Community loan funds invest billions of dollars in people, businesses, and communities.
Denver, CO (PRWEB) June 09, 2015
Today at the fifth annual Clinton Global Initiative America (CGI America) meeting, Aeris—the ratings and information service for community investors—announced a CGI America Commitment to Action to define and collect standardized data on the impacts of community loan funds in the U.S.
Community loan funds are social-purpose, typically nonprofit, financial institutions that provide loans in underserved communities. The loans they make benefit low-income families, women, the environment, and small businesses, to name a few. While community loan funds have a 30+ year track record of successfully lending in underserved areas, investors and other stakeholders have struggled to quantify the social impacts of those loans. Aeris expects to be collecting data from 250 loan funds by 2018.
Joining Aeris is the Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN), which will serve as a liaison to the growing world of impact-motivated investors, many of which are increasingly interested in making local investments in their communities. Other partners include the Ford Foundation, The Annie E. Casey Foundation, and MetLife Foundation, each of which is providing philanthropic support for the project.
"Community loan funds invest billions of dollars in people, businesses, and communities,” said Paige Chapel, President & CEO of Aeris. “Our goal is to standardize a set of meaningful metrics that can be aggregated to provide investors and stakeholders a clearer picture of the impact these funds are achieving."
"There is a growing number of investors in the U.S. and around the world that are interested in creating a measurable impact in communities using their investment capital,” said Ellen Carey, IRIS Standards Manager at the Global Impact Investing Network. “By collecting robust and standardized data on the impact of those dollars, investors can not only enhance their own decision-making, but also build the credibility and evidence base of the industry."
"Community loan funds are becoming increasingly sophisticated in managing financial performance and risk," said Tracy Kartye, Director of Social Investments at the Annie E. Casey Foundation. "We are pleased to support continued innovation that strengthens their ability to measure and report social impact performance. Robust impact data will help investors such as our Foundation better understand how our capital stimulates solutions to the issues we care about; in our case, strengthening families and communities and providing access to opportunity.”
"MetLife and MetLife Foundation have been longtime supporters of community loan funds, through both investment capital and philanthropic support," said Dennis White, President & CEO, MetLife Foundation. "We think that this project has the potential to strengthen the relationship between loan funds and their investors—ultimately improving access to financial products and services in low-income communities."
The project represents the next phase in Aeris’ efforts to increase the standardization and transparency of community loan funds. In 2014, Aeris announced the launch of the Aeris Cloud, which for the first time gives investors access to standardized, GAAP-compliant financial performance data on loan funds. The Aeris Cloud was created with lead funding support from the Citi Foundation, and will provide a technology platform for aggregating the social impact data collected in a later phase of the project that Aeris announced today.
Aeris guides capital to good. We are the information service for community investors who champion economic justice in underserved markets. Since 2004, Aeris has provided ratings, data, and advisory services that support investment in community development financial institutions (CDFIs). Our proprietary CDFI ratings tool (formerly known as CARS®) helps investors evaluate opportunities that meet their impact goals and risk parameters. More than 60 of the nation’s leading community investors subscribe to Aeris’ ratings and data products. Learn more at http://www.aerisinsight.com.
About the GIIN
The Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to increasing the scale and effectiveness of impact investing. Impact investments are investments made into companies, organizations, and funds with the intention to generate measurable social and environmental impact alongside a financial return. IRIS, an initiative of the GIIN, is a catalog of generally-accepted performance metrics that can be used by the impact investing community to measure social, environmental, and financial performance. For more information, please visit iris.thegiin.org and http://www.thegiin.org.
About the Ford Foundation
The Ford Foundation is an independent, nonprofit grant-making organization. For more than 75 years it has worked with courageous people on the frontlines of social change worldwide, guided by its mission to strengthen democratic values, reduce poverty and injustice, promote international cooperation, and advance human achievement. With headquarters in New York, the foundation has offices in Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia.
About the Annie E. Casey Foundation
The Annie E. Casey Foundation creates a brighter future for the nation’s children by developing solutions to strengthen families, build paths to economic opportunity and transform struggling communities into safer and healthier places to live, work and grow. For more information, visit http://www.aecf.org.
About MetLife Foundation
MetLife Foundation was created in 1976 to continue MetLife’s long tradition of corporate contributions and community involvement. Since its founding through the end of 2014, MetLife Foundation has provided more than $650 million in grants and $70 million in program-related investments to organizations addressing issues that have a positive impact in their communities. Today, the Foundation is dedicated to advancing financial inclusion, committing $200 million to help build a secure future for individuals and communities around the world. For more information, please visit http://www.metlife.com/metlife-foundation/
About CGI America
The Clinton Global Initiative (CGI), an initiative of the Clinton Foundation, convenes global leaders to create and implement solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges. Established in June 2011 by President Bill Clinton, the Clinton Global Initiative America (CGI America) addresses economic recovery in the United States. CGI America brings together leaders in business, government, and civil society to generate and implement commitments to create jobs, stimulate economic growth, foster innovation, and support workforce development in the United States. Since its first meeting, CGI America participants have made more than 400 commitments, which have improved the lives of nearly 1.4 million people.
CGI also convenes an Annual Meeting, which brings together global leaders to take action and create positive social change, CGI University (CGI U), which brings together undergraduate and graduate students to address pressing challenges in their community or around the world, and, this year, CGI will also convene CGI Middle East & Africa, which will bring together leaders across sectors to take action on pressing social, economic, and environmental challenges. For more information, visit clintonglobalinitiative.org and follow us on Twitter @ClintonGlobal and Facebook at facebook.com/clintonglobalinitiative.