Mission Investors Exchange to Host Uplift America Webinar

Mission Investors Exchange will host a webinar called Unlocking Investment in Rural America: A Systemic Approach to Partnerships for Impact on Tuesday, December 13 at 2pm. 

From MIE's description: 

This webinar illustrates the leadership role that foundations can play in leveraging additional dollars for communities in need.

The efforts you will hear about in the creation of the Uplift America Fund are resulting in stronger local community infrastructure, reductions in poverty and access to almost $500 million in federal dollars that otherwise would have been left on the table.

  • Discover how foundations are playing a leadership role in leveraging capital for communities they care about.
  • Learn how a combination of grants, guarantees, and loans can work together to strengthen community development financial institutions (CDFIs) and their work in low-wealth regions and Native American communities.
  • Understand how this framework for multi-sector place-based solutions could be applied in your own community to facilitate funding for community projects such as schools, food banks, child care facilities and health clinics. 

Mission Investors Exchange will be live tweeting during the event. Follow @missioninvest and #UpliftAmerica on Twitter to participate in the conversation!

To register, click here

Moderator: 
Melanie Audette
Senior Vice President, Mission Investors Exchange
@melaudette
@missioninvest

Participants: 
Bill Bynum
CEO, Hope Enterprise Corporation
@HopeCUbill

 

Justin Maxson
Executive Director, Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation
@justindmaxson
@mrbf_org

Lisa Mensah
Under Secretary for Rural Development, United States Department of Agriculture
@usdaRD

This webinar is inspired by the dynamic sessions Private Capital for Public Good and A Tactical Guide to Harnessing Federal Resources for your Community at MIE's 2016 National Conference: Seizing the Momentum and is part of MIE's Forward Momentum series.

Uplift Fund and Community Facilities Loan Recipients Announced

  BEREA, Ky., Oct. 6, 2016 – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today unveiled an unprecedented collaboration with banks, philanthropic foundations and community development organizations. In partnership with the Uplift America initiative, USDA is providing $401 million in Community Facilities program funds to local lenders with track records of helping reduce poverty in some of the nation’s most isolated rural communities.

   “This effort builds on our commitment to lifting up the economic prospects of communities that have not benefited from the revitalization of rural America," said Vilsack. "By engaging with local and national partners, private-sector financial institutions and philanthropic organizations, USDA will inject a game-changing level of investment capital to reduce poverty in targeted rural areas where the capacity for growth has not been realized." 

   The long-term, low-interest financing available through Uplift has two unique features: Private financial institutions, primarily Bank of America, provide guarantees for the first five years of the loans. Recipient "relenders" are eligible for net-asset and capacity building grants from a $22 million fund pooled by seven philanthropic foundations: Bank of America, Ford, Heron, JP Morgan Chase, Mary Reynolds Babcock, Northwest Area and Winthrop Rockefeller. MRBF, which is managing the fund, views the partnership as an opportunity to target critical funding to underserved communities while strengthening experienced local lenders.

   “With vast expertise about the areas they serve, community development organizations are uniquely positioned to tailor place-based solutions,” said MRBF Executive Director Justin Maxson. “Grants from the Uplift America Fund enable these lenders to attract more federal dollars in the short term, while building their capacity to address rural economic challenges for the long term.”

   The CF loans may be used to build, acquire, maintain or renovate essential community facilities. They also can be used for capacity building and to finance community services, such as education, health care and infrastructure. Kentucky-based Community Ventures Corporation plans to use funding from Uplift to open a new office and launch the Build Appalachia Fund.

   “Hospitals and colleges are usually the biggest economic drivers in small Appalachian towns. If we can strengthen those facilities by helping them attract more students or serve more patients, it increases the economic vitality of those communities,” said CVC President Kevin Smith. “There are a lot of great ideas in rural communities that never get off the starting block, and through this program, we can make that happen.”

   The funding will allow South Carolina Community Loan Fund to boost lending in rural counties, many of which experience poverty levels of 20 to 30 percent.

   “The unique partnership that has been established through the Uplift America Fund and Community Facilities Relending Program will help us provide essential services and improve quality of life in low-income, rural communities by providing much-needed, long-term capital,” said Chief Executive Officer Michelle Mapp. “We look forward to continuing to increase the wealth and health of disinvested communities throughout the state.”

Fahe President and CEO Jim King and MRBF Executive Director Justin Maxson describe the benefits of the Uplift America partnership to rural communities. Fahe is one of 20 Uplift grant recipients and 26 Community Facilities Relending Program loan recipients. 

Fahe President and CEO Jim King and MRBF Executive Director Justin Maxson describe the benefits of the Uplift America partnership to rural communities. Fahe is one of 20 Uplift grant recipients and 26 Community Facilities Relending Program loan recipients. 

UA Recipients 2016 JPEG.jpg

Partners Gather in Washington to Launch Uplift America

Representatives from the USDA, Bank of America, the Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation, Prosperity Now, community development financial institutions and philanthropic partners launched the Uplift America partnership at USDA headquarters on July 19. 

USDA Under Secretary for Rural Development Lisa Mensah, MRBF Board President Dr. James Mitchell, USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack, MRBF Executive Director Justin Maxson, MRBF Communications Officer Susanna Hegner.

USDA Under Secretary for Rural Development Lisa Mensah, MRBF Board President Dr. James Mitchell, USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack, MRBF Executive Director Justin Maxson, MRBF Communications Officer Susanna Hegner.

USDA Expands Community Facilities Loan Program

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development office announced rule enhancements that make its Community Facilities Loan Program open to community lenders serving high-poverty rural areas. Under the new Community Facilities Relending Program, USDA can make long-term, low-cost, fixed-rate loans to “re-lenders,” who will re-loan the funds to develop essential community infrastructure in persistently poor areas.

Read the Federal Register notice.