NFF Dollars at Work
Get to know our many financing partners on the road to a more just and vibrant society.
Memphis Business Academy: New site for Memphis STEM Academy to serve more students in a state-of-the-art facility
Memphis Business Academy (MBA), a charter school organization that serves over 1,800 students across six schools in Frayser, has a mission to ensure the high academic achievement of local students and help them develop the knowledge, skills, and dispositions that will set them up for success both in and out of the classroom. MBA’s latest project to expand access to education in the community is a new building for Memphis STEM Academy, a school with 230 students that currently operates in a small rented space. The new facility, Harmony Plaza, will allow the school to expand from K-3 to K-5, and offer new classrooms, state-of-the-art labs, a multipurpose room, a library, and offices. NFF provided a nearly $4.5-million loan to help finance the $14-million project. The new school building is expected to open in the fall of 2020.
Abode Communities: pre-development financing to support development pipeline of nearly 600 homes
RISE Prep Mayoral Academy: complete renovation to expand a school in Rhode Island
$4.6 million in financing
RISE Prep Mayoral Academy believes that college begins in kindergarten and that every class of new scholars offers an opportunity to prove that demographics do not determine destiny. With a culture that celebrates joy as well as rigor, RISE Prep’s school days are two hours longer than traditional public schools so that students get ample instructional time to perform their best. RISE Prep is building a new facility, which will serve as the school’s permanent home and allow for expansion to serve grades K-8. In collaboration with another investor, NFF provided $3.3 million to RISE Prep in 2017 toward the initial $6.6-million building project, and most recently provided $1.3 million to support a second phase of renovation. With the renovation, the total development costs are $9.2 million.
Memphis Rise Academy: Build a permanent middle school and gymnasium
Memphis Rise Academy (MRA) opened its doors in 2014. It's the top performing K-8 charter school in its district and currently operates a middle and high school in Memphis' Raleigh neighborhood. The school serves a proportionately higher number of Latinx students than its school district and partners, with local organizations providing support supports for MRA's students and families. The middle school currently operates out of modular classrooms and will use financing from NFF and other co-investors to build a permanent middle school addition and gym to its high school campus. Given the school’s academic success, there has been an increase in popularity as seen by the 467 students on the waitlist. MRA currently serves sixth through tenth grades, and by 2020-21, MRA will have a full enrollment of 768 students in grades six through 12.
Co-investor: BlueHub Capital
Green Dot Public Schools TN: add more high school classrooms in Memphis
$1.65-million construction loan
Green Dot Public Schools is a high-performing charter school management organization with regional networks in California and Tennessee. Green Dot has a strong history of turning around under-performing schools in CA and expanded in TN by taking over four under-performing schools. Green Dot’s TN network recently opened its first independent startup school in Memphis, Bluff City High School. In 2018, NFF provided a $1.5- million loan to build modular classrooms for ninth and tenth graders at Bluff City High School. This latest round of financing will help Bluff City build additional classrooms so they can accommodate the addition of 11th and 12th grade students. The school will add a new grade each year with a total of 640 at full enrollment.
Co-investor: BlueHub Capital
Little Tokyo Service Center: community and social service programs for people in LA's Little Tokyo neighborhood
$500,000 participation in a $1.5-million predevelopment loan
Little Tokyo Service Center (LTSC) was founded in 1979 by a group of Japanese American activists as a multi-purpose social service center in Los Angeles. When local residents were being evicted to make way for private development, LTSC began advocating for the housing rights of low-income individuals, leading to the establishment of a community development arm in 1994. Today, LTSC offers over a dozen community and social service programs, serving tens of thousands of people annually, and operates nearly 1,000 units of affordable housing. NFF’s $500,000 participation in a $1.5-million predevelopment loan led by Low Income Investment Fund will support LTSC through the initial process of constructing 120 units of affordable housing – half of which will be supportive housing – and 13,000 square feet of community services space in the Little Tokyo neighborhood.
Community Connections for Youth: community-based resources in Harlem for youth involved with the justice system
$1-million line of credit
Community Connections for Youth (CCFY) brings together grassroots faith and neighborhood organizations to develop community-driven alternatives to incarceration for youth in the Bronx, using an approach that is restorative and strengths-based and that links young people, their communities, and their families in the juvenile justice reform process. In 2017, CCFY was awarded a 5-year, $10.3-million contract from the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, through the Criminal Justice Investment Initiative, to operate a “Youth Opportunity Hub” in Harlem. The hub gathers community-based organizations under one roof to provide a range of resources, services, and activities to support youth who have been involved or are at risk of involvement with the justice system. NFF’s $1-million line of credit will be used to prevent cash shortages as CCFY awaits reimbursement for this work and payments from other government contracts.
The Ali Forney Center: supportive services for LGBTQ youth in New York
$1.5-million line of credit
Make the Road New York: new community center in Queens
$10 million in NMTC allocation and $5 million in loans from NFF
TechSoup: expanding technical solutions for the nonprofit sector
Community Foods Market: fighting Food Insecurity in Oakland
$1.5-million loan to build a full-service grocery store in food desert
Rubicon Programs: start-up financing for affiliated social enterprise
$940,000 in loans
Callen-Lorde Community Health Center: expanding healthcare services for LGBTQ individuals in Brooklyn
Callen-Lorde is a Federally Qualified Health Center that provides healthcare and related services to LGBTQ communities. It currently operates three locations in New York City, two in Manhattan and one in the Bronx, but demand continues to rise. With financing from NFF and other partners in a leveraged New Markets Tax Credit structure, Callen-Lorde will establish a new health center in Downtown Brooklyn. The $19-million project will create a 25,000-square-foot space to provide primary medical care and behavioral health services and an onsite pharmacy. At full capacity, by 2023, the Brooklyn site is expected to serve 13,000 patients through 60,000 visits and will employ 98 full-time employees. More than 90% of patients are estimated to be low-income. Callen-Lorde has been an NFF client since 1996.
WHEDco: renovate a multi-use facility in the Bronx
$2.5-million bridge loan
Housing Works: financing for new outpatient healthcare center in Manhattan’s Hell’s Kitchen, and support for two existing social enterprises
$4.1 million in loans and a line of credit
Gestalt Community Schools: complete a centralized education campus in Memphis
$2.9-million loan to transform a shopping center into two schools
Rio Hondo Education Consortium: afterschool and summer programs for underserved students in California
$1-million line of credit
Rio Hondo Education Consortium (dba LEARN) provides 5,000 underserved K-12 students with afterschool and summer learning opportunities at 23 primary and secondary schools in East Los Angeles. After receiving increased government funding, LEARN needed financing to bridge receivables. NFF’s $1,000,000 line of credit will be used to provide academic assistance, workforce training, field trips, and recreational programs until LEARN is reimbursed.
Irish Arts Center: expansion of a cultural institution in New York
$1.5-million loan to build a new site
Irish Arts Center, founded in 1972, is an arts and culture center in New York City that presents and preserves Irish cultural stories and traditions through performances, visual arts, and education. NFF’s $1.5 million revolving loan will bridge private pledges and two New York state grants as Irish Arts Center begins construction on a second building, which will include a 160-seat theater, two classrooms, and a cafe.
Tacoma Community House: services for immigrants in Washington
$2.8 million in loans and $6.5 million in NMTC allocation to build a new facility and increase services
Tacoma Community House (TCH) serves over 3,500 people each year, primarily immigrants and refugees, promoting self-sufficiency through its four core programs: education, employment assistance, immigration services, and legal advocacy for victims of crime and abuse. NFF is participating in a larger financing package to fund construction of a new building that will double TCH’s space, from 14,000 to 27,000 square feet, allowing the organization to serve 6,000 clients each year by 2025.
Metropolitan Development and Housing Agency: a new K-8 school in Nashville
$5-million leverage loan and $12.5 million in NMTC allocation to build a charter school
Metropolitan Development and Housing Agency has provided community development and housing services since 1938. With NFF financing, the agency will work with the Martha O’Bryan Center to build the Explore! Community Charter School in Cayce, a distressed neighborhood in East Nashville. The 87,000 square-foot facility will ultimately serve 874 students and will be part of a larger development project that will include a library, health center, grocery store, community center, and 2,600 units of affordable housing.
Neighborhood Charter Schools and Civic Builders
$5 million in financing to develop a new K-8 charter school facility for Neighborhood Charter Schools in Mott Haven.
Civic Builders builds and leases charter school facilities in neighborhoods in need of high-quality education options. With $5 million in financing from NFF, Civic Builders will renovate a pre-existing 52,500-square-foot warehouse that will become Neighborhood Charter School Bronx. Renovations for the $28 million project include science labs, art rooms, music rooms, office space, 40 classrooms, a cafeteria and a gymnasium. When at full capacity, Neighborhood Charter School will serve 620 students in grades K-8.
Citizens of the World Charter Schools: renovations to an elementary school in Los Angeles
$3.4-million NMTC allocation and $870 thousand construction loan
Citizens of the World Charter Schools (CWCLA) operates three charter schools that boast a comprehensive curriculum and strong student academic performance. NFF’s support will give CWCLA the resources to renovate a campus for an elementary school, allowing the organization to centralize three separate, non-adjacent sites into a single location. This will create a stable, long-term solution that will boost enrollment and create efficiency in the elementary school’s operations.
Brooklyn Laboratory Charter Schools: expanding education across Brooklyn
$2.5-million loan for facility improvements to set up a new charter school campus
Brooklyn Lab Charter Schools operates using a unique model that focuses on creating a high-quality learning environment for students with disabilities. Using NFF financing, Brooklyn Lab Charter Schools will renovate an existing building in Downtown Brooklyn to create their third charter school campus. Updates will include classrooms, a cafeteria, meeting rooms, a performing arts space, and offices. At full capacity, this school will serve nearly 1,300 students in grades 6-12.
Community Servings: increase access to medically-tailored meals and social services in Boston
$9.7-million NMTC allocation and $1.3-million bridge loan
Over the last five years demand has risen for Community Servings’ medically-tailored meals program. NFF’s financing will help build a $21 million “Food Campus” in Jamaica Plain, which will provide Community Servings the space to expand their programs. Once the campus is complete, 3,650 more people will receive medically-tailored meals, 40 more individuals will be able to complete job training programs, and 5,000 more low-income, immigrant, and minority residents will gain access to social services, such as education, college access, health programs, legal assistance, and leadership development.
Friends of Ascend Charter Schools: renovate three charter schools in Brooklyn
$9.5-million facility improvement loan
Ascend has been managing charter schools in Brooklyn since 2008. With this latest round of NFF financing, Ascend will execute substantial renovations to three of the 10 schools currently in their education system. Improvements include additional classrooms, gymnasiums, offices, multipurpose rooms, kitchens, and updated lighting, HVAC systems, and flooring. These renovations will give Ascend the capacity to serve 3,000 more students, bringing the total enrollment across the system to 7,400 students by the 2026-27 school year. Ascend has been an NFF client since 2010.
Skid Row Housing Trust: additional permanent supportive housing in Los Angeles
$2-million line of credit
Skid Row Housing Trust acquires, develops, and operates affordable housing units in downtown Los Angeles, providing supportive housing and services that allow people who have experienced homelessness, prolonged extreme poverty, poor health, disabilities, mental illness and/or addiction to lead safe and stable lives. SRHT operates 24 affordable housing buildings with over 1,800 permanent and supportive units. By bridging seasonal developer fee payments, NFF's financing will provide Skid Row with the critical working capital and cashflow support needed to continue delivering supportive housing and services to LA residents.
Unity Health Care: a new health center in Washington, DC
$2.6-million loan for leasehold improvements
Unity Health Care is the largest Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) in Washington, DC, serving about 60 percent of the District’s FQHC patients. Approximately 98 percent of Unity's clients are minorities, and 92 percent are considered low-income. NFF’s loan will help create a health center within a larger mixed-use development. The new center will serve 17,000 patients and replace two outdated clinics in the neighborhood.
The Food Trust: access to fresh food in Philadelphia
$1-million line of credit
The Food Trust has been providing nutrition education and a stable supply of fresh foods to underserved communities for 25 years. The Food Trust relies heavily on government contracts, and NFF’s line of credit will help provide operational capital to sustain the organization in between government contract payments. The Food Trust has been a NFF client since 2001.
Rockaway Waterfront Alliance: youth development and environmental justice in Queens
Rockaway Waterfront Alliance (RWA) is a community-based organization that helps residents in the Rockaways region by providing programs that explore climate change, urban farming, renewable energy, cooking healthy foods, recycling, and water safety. RWA also provides a mentorship program for high school students to do paid internships and conduct environmental research. NFF’s financing will help RWA refinance existing debt and provide funds to cover expenses until the disbursement of government grants.
First Step Staffing: workforce development in Philadelphia
$1.2-million loan to purchase the operations of a for-profit staffing company
First Step Staffing is an Atlanta-based nonprofit staffing company that focuses on employing the homeless and those recently released from prison. With NFF's support, First Step purchased part of a for-profit staffing company, On Time Staffing, which will be subsumed into First Step's nonprofit operations. First Step hopes to replicate their successful Atlanta program and expects to employ 500 homeless men and women by the end of the first year, growing to 1,000 by year three.