Dealflow | September 6, 2022

Equitable Facilities Fund closes $230 million in social bonds for underserved charter schools

Roodgally Senatus
ImpactAlpha Editor

Roodgally Senatus

ImpactAlpha, September 6 — The New York-based nonprofit social impact fund aims to lower funding costs for high-performing and impact public charter schools in U.S. low-income communities.

Since it was launched in 2017, through a partnership with Walton Family Foundation, Equitable has deployed $800 million in facility loans to 120 schools in 19 states, helping school borrowers more than $160 million, Equitable says. Proceeds will be used to expand the fund’s portfolio of borrowers.

Equitable’s current portfolio serves more than 60,000 students, eight out of 10 of whom are from economically disadvantaged backgrounds and identify as people of color. “Our portfolio schools are transforming communities,” said Equitable’s Anand Kesavan. “It’s now clear that investors also see this value.”

Innovative finance

Equitable uses a blended philanthropy model that combines donor funds with low-cost debt to fund its loans. The nonprofit secured $300 million late last year to deploy $100 million a year for five years to public charter leaders of color in underserved communities.

Equitable says it is looking to raise $200 million for a second fund to deploy more than $2.5 billion in loans by 2027. In Texas, Equitable has secured $20 million from foundations to leverage more than $200 million in school financing in the state.