ImpactAlpha, March 11 – The Northwest Health Foundation has invested $1 million in a RBC Global Asset Management fixed-income fund targeting Oregon communities.
The commitment is part of a new collaboration between the Philanthropy Northwest association of more than two dozen foundations and RBC Global Asset Management to support homeownership, affordable housing, healthcare clinics, job creation and small business creation in a five-state region (Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington and Wyoming) in the northwest Unities States. RBC GAM’s fixed income community development fund invests in debt securities and other debt instruments that support community development lending in low- and moderate-income communities.
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“We were looking for ways to invest locally, but we didn’t want to start a whole new program or underwrite a complicated investment that is unfamiliar to us,” said Northwest Health Foundation’s Jason Hilton.
RBC GAM’s Access Capital Community Investment Fund has a more than 20 year track-record and more than $1 billion in assets under management across the U.S. The collaboration will allow the foundations to pool funds and target investments to their thematic and geographic interests. Pooled funds will allow the fund manager “to make bigger and broader commitments,” RBC GAM’sRon Homer told ImpactAlpha.
While the foundations are able target their investments, they’ll receive returns spread across the fund, says Homer. A separate community foundation has made an undisclosed commitments as part of the collaboration.
“RBC GAM’s impact investing strategies offer foundations of all sizes a low-barrier option to expand into impact investing in a way that directly supports their communities,” says Philanthropy Northwest’s Kiran Ahuja.
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Other community and geographically-targeted foundations are finding new ways to invest for impact locally. Last year, the Philadelphia Foundation teamed up with community development lender Reinvestment Fund to launch the PhilaImpact Fund to increase access to capital for schools, supermarkets, health care and housing projects with measurable impact in the Philadelphia region.
In Chicago, the MacArthur Foundation, Chicago Community Trust and Calvert Impact Capital teamed up to create Benefit Chicago, which has raised at least $95.5 million to invest in nonprofits and social enterprises in Chicago.