Don Hinkle-Brown, the guest author, is president and CEO of Reinvestment Fund.
Late last month, we had the pleasure of announcing a new place-based impact investment opportunity targeted to the greater Philadelphia region. The fund—PhilaImpact Fund—is believed to be a first-of-its-kind collaboration between a community foundation, The Philadelphia Foundation, and a CDFI, Reinvestment Fund.
PhilaImpact Fund gives individual and institutional investors the opportunity to channel their capital into neighborhood development projects that support regional growth and local initiatives in the communities that need them the most. It is a fixed income product that will put 100 percent of investments toward enhancing the growth of Philadelphia and the surrounding counties—Chester, Montgomery, Bucks, Delaware, Camden and Burlington. Investors can invest through The Philadelphia Foundation or Reinvestment Fund—options that give investors the opportunity to optimize portfolio, tax management, and ongoing community support strategies.
We expect to grow the fund to $30 million in capital that will be deployed into a range of community development projects serving critical needs for people across the region—promoting housing stability for low-income families, better health outcomes, higher educational attainment, greater access to fresh, healthy food, and more.
Both The Philadelphia Foundation and Reinvestment Fund, two leading Philadelphia organizations with more than a century of combined experience serving local communities, have each committed $5 million toward the fund. For The Philadelphia Foundation, the $5 million commitment is the largest impact investment from its endowment and the first investment in a CDFI.
For Reinvestment Fund, the PhilaImpact Fund provides an opportunity to reaffirm our commitment to our hometown, where we were founded more than 30 years ago. So much of our growth over the years has been fueled by innovations we first applied in Philadelphia. The very first supermarket we financed more than a decade ago is in Philadelphia. Today, we are national leaders in financing healthy food access in underserved communities and have provided more than $300 million in financing in that sector alone.
The PhilaImpact Fund will channel capital to neighborhood revitalization projects identified and underwritten by Reinvestment Fund. We have maintained a robust and ever-growing pipeline of investable projects in Philadelphia over the years. In 2017 alone, Reinvestment Fund provided $62 million in financing to projects in the greater Philadelphia region.
Investors in the PhilaImpact Fund can expect to support projects that create concrete, local impact such as these examples from Reinvestment Fund’s 2017 investments:
- Brown’s Fresh Grocer at Monument Road – Our financing for this project helped renovate a former Pathmark store in a USDA Low-Income, Low Access area. The new supermarket sits in the Wynnefield Heights neighborhood, an area with a median family income of 62.5% of AMI and a 20% poverty rate. Operated by Brown’s Super Stores, the 57,000-square-foot full-service store has a large emphasis on providing fresh products at low prices. The store created at least 157 jobs, of which 25% were former Pathmark employees who had lost their jobs in the A&P bankruptcy.
- Roberto Clemente Homes -- Reinvestment Fund financing is supporting the adaptive reuse of the former Roberto Clemente Middle School in the Hunting Park section of North Philadelphia to create affordable housing and commercial space. Developed by Nueva Esperanza, Inc., the finished building will house 38 apartments and a 5,500-square-foot ground floor commercial space. All units will be affordable to individuals earning below 60% AMI. The building will also include a community room and a playground. The project builds on the Hunting Park Strategic Plan 2022, which prioritizes investments on the 5th Street commercial corridor. The project is one block south of the main section of the corridor, and will help stabilize and extend it by rehabilitating the vacant school, bringing new residents to the street, and creating a new commercial space.
- ChesPenn Health Services – ChesPenn is the only Federally Qualified Health Center serving Delaware County and its largest city, Chester. Reinvestment Fund financing supported renovations to its Eastside health center. Twenty-three percent of the families in the Eastside neighborhood live in poverty. ChesPenn serves over 18,000 patients annually, of which 81% have incomes at or below 100% of the Federal poverty level. ChesPenn primarily provides services to patients who are on Medicaid/CHIP, Medicare or are uninsured. Its Eastside clinic provides medical and dental services. With the expansion, the center added five rooms. The facility also includes a pharmacy. The area served by the health center is designated as a Medically Underserved Area.
With the PhilaImpact Fund, investors can be a source for good in their communities, supporting local projects that deliver tangible results and positive social impact. Investors can invest into the PhilaImpact Fund through The Philadelphia Foundation’s tax-deductible Donor Advised Fund (DAF) or a promissory note offering through Reinvestment Fund. The DAF offers a tax advantage for those seeking to make impact investments with their principal while retaining the earnings to support grantmaking. When the investment matures, the principal is repaid to the DAF and will be available for reinvestment or community grants. The promissory note option is taxable but offers the opportunity to earn annual interest and the full return of principal to the investor at the end of the investment term.
To learn more about the promissory note offering, contact Reinvestment Fund (215-574-5819 or firstname.lastname@example.org). To participate in its Donor Advised Funds, contact The Philadelphia Foundation (215-563-6417 or email@example.com).