Investing In Communities
NFF is a nonprofit lender, consultant, and advocate working to improve the flow of money to community-centered organizations that have historically been denied it: those led by and serving people of color. To make our commitment to racial equity concrete and accountable, we have launched Plan 50%+, beginning in 2021 with measurable goals that half or more of our lending and deep consulting services will directly support organizations led by and serving people of color.
We are part of a growing movement to shift funding and financing practices so more money flows with less restriction to community-centered organizations, and to begin to correct a legacy of racist, systemic underfunding that prevents these organizations from getting the money and other resources they need to reach the community's aspirations.
Reimagining how money meets mission
- Communities that control their own resources can best determine their own path forward.
- Supporting community-centered organizations and leaders of color can begin to correct a legacy of racist, systemic underfunding of these vital organizations, and grow community financial strength.
- We work with funders, investors, and financial institutions to support leaders who know the challenges their communities face, have the greatest stake and accountability in solving them, and have the clearest insights about how to do so.
Putting your money to work in ways that advance racial equity
- We bring financial investment to the fight for economic and social justice by financing community-centered projects and organizations.
- We enter partnerships and co-design trust-based initiatives to bring resources, financial management, and planning to organizations based on community-identified needs.
- We help philanthropic funders shift their funding practices to better fund nonprofits’ full costs and offer the flexible, operating dollars nonprofits need to sustain and adapt their community work.
- In response to the financial challenges COVID-19 created or intensified for organizations, we are: stewarding zero-interest loan funds; providing free financial management tools, webinars, and articles to support nonprofits; and advocating for a positive, permanent change in the way money flows throughout the sector.
"This loan has helped us continue to support the mental, physical, social, and spiritual health and well-being of our community. One of the most important things it will allow us to do next is to address social isolation among Jewish and other seniors in Scranton. Right now, we’re distributing meals, but we are working on ways to bring them back to our building safely, so they can again experience the myriad benefits of in-person connection." – Dan Cardonick, Executive Director at JCC Scranton, recipient of an interest-free loan from the Jewish Community Response and Impact Fund
Evolving how we work
- We acknowledge that NFF has been part of inequitable funding systems and has been in a position of privilege having been white-led for 40 years.
- We are transforming how we work to share that privilege more intentionally, to use our position to advocate for changing funding practices to become more equitable, and to actively support grassroots organizations in championing their own needs.
"We really appreciate when people understand what it truly takes to run an organization and stay in business. A lot of times funding has restrictions, but operating support shows that people have a great deal of trust in us on how best to use the funds." – Banghee Chi, Development Specialist at Kings Against Violence Initiative (KAVI), recipient of a general operating support grant made available through a gift from an anonymous donor inspired by NFF’s work
Recent Projects & Initiatives
- Capital Advancing Racial Equity: NFF will provide zero-interest flexible loans, technical assistance, and financial counseling for organizations led by and serving people of color and others severely impacted by COVID-19 in New York, the Bay Area, Philadelphia, and Los Angeles.
- Rising Together: a project designed to support select member organizations of three networks of leaders of color – BMe, Citizens Committee for New York City, and the Hispanic Federation – to thrive in the new economic reality. NFF is partnering with each network to co-design programs that will boost their member nonprofits’ financial capacity and health.
- COVID-19 Emergency Funding: At the start of the pandemic, NFF responded to the need for much-needed capital by administering zero-interest loans for the NYC COVID-19 Response & Impact Fund and the Jewish Community Response and Impact Fund. By year end of 2020, 117 organizations received $78 million in COVID-19 relief financing.
- Place-Based Loan Funds: NFF is administering the Metro Denver Nonprofit Loan Fund, which is designed to support the recovery and sustainability of the Metro Denver nonprofit ecosystem with technical assistance and no-interest loans, prioritizing organizations led-by and/or serving Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC). We are also managing the Trinity Church Grantee Loan Fund to provide no-interest loans to Trinity grantees that are working in housing, homelessness, and racial justice in New York City.
- General Operating Support Grants: NFF transformed a $375,000 grant from the Fidelity Charitable Trustees’ Initiative for COVID-19 and a gift from an anonymous donor into flexible capital for COVID-19 relief and recovery efforts. We gave 31 grants to nonprofits using trust-based philanthropy principles like simplified application processes and open communication, and focusing on nonprofits led by people of color.
Fund or Invest
Looking to contribute to advancing racial equity in the nonprofit sector? NFF can help.
NFF can activate your investments and contributions – including tax-deductible donations, Donor Advised Fund gifts and recoverable grants, impact loans, and program-related investments – to support high-impact recovery lending. In addition, NFF currently partners with 12 financial institutions whose investment in NFF gives them credit toward the requirements of the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA).
A pioneer US Community Development Financial Institution, NFF manages a portfolio of over $429 million. Since 1980, we have provided over $1.1 billion in financing and access to additional capital in support of over $3.6 billion in projects for thousands of organizations nationwide. We have the highest possible impact performance rating of four stars from Aeris®, a Policy Plus distinction, and an AA- financial strength and performance rating.