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Putting Philanthropic Dollars to Work for Chicago

New #impactinvesting platform Benefit Chicago to mobilize $100M in community capital Tweet This

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For 100 years, The Chicago Community Trust has worked to infuse our region with the resources to build community vitality. We have partnered with donors to help them maximize their philanthropy, in ways that transform lives and neighborhoods.

That’s why, as we enter our second century of work, we are pleased to introduce Benefit Chicago: a powerful collaboration to mobilize $100 million in impact investments for our region’s nonprofits and social enterprises.

Joining forces with the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and Calvert Foundation, we look forward to providing donors with a transformational way to invest for impact, in tandem with their traditional grant making.

Research commissioned by the Trust and the MacArthur Foundation has found a significant unmet need for financial capital throughout Chicago’s social impact sector. Today that need totals more than $100 million—and could rise as high as $400 million over the next five years.

At the same time, this research reveals a rising number of individuals and institutions looking for more efficient ways to make local investments that deliver meaningful social, economic and environmental impact.

Benefit Chicago bridges the gap between these two sides of the region’s nascent impact investment marketplace, unlocking new financial resources for organizations whose work benefits the communities and people that need them most.

Investors who wish to participate in Benefit Chicago purchase Chicago-targeted Community Investment Notes from Calvert Foundation. The pool of combined capital will make low-interest loans and other investments to Chicago-serving nonprofits and social enterprises providing education, access to healthy food, quality affordable housing, job training and more.

Benefit Chicago provides a conduit for philanthropic capital into the region’s nascent impact investment marketplace, unlocking new financial resources for organizations whose work benefits the communities and people that need them most.

Through the guidance of a Community Advisory Committee—chaired by Bill Daley, who serves as a member of the Trust’s Executive Committee—Benefit Chicago will continue to respond to our region’s most urgent needs into the future.

At the Trust, we believe that strategic partnership among a private foundation, a nonprofit financial institution and a community foundation has the potential to accelerate impact in solving any challenge. We are committed to investing $15 million in a 15-year Chicago-targeted Note, in order to help ensure an infusion of much-needed capital for our communities.

Powered by deep philanthropic commitment, knowledge of the social sector in Chicago and longstanding impact investing experience, Benefit Chicago provides a new way to invest for impact—helping to create a region where no one is left behind.

For more information about Benefit Chicago, please contact Kathy Pope at 312.616.8000 ext. 149 or by email at kpope@cct.org.