February 2021 Newsletter

Opening the Gates

Practical Observations on Equity in Due Diligence
Part and parcel of any philanthropic local investing practice is due diligence: the process of determining whether a deal can meet an organization’s risk, return, and community impact expectations. However, vital as it is for any foundation's local investing program, philanthropy’s relative “newness” to the practice frequently results in a default to standard assumptions and paradigms about what constitutes a viable transaction - the same paradigms that historically exclude black and indigenous people of color. This month, we examine due diligence and how foundations interested in creating equitable prosperity can reimagine the practice into an instrument grounded in equity values. Read More


What is Local Impact Investing?

We at LOCUS talk a lot about how local impact investing is an accelerating practice among foundations seeking to fill capital gaps in the communities they serve. But what exactly is local impact investing? To answer that question, we produced a brief video on the topic. Click below for an explanation of local investing and how foundations are leveraging the practice to make a difference.

Philanthropies Explore Community
Development in Kansas


In the coming month, the LOCUS team will hold the second of four gatherings of the 2020-202 Kansas Community Philanthropy Innovators Network (CPIN). Community foundations in the network participate alongside community and economic development institutions in a series of convenings exploring prosperity-focused economic development strategies, including local impact investing. Network members McPherson County Community Foundation, Solomon Valley Community Foundation, and the Community Foundation of Dickinson County are exploring efforts around high-quality childcare, youth and resident retention, and downtown revitalization/entrepreneurship.

The Kansas network is a partnership between LOCUS, the 
Aspen Institute Community Strategies Group, and NetWork Kansas with support from the Kansas Health Foundation. To learn more about this initiative and LOCUS’ efforts to develop mission-aligned local impact investing strategies with community foundations, reach out to Travis Green.

Supporting Food Infrastructure in
Central Appalachia


LOCUS' Opportunity Virginia was recently selected to create an investment prospectus for Blue Ridge Plateau Initiative (BRPI), an organization creating an infrastructure for delivering food and other products in Central Appalachia. Grayson County, VA, where BRPI is located, received a grant for this work from Virginia Governor Northam's AFID Fund, which is funded in part by Opportunity Appalachia.
News from the Field
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