett Foundation and Wells Fargo Foundation have provided programmatic support for specific sectors (climate and affordable housing, respectively). Kimberlee Cornett, RWJF director of impact investments and chair of the Guarantor Advisory Council, says, “In 2020, we’ve seen low-income communities face health and economic challenges previously unimagined and the severity and complexity of the challenges requires new solutions. I believe CIGP is one way to activate new resources from foundations and family offices and provide intermediaries with an efficient, reliable source of credit enhancement so they can move quickly in response and take more risk when necessary. As with any new tool, the CIGP model is still being perfected. But this is important work for the field and investors to do together toward our shared goal of delivering more capital to communities.”

Looking ahead, Sarah Stremlau, president of LOCUS Impact Investing, says, “This is an exciting time for CIGP. Our early successes confirm there is a need here, and we are on a learning journey to determine how we can best meet that need. As we grow the Pool, establish our Finance Advisory Teams, and refine our internal processes, I believe we will create a powerful resource for mobilizing capital in new ways.”

2021 holds a lot of promise for CIGP. Conversations are already underway with philanthropies interested in joining the Pool as new guarantors and there is a robust pipeline of guarantee use cases in all three sectors. As the evaluation begins and the Finance Advisory Teams begin to meet, CIGP will continue to hone its ability to mobilize capital where it has been previously painfully absent.

To join in CIGP’s mission as a funder or a guarantee user, or to simply learn more, please visit www.guaranteepool.org.

About CIGP

Community Investment Guarantee Pool (CIGP) is a financing tool formed in December 2019 by a dozen impact investing organizations to create a pooled commitment of financial guarantees for intermediaries involved in affordable housing, small business, and climate lending. CIGP accelerates community investments by leveraging balance sheets for impact to make more and new types of community development transactions feasible. The initial guarantors that helped make CIGP possible include The Kresge FoundationThe Annie E. Casey FoundationThe California EndowmentChan Zuckerberg InitiativeCommonSpirit HealthGary Community InvestmentsJessie Ball duPont FundPhillips FoundationSeattle FoundationVirginia Community Capital and Weingart Foundation. Learn more about CIGP by watching this short video produced by The Kresge Foundation.

About LOCUS Impact Investing

The program manager for CIGP is LOCUS Impact Investing, a national social enterprise launched by Virginia Community Capital (a CDFI) to empower place-focused institutions to invest their capital locally to build prosperous, vibrant communities. LOCUS works with investors, underwriting guarantee commitments as well as monitoring and managing the portfolio for both impact and risk.