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Now is the time to try philanthropic investing

In a nutshell, the federal government built temporary tax incentives into the CARES Act to urge Americans to make charitable contributions in 2020 and support our neighbors. For those who are in a position to give or do impact investing, there’s no time like the present.

First $1.5M Deployed to San Diego County Nonprofits Hit by COVID-19

San Diego-based impact investment fund manager Mission Driven Finance has deployed $1.5M in loans to San Diego County nonprofits that have been impacted by COVID-19, thanks to $5M in seed funding from The San Diego Foundation as part of the San Diego County COVID-19 Small Business & Nonprofit Loan Program.

Real Estate for Early Care & Education: A Promising Venture

We’re honored to share that David—along with early care and education expert Laura Kohn and community finance fellow Essence Rodriguez—has joined the 2020 cohort of the Promising Ventures Fellowship to explore using real estate and finance to improve access to quality early child care.

Why I invest: Laura Galinson

Meet Laura Galinson, director of community relations at Mission Driven Finance and a dedicated philanthropist. Laura has worn an impressive number of hats, from a world-traveling and award-winning Associated Press photographer to a publicist at Harper Collins. Laura explains, “Even though I’ve had very different roles, my work has always been rooted in being a connector and changemaker.”

Blended Capital for Immigration Bonds: Introducing the Freedom100 Fund

Recently, our Co-founder and Chief Community Officer Lauren Grattan, and Freedom for Immigrants Co-founder and Co-executive Director Christina Mansfield spoke with Morgan Simon of Candide Group in Forbes.com to discuss why they launched the Freedom100 Fund—and how it’s a vital tool for investors and activists to join the fight for immigrant freedom.

Our commitments to being anti-racist

As a financial services firm, we must address long-held racist beliefs in the world of finance and commit to doing better. Here’s how we are working on it.

I am a White man. I must do more to fight systemic racism.

The best anti-racism advice I’ve gotten so far is from my teammate Louise Jordan: Whatever we do, we have to stop recreating the same narrative. Unfortunately, many of the actions we White people take end up reinforcing existing power dynamics and telling the same, false story—that Black people and people of color have inherent risk and problems and that White people must “save” them from themselves. 

Community Finance Fellowship: Learning to Use Finance as a Tool for Change in a Time of Action

The inaugural cohort of Community Finance Fellows—Louise Jordan, Andrew Moncada, Benson Ochira, Essence Rodriguez, Crystal Sevilla— impress and inspire us every day and it’s not fair to keep their wisdom to ourselves. So we invited them to share their thoughts on how finance can invoke true racial and economic justice. The fellows’ perspectives and lived experiences give us invaluable insight into how we can use finance as a tool for real impact.

Building a New, More Equitable Normal for Small Business and Nonprofits

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted and exacerbated the effects of centuries of racist policies. If we don’t act fast, this crisis will rob our communities of vibrancy, diversity, and strength for many generations to come. The current global recognition of the deep roots of racism reinforces how critical it is to use all the tools in one’s toolbox to advance racial justice. As such, finance can and should be used as a tool for change in advancing economic and health equity in our communities. Together, we can turn the tide.

Fighting for Immigrant Rights During COVID-19

During times of crisis, it’s even more critical to uphold our values and stand up for those who are denied the right to stand up for themselves. Join our fight for immigrant rights by joining the Freedom100 Circle, a one-year commitment where members engage with Freedom for Immigrants and Mission Driven Finance to launch and grow our Freedom100 Bond Fund, while educating the public about the U.S. immigration detention system and community-based alternatives to detention.

How the Community Finance Fellows are learning during a pandemic

While sheltering-in-place during a pandemic, we welcomed five Community Finance Fellows to our team in March to begin learning in a virtual environment: Louise Jordan, a renewed San Diegan with a legal background who moved back from Virginia to join us; Andrew Moncada, a financial analyst from Florida who wants to run his own impact investment firm one day; Benson Ochira, a refugee from Uganda with a degree in business management; Essence Rodriguez, an undergrad research fellow with the U.S. Immigration Policy Center; and Crystal Sevilla, an executive assistant from San Diego with a deep interest in economics and finance. See how they are learning during a pandemic.

Small Businesses & Nonprofits Respond to COVID-19

The COVID-19 crisis has forced small businesses and nonprofits around the world, including our Advance borrowers, to forget business as usual and respond in creative ways to best serve their community and survive—quickly. From delivering essential household goods and locally sourced food to staying connected with families by livestreaming nature walks, these businesses and organizations demonstrate the flexibility, resilience, and heart that make small businesses critical for communities to thrive.

Finding the way back through evidence-based holistic treatment

The Way Back uses trauma-informed care in its client activities—clinical groups, education groups, mindfulness meditation, relapse prevention groups, codependency groups, anger management, emotional regulation, and individual psychotherapy. “We are training men to be better fathers, better husbands, better employees, to stay out of prison, to work, to communicate,” says The Way Back Executive Director Chris Thomas, a licensed therapist who has been sober for 25 years. “Men are an important part of family structure, and addiction is a family disease.”

COVID-19 Letter to Borrowers

We’re sharing with you—our community—the same message for small businesses and nonprofits that we provided to our active borrowers. During this challenging time, stay true to your values and support each other. None of us will come out of this unchanged. See our COVID-19 resources for small businesses and nonprofits.

AdvanceHER: Unlocking Opportunities for Women and Girls in San Diego and Abroad

In our quest to increase economic opportunity for underestimated groups, we knew we’d want to emphasize supporting women and girls. With a diverse and largely female team, empowering more women has always felt natural to us. We’ve long wanted to connect the resources and needs of our community in new intentional ways that make a real impact on gender inequality.

Mission Driven Finance Selected as an ImpactAssets 50 2020 Emerging Impact Manager

Mission Driven Finance has been named as an Emerging Impact Manager in ImpactAssets’ IA50 2020, a publicly available, online database for impact investors, family offices, financial advisors and institutional investors that features a diversified listing of private capital fund managers that deliver social and environmental impact as well as financial returns. The new IA 50 Emerging Impact Manager category spotlights newer fund managers that demonstrate potential to create meaningful impact. “We are honored to be selected for inclusion in the new Emerging category, especially among such distinguished firms,” said Mission Driven Finance CEO David Lynn.

Support Local Black-owned businesses in San Diego and watch our communities thrive

The best way to celebrate Black History Month this year? Shop at local Black-owned small businesses. Economic power is the fundamental building block of healthy and thriving communities. With it, communities flourish—with improved health outcomes, educational opportunities, and the accumulation of wealth to support health and happiness for many generations to come.

5 Things to Know About Impact-Based Loans

If your business is too big for microfinance and SBA loan but too small for traditional banks, our impact-based loans can fill the gap.

Our team reflects on 2019 and looks forward to 2020

We’re striving for progress, not perfection “Be a bush if you can’t be a tree. If you can’t be a highway, just be a trail. If you can’t be a sun, be a star. For it isn’t by size that you win or fail. Be the best of whatever you are.” Dr. Martin Luther King,…

The fight for immigrant & new american rights

What is the price of freedom? When Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his iconic “I Have a Dream” speech at the Washington Monument, he saw a country seared with painful injustices and hate. But he also recognized the great potential for equality, love, and freedom. Now more than 45 years later, how are we…

San Diego local & impactful shopping guide

Shop these eight impactful San Diego businesses for all your gift-giving needs Are you still finishing your holiday shopping list? Don’t worry, we waited until the last minute, too. Luckily, these local San Diego businesses are here to save the day. The following handpicked businesses are sure to satisfy everyone on your list while supporting…

Changing the face of finance through the Community Finance Fellowship

To build an inclusive economy, we must transform the world of finance. Communities need good businesses, and good businesses need access to affordable capital. But our financial systems, structures, and policies have restricted access to capital and opportunity—whether intentionally or not. We believe the lack of diversity in finance perpetuates unequal access to capital and…

Making Funding Accessible in the Asian Pacific Islander (API) Community

AdvanceAPI: A Partnership with the Asian Business Association of San Diego Doing your taxes. Buying a house. Raising a family. Some things are, by nature, challenging. Entrepreneurs in underestimated communities would also add finding investors and accessing startup capital to this list. As an entrepreneur, sourcing start-up capital can be time-consuming. Add in the factor of…

Introducing the Community Finance Fellowship

Changing the Face of Finance One of the fairy godmothers of impact investing Morgan Simon likes to say, “Don’t let perfect be the enemy of good—we all know that one. But also, don’t let good be the enemy of perfect. Keep striving to do better.” We take that advice to heart. We started with a…

B Corp: Best For the World Honoree

A year ago, nonprofit B Lab certified Mission Driven Finance as a B Corporation—akin to organic or fair trade certification but for our whole company. We were delighted to join the B Corp movement with other folks using business as a force for good. Certified B Corporations are businesses that meet the highest standards of…

Why I invest in community: Kara Ballester, impact investor and philanthropist

As lead investors in our Homebuilding Investment Fund, Kara Ballester and her husband Andy were instrumental in jumpstarting our efforts to accelerate affordable housing with San Diego Habitat for Humanity. We wanted to know—what motivated Kara to invest in affordable homeownership, and what has her experience with impact investing been like? We like to kick…

Closing education gaps with creative capital

How Advance borrower Bethany Chaffin used creative capital to enrich the lives of more students in North County San Diego When we first met Bethany Chaffin, director of the education enrichment center Friends of Willow Tree, in 2018 she faced a challenging capital gap. Friends of Willow Tree needed a loan ahead of private and…

How Can We Make Investing in Our Community a Great Investment? Flip the Traditional Finance Model on Its Head.

When we first launched Mission Driven Finance, we developed the Advance Fund with one primary question in mind: how can we make investing in our community a great investment?  The answer we found is to reimagine and reinvent finance to put the community’s needs first. We discovered incredible businesses and nonprofits committed to their communities…

Developing Community with Creative Capital

How Advance borrower Kris Schlesser Uses Creative Capital to strengthen community When we first met Kris Schlesser, founder of LuckyBolt, he was six years into a quest to make the perfect breakfast burrito easily accessible to professionals on the go. He had been financing the business with high-interest credit cards and microloans. Though he had…

SPECTRUM reflections on expanding the impact economy

Building an inclusive, expansive economy is a daily practice. This work happens through big commitments and small actions as well. Prompted by Spectrum‘s conference moderator, Nadia Brigham, to find a partner for a listening exercise, a Black woman of a similar age to me a few rows up turned to scan the area and made…

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