May 15, 2017
Cameron Foundation Announces $1 million investment with Virginia Community Capital
Partnership seeks to spur economic and community development in Tri-Cities area
The Cameron Foundation today announced a $1 million investment with Virginia Community Capital (VCC), a financial institution that makes impact investments throughout the Commonwealth. The commitment includes directing $750,000 into a LION (Local Impact Opportunity Note) loan with VCC and opening a $250,000 impact deposit with its banking subsidiary, Community Capital Bank. The investments have the potential to spur community and economic development in the Foundation’s service area by financing vital projects, such as loans to small businesses that foster job creation, as well as mixed-use real estate projects.
“By entering into this partnership with VCC, the Foundation expects to further expand its impact beyond what it can do through traditional grantmaking,” said Cameron President J. Todd Graham. Both the LION loan and CD are market-rate investments intended to generate a positive social impact. The funds do not come from the grants budget, but are part of the Foundation’s investment portfolio. “These funds are invested locally, allowing us to put more resources back into the community by augmenting our traditional grants.”
Impact investing is a recent development in the field of philanthropy. Impact investors seek to improve the lives of people and communities while earning a financial return. These investments, especially at local levels, can deliver immediate results in job creation and enhance a community’s quality of life. VCC offers flexible ways to do make impact investments, including deposits, loan funds, equity investments, and philanthropic grants.
“VCC is proud to partner with foundations like Cameron that are leading innovative investment strategies in their communities,” said Jane Henderson, CEO of VCC. “Combining impact investing and philanthropy to tackle economic challenges in this region is groundbreaking, and Cameron is demonstrating how to leverage the full range of foundation assets for greater community impact.”
Prior to this announcement, VCC has made loan investments for several popular projects in the Tri-Cities area. Examples include The Ward Center for Contemporary Art, Trapezium Brewing, and boutique hotel The Jury’s Inn.
“We hope that entering into our new partnership with VCC will help to stimulate more business growth across our region,” Graham said.
About Virginia Community Capital
Virginia Community Capital is a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) with a mission to create jobs, energize places, and promote an enhanced quality of life for Virginians. With offices in Christiansburg, Norfolk, and Richmond, the organization offers offer innovative and flexible financing tools throughout the state. In addition, VCC provides professional advisory services to individuals and organizations in low-to-moderate income and underserved communities. For more information, visit www.vccva.org.