$20 Million Oregon Impact Fund Starts Making Investments

1/30/2018 Press Release

The Oregon Community Foundation (OCF) is proud to announce that it has successfully funded its Oregon Impact Fund. Combining $10 million in committed capital from 23 OCF donors with a $10 million matching investment from OCF’s endowment, the $20 million Oregon Impact Fund will invest in organizations around the state that have a quantifiable impact on job creation and retention in underserved communities, affordable housing, education, access to health care, and natural resource management. The first three investments from the Fund were executed in January: OCF is providing $2 million to Network for Oregon Affordable Housing in Portland, $1 million to Micro Enterprise Services of Oregon in Portland and $750,000 to Community presentation to community lending worksLending Works in Springfield.  All three organizations are Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs).

OCF announced the creation of the Fund last May and was pleased with donor response. Oregon Impact Fund donors, Dave and Christine Vernier, commented on the Fund, “We enjoy our ability to make grants through OCF and now we are able to support loans as well. Through the Oregon Impact Fund, more of OCF's endowment will be invested in Oregon's communities. Supporting the economy and job growth benefits everyone in the state.”

Building on a $3 million impact investing pilot in which OCF invested in eight organizations between 2014 and 2016, the Fund will invest primarily in intermediaries around the state. These intermediaries – CDFIs, Low Income Credit Unions, and other mission-driven investment funds – are vital infrastructure for Oregon, receiving capital from organizations like OCF and re-lending it to individuals, non-profits and businesses in a variety of sectors. Individual investments from the Oregon Impact Fund will range between $500,000 and $2 million and have terms of four to 10 years. OCF expects that it will take three years to fully deploy the Fund and is actively seeking investment opportunities.

The following donors and foundations are the leaders for this new endeavor at OCF:

Tom Bowerman, The Cabana Fund, Duncan and Cindy Campbell, Cynthia and Byron Grant, The Gray Family Foundation, Ned and Sis Hayes Family Fund, Headwaters Fund, Hollis Fund, Kelley Family Fund, Irving Levin and Stephanie Fowler, Lora and Jim Meyer, Meyer Memorial Trust, M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust, Tom and Chris Neilsen, Eric and Janet Parsons, Betsy Priddy Fund, Ross Family Fund, Robert and Barre Stoll, Dave and Christine Vernier, Hon. Randy Weisberg, JonMarc and Susan Weston, Womer Family Fund and the Wy’East Fund.

“This kind of investing is a natural complement to OCF’s role as a grant-maker and convener,” adds Director of Strategic Projects, Melissa Freeman. “We are pleased to have another way to help people around the state.”

For more information, visit oregoncf.org/oregon-impact-fund.