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First $1.5M deployed to San Diego County nonprofits hit by COVID-19

by | Oct 5, 2020 | News

The San Diego Foundation Seeded Program with $5M Managed by Mission Driven Finance

(SAN DIEGO)—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 (SBNLP).

Launched by County of San Diego Supervisor Nathan Fletcher in collaboration with regional organizations, the SBNLP is designed to help the small businesses and nonprofits at the heart of our community weather the pandemic downturn by extending government and philanthropic resources.

The first two rounds of funding went to eight organizations: Angels Foster Family Network, Bayside Community Center, National Foundation for Autism Research, The New Children’s Museum, Rise Up Industries, the San Diego Habitat for Humanity, San Diego Health Connect, and Somali Family Service of San Diego.

Jeff Wiemann, the executive director of Angels Family Foster Network, said, “As a nonprofit, it has been crucial for us having Mission Driven Finance as a financial partner during the pandemic. The capital from the San Diego County COVID-19 Small Business & Nonprofit Loan Program and The San Diego Foundation has contributed to my confidence that we can continue offering essential services to children in foster care during this time.”

The group of SBNLP loan recipients represents a diverse range of services. Angels Foster Family Network connects children in foster care with loving families. Rise Up Industries offers job training and professional development to people who used to be involved with gangs. The National Foundation for Autism Research prepares young adults with autism for the workforce. The New Children’s Museum engages children and families with contemporary art. Bayside Community Center provides critical services to vulnerable Linda Vista residents. San Diego Habitat Humanity increases homeownership for families across the county. San Diego Health Connect enables healthcare stakeholders to share important health information. Somali Family Service of San Diego offers culturally appropriate services to refugees and immigrants who live in City Heights and East County.

“As our Machine Shop Social Enterprise customer base grows, we wanted capital to be ready to purchase equipment so that we can take on more customers and more types of projects,” says Jonathan Yackley, deputy executive director of Rise Up Industries. “The loan also added stability so that we can keep moving forward and enrolling more formerly incarcerated members in our Reentry Program in spite of COVID-19. Finally, this loan gave us the capital to generate more revenue, which helps Rise Up Industries become an increasingly sustainable and scalable nonprofit.”

“The capacity provided by the San Diego County COVID-19 Small Business & Nonprofit Loan Program enables The New Children’s Museum to continue serving the San Diego region with our robust outreach programs providing over 17,000 Think Play Create learning kits to Title I schools and community partners,” says Reed Vickerman, COO/CFO of The New Children’s Museum. “While the museum is temporarily closed, we are happy to be able to keep supporting thousands of families throughout the region with our focus on art, creativity, resilience, and hope.”

The loan amounts range from $150k to $300k, with loan terms ranging from 18 to 30 months. 

The nonprofits were selected based on a variety of factors: 501(c)3 status, an earned revenue stream aside from donations, and a clear need and use of funds due to COVID-19-induced setbacks. All of the nonprofits must serve residents in San Diego County.

“Even though we qualified for the second round of the Paycheck Protection Program, we were looking for additional funding that can go towards emergency purposes and keep our staff from being laid off or furloughed during the pandemic,” says Dr. Corey Pahanish, executive director of the Bayside Community Center. “This funding allows us to serve the increasing number of people in our community looking for food distributions, translation services, and other critical services.”

About Mission Driven Finance

Mission Driven Finance is an impact investment firm dedicated to building a financial system that ensures good businesses have access to sufficient, affordable capital. Built from the ground up with a single purpose—to make it easy to invest in your community—all our funds and structured products are designed to close financial gaps that will close opportunity gaps. We work with local and national investors to help them create the impact they want, and work with businesses and community partners to help them get the capital they need. Mission Driven Finance was launched in 2016 in San Diego, CA, and is a Certified B Corporation.

About The San Diego Foundation

The San Diego Foundation inspires enduring philanthropy and enables community solutions to improve quality of life in our region. For more than 45 years, The Foundation and its donors have granted more than $1.2 billion to support nonprofit organizations and strengthen the San Diego community. Learn more at SDFoundation.org and consider a donation to the San Diego COVID-19 Community Response Fund, helping nonprofits and San Diegans affected by the coronavirus pandemic. Visit sdfoundation.org for more information.

About the San Diego County COVID-19 Small Business & Nonprofit Loan Program

The San Diego County COVID-19 Small Business & Nonprofit Loan Program (SBNLP) is a collaborative initiative designed to provide low-to-no-interest loans to small businesses and nonprofit organizations and aid in the region’s economic recovery from the coronavirus. This loan program was launched by County of San Diego Supervisor Nathan Fletcher in collaboration with The San Diego Foundation, Mission Driven Finance, Accion Serving Southern California, the San Diego & Imperial Small Business Development Center Network, and the California Southern Small Business Development Corporation. Visit sandiegosbnlp.org for more information.


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