Ours To Own Campaign Launches at Clinton Global Initiative America

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With a “Five Cities by 2015” commitment, the Ours To Own Campaign allows local citizens to invest in the city they love.

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Through the Ours To Own campaign, local residents will play a central role in raising the critical, long-term capital needed to create positive change in their communities.

Today, the national launch of the Ours To Own campaign was announced at the Clinton Global Initiative America (CGI America) meeting in Denver, Colorado. The campaign aims to leverage the collective power of individuals’ small investments to support local businesses and redevelopment efforts in their own cities.

As part of the announcement, Calvert Foundation, the manager of the campaign, made a “five by ‘15” commitment to bring this platform to five U.S. cities by 2015. Calvert Foundation commits to raise more than $30 million from citizens that will be invested into their respective communities. The first two cities to launch under the national campaign are Denver and the Twin Cities. In each city, established community development institutions like Community Reinvestment Fund, USA (CRF) will lend to projects and local businesses that are positively impacting their communities.

In Denver, Calvert Foundation, together with partners Urban Land Conservancy (ULC), CRF, and the Colorado Enterprise Fund (CEF), will support equitable growth through community development projects and local small business lending. Calvert Foundation is also partnering with CRF in the Twin Cities to lend to small businesses in low-income neighborhoods that otherwise wouldn’t have access to financing.

In each metro area, every day Americans will be able to invest as little as $20 through Calvert Foundation’s Community Investment Note on Vested.org. Their collective investments will be pooled to provide the loan capital to the lending partners.

Calvert Foundation’s President and CEO Jennifer Pryce commented, "The name of the campaign, Ours To Own, really sums it up. It’s the idea that the places we live—our cities—are ours, and we have a stake in building the future we want. Through the Ours To Own campaign, local residents will play a central role in raising the critical, long-term capital needed to create positive change in their communities. This has truly been a collective effort. We’re grateful to be working with best-in-class community development partners like ULC, CEF, and CRF, with anchor investors PNC and Wells Fargo, and with the support of the Kresge Foundation nationally, as well as The Piton Foundation and The Colorado Health Foundation locally in Denver."

"This exciting partnership allows us to amplify our efforts to provide financing to underserved small businesses so they can grow and create jobs," said Frank Altman, President and CEO of CRF. "I am also thrilled that the minimum investment is $20 because it creates a way for a whole new audience to invest and make a difference in their own neighborhoods."

The Ours To Own campaign aims to serve as a model for more participatory community development. Through an accessible investment product, people living in communities can become agents of their own change.

The marketing strategy and campaign assets for Ours To Own were developed by Free Range Studios, a creative agency that helps organizations fulfill their missions through storytelling and media asset development. Calvert Foundation is working with Intridea and BancBox to develop Vested.org, an online platform where people will be able to invest in the Ours To Own campaign starting at $20.


About Calvert Foundation

Calvert Foundation enables people to invest for social good. Through its flagship Community Investment Note, Calvert Foundation has raised $1 billion in investment from more than 13,000 investors to invest in hundreds of nonprofits and social enterprises worldwide. Investor dollars empower women, fund the construction of affordable housing, provide loans to small business owners, increase access to healthcare, and support fair trade and sustainable agriculture. You can learn more at http://www.calvertfoundation.org and invest at http://www.vested.org.

About Clinton Global Initiative America

The Clinton Global Initiative America (CGI America), a program of the Clinton Global Initiative, addresses economic recovery in the United States. Established in June 2011 by President Bill Clinton, 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 over 300 commitments valued at more than $15 billion when fully funded and implemented. To learn more, visit http://www.cgiamerica.org.

Established in 2005 by President Bill Clinton, the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI), an initiative of the Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation, convenes global leaders year-round and at its Annual Meeting to create and implement solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges. CGI also convenes CGI University, which brings together undergraduate and graduate students to address pressing challenges in their communities and around the world. To date, members of the CGI community have made more than 2,800 Commitments to Action, which are already improving the lives of more than 430 million people in over 180 countries. When fully funded and implemented, these commitments will be valued at $103 billion. For more information, visit clintonglobalinitiative.org and follow us on Twitter @ClintonGlobal and Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/clintonglobalinitiative.

About CRF

CRF, a nonprofit organization and certified Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), is a national leader in bringing capital to underserved areas. Since 1988, CRF has injected more than $1.5 billion into low-income and economically disadvantaged communities around the country to help stimulate job creation and economic development, provide affordable housing, and support community facilities. For more information, http://www.crfusa.com.

About Urban Land Conservancy

ULC is a nonprofit real estate organization that invests in properties as a tool to benefit urban communities in the Denver region. ULC strategically preserves and develops real estate including nonprofit office space, community centers, schools and affordable housing. http://www.urbanlandc.org.

About Colorado Enterprise Fund

Colorado Enterprise Fund (CEF) is a community development financial institution (CDFI) that provides funding, training and resources to help small businesses succeed and their communities thrive. Founded in1976, in partnership with banks, foundations, government agencies and industry leaders, CEF offers loans to start-ups and small businesses unable to secure traditional bank financing. Colorado’s top nonprofit lending institution, CEF has provided over $34 million in loans to more than 1400 businesses, to help create or retain over 8700 jobs in Colorado. To learn more about CEF, visit: http://www.coloradoenterprisefund.org.

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