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• Press Release $2.5 Million Investment in Native Communities

January 05 2018
January 05 2018

The Rainmakers Investment Collaborative (RIC), a coordinated group of impact investors spearheaded by Confluence Philanthropy, has committed $2.5 million in investments to Native communities in New Mexico and Arizona. Developed to address the lack of investment in tribal communities, RIC aims to bring sustainable development, affordable housing, and capital for agricultural investing to rural communities across the Southwest. Tribes eligible for the program include The Pueblo, Navajo, Apache, and Hopi, communities where there is staggering need for infrastructure development.

Impressively, in its first phase, RIC has already mobilized a collective $1.5 million in program-related investments for vital community development projects. The Collaborative plans to raise a total of $5 million by 2019.

Impact investors are focused on indigenous communities all over the world, except for here, in Native America. There are plenty of below market rate investable opportunities in America’s tribal communities and there’s just no good reason why they shouldn’t be included. Rainmakers plans to demonstrate that Native American communities are an important part of the impact investing ecosystem.

-       Dana Lanza, CEO, Confluence Philanthropy

The launch of RIC in the Spring of 2017 was preceded by a year-long research initiative into barriers to mission-related investing in tribal communities. Confluence Philanthropy brought together foundations and Native leaders for strategic discussion and focused interviews to better understand how to stimulate economic growth, maintain sustainability and to address the basic needs of Tribal communities. That research helped RIC set its sights on supporting a pipeline of investment-ready deals and building the capacity of Native Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) as its two primary objectives.

In addition to $1.5 million in program-related investments, RIC also received grant funding to support the initiative. The W.K. Kellogg Foundation awarded $1 million in capacity building grant funding to RIC's investment partner, Rural Community Assistance Corporation (RCAC). RIC selected RCAC—a community development financial institution (CDFI) with a long lending history and expertise in rural communities—as the intermediary partner after a competitive selection process. Grant funding will support RCAC's expanded work in Native communities and partnerships with Native CDFIs such as Native Capital Access, based in Arizona.

Download PDF here.



Pictured above: Loe Marcoline, Executive Director, Womadix Fund; Dana Lanza, CEO, Confluence Philanthropy; Brandy Davis, Program Director, Confluence Philanthropy; Joohee Rand, VP Community Investment & Strategy, Santa Fe Community Foundation; Alvin Warren, Program Officer, WK Kellogg Foundation


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