For much of our history, CCF has been a conduit between philanthropic investment and community need. Those entrusting us with their treasure counted on us to invest it wisely amongst a wide assortment of non-profits, scholarship programs and more.
In 2016, the CCF board adopted a bold new approach to add to the mix: devoting funds to Place-Based Impact Investing. The concept is simple: to identify numerous private organizations poised to deliver very measurable and very real good in their communities…if only they could obtain appropriate financing.
Our goal was to fill the gap between their solid business plans and their access to capital. We spent about 18 months assessing similar programs, identifying best practices, and teeing up a launch. With board approval, CCF set aside $3 million for use in the PBII program, a small fraction of the foundation’s total holdings.
From the beginning, our goals were multi-layered. Yes, we wanted to provide fuel for deserving and well-managed organizations. But we also wanted to protect—and grow—the funds invested in those organizations. Their success would, in turn, lead to future successful investments in other deserving organizations.
Led by a PBII Committee, we reached out in 2018 throughout our service area, seeking applications. The response was gratifying, with more than a dozen organizations presenting their cases for support. Ultimately, through a complex evaluation process, the committee advanced a trio of organizations for funding. We’ll focus in subsequent blogs on the other organizations, but we’ll start with Palmetto Project Insure SC.
In an effort to make South Carolinians healthier, this organization works in our 9-county service area to offer guidance to individuals on the right health insurance for them. Whether they qualify for the Affordable Care act, Medicaid or Medicare, Palmetto Project Insure SC helps customers identify and obtain of healthcare services available to them. They then help enroll customers or connect them to available agents. The firm also focuses on small businesses in need of healthcare benefit navigation.
Healthy people and healthy businesses are clearly a solid goal for our community. Meanwhile, working with an organization that has determined how to spin off a bit of profit by doing that good work, is a bonus. While the terms of our arrangement with all PBII recipients are private, we do acknowledge that each recipient has agreed to clear payback schedules and reporting requirements.
We are so enthusiastic about our first round of PBII projects. Going forward, our goal is to broaden our regional outreach and ensure every deserving organization is aware we exist. Learn more about PBII and our approach.