The Community Investment Fund, launched last November with an initial $500,000 contribution from its founder, the Puerto Rico Community Foundation, has more than doubled its capital base to $1.1 million in investments from the private sector, the nonprofit announced Thursday.
The PRCF established the fund to attract socially conscious investors to support an important social and economic sector in Puerto Rico, the nonprofit stated.
The first three private companies to contribute to the fund were the Angel Ramos Foundation and Banco Popular, with $250,000 each, and FirstBank, with $100,000.
“The Community Investment Fund becomes a financing alternative for nonprofit organizations. They are ready to enter into a new relationship with us, who have been long-time donors and we have organized ourselves, listening very carefully to their needs,” said Nelson I. Colón-Tarrats, chief executive of the PRCF.
The Community Investment Fund is evaluating proposals requested from nonprofits in the areas of community economic development, and is preparing to award the first financing during the summer and to carry out at least two additional funding rounds for the second half of the year.
“The island’s economic recovery is in our hands. We have to take action to stimulate our continued economic development. This is an excellent way to establish a partnership in which all contribute and share risk … but even better, [participate in] the vision that together we can achieve,” said Rafael Cortés-Dapena, president of the Angel Ramos Foundation.
The Community Investment Fund is attracting investors promising a return on investment comparable to corporate bonds, but with a greater social return, executives said.
“At FirstBank, we want to be part of the success stories that nonprofit organizations are telling, thanks to our investment in the Community Investment Fund. Since its inception, FirstBank’s social commitment has been to contributing significantly to communities and nonprofit organizations to achieve a better quality of life,” said Carmen Pagán, senior vice president and director of compliance and community reinvestment for FirstBank.
“Through this financing program, we will meet the the capital needs that these organizations may have and which in turn, seek to create jobs and help the economy,” she said.