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Community Foundation to Invest $1 Million in Local Businesses and Nonprofits

[Photo credit: Courtney Kent Photography // Image description: Two local residents sitting and having drinks at an umbrella-shaded picnic table at Earthen Ales in Traverse City.]

The Grand Traverse Regional Community Foundation will begin investing $1 million from its endowment portfolio in local businesses and nonprofit organizations through a new impact investing strategy with Venture North and Northern Initiatives that will help achieve both a social and financial return.

Venture North and Northern Initiatives are Community Development Finance Institutions (CDFIs) that provide credit and financial services to underserved markets and communities. Both organization will be deploying the Community Foundation’s capital in the five-county region and use the economic, societal and environmental goals of the Northwest Michigan Community Development Coalition, which the Foundation convenes, in making their investment decisions.

“Impact investing, also known as Program Related Investing, is an important tool to help expand our sources of community impact beyond grantmaking,” said David Mengebier, President and CEO of the Community Foundation.  “It also allows us to strengthen the local economy and small business network, which are both critical to regional vitality.”

Eventually, the Community Foundation will invest an additional $1 million as part of its collaborative impact investing strategy.