The Kresge Foundation in Troy, Michigan, has announced a $10 million commitment to the NEXT Awards for Opportunity Finance, a program administered by the Opportunity Finance Network, a national network of community development financial institutions.
In partnership with the Wells Fargo and John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur foundations, the largest loan in the foundation's history will be used to support up to five CDFIs through a new round of NEXT Awards focused on low- and moderate-income communities without well-established lenders. As part of the initiative, a small pool of planning mini-grants will be available to CDFIs interested in exploring expansion into new geographic areas. Applications for the planning grants will be accepted online through December 21.
Over the last two years, Kresge has bolstered its efforts to help nonprofits gain access to non-traditional forms of capital such as program-related investments. Its most recent commitment, however, represents a milestone in the foundation's recent strategic decision to augment its grantmaking with a more aggressive use of PRIs, loan guarantees, and other forms of social investments.
"We're identifying the barriers that lack of access to capital presents for nonprofits and others working to create opportunity and improve the quality of life for low-income people," said Kresge Foundation president Rip Rapson. "We want to make capital available to help propel organizations that are, or can be, community assets along the path of long-term sustainability."