Impact Investing

Through an impact investment strategy, the Foundation invests in companies, organizations, or funds that generate a beneficial social return alongside a financial return. The Foundation prioritizes projects that support entrepreneurship and small businesses, workforce development and community infrastructure and placemaking that align with our core values.

For more information about impact investing, call 501-372-1116.

Learn how to invest in opportunity for Arkansas AND make a financial return.

Recent examples of Impact Investing at the Community Foundation:
  • A 2020 loan to HOPE Credit Union enabled the CDFI to make micro-loans to Arkansas credit union members who were experiencing financial hardship due to the pandemic. The loans are intended to be credit-building only: when borrowers successfully complete loan payments, HOPE will report a positive credit event. If a borrower is unable to fully repay the loan, a loan-loss reserve fund also supported by the Foundation will cover the gap, avoiding a negative credit event for the borrower.
  • A loan to PeopleTrust Community Loan Fund enabled the CDFI to accelerate the pace of lending through the Paycheck Protection Program.
  • A loan to PYT Funds will help the start-up Black-owned fintech company provide last-mile college loans to students at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, using a nontraditional underwriting model that does not require the student to have a credit history or co-signer. These loans are aimed at increasing the likelihood of degree completion for students who have exhausted their available federal financial aid.
  • A loan to FORGE Community Loan Fund will support the Imani Fund, a lending pool that will pilot an alternative underwriting model to unlock capital for Black-owned businesses. Through the program, borrowers will receive technical assistance and entrepreneurship support, in addition to low-interest financing.

Read our investment pool policies.