Oregon Impact Fund
Launched in 2018, the $30 million Oregon Impact Fund provides catalytic growth capital to Oregon-based nonprofit and for-profit ventures, funds and intermediaries.
Oregon Community Foundation’s Oregon Impact Fund lends to nonprofit organizations, tribal enterprises, and for-profit social ventures in Oregon that create quantifiable impact in the areas of affordable housing, education, health care access, natural resource management and job creation in underserved communities.
Combining $15 million in donor commitments with $15 million in OCF endowment funds, the $30 million Oregon Impact Fund invests primarily through intermediaries – funds or financial institutions that receive investments and then re-lend to businesses, nonprofits and individuals.
While the Fund focuses primarily on intermediaries with a proven track record of social impact and repayment of investment funds, in certain cases the Fund will also consider direct investments in individual projects or newer intermediaries that strategically address Oregon’s opportunity gaps or advance the portfolio’s reach into underserved corners of the state.
When assessing a potential investment’s fit with the Oregon Impact Fund, we look at several aspects of the investment, as shown below:
As of January 2023, the Oregon Impact Fund has made 34 investment commitments across multiple sectors. Recent investments include:
EFM (Fund I)
In 2022, OCF invested in EFM's Fund I, an evergreen fund focused on climate-smart forestry in the coastal temperate rainforests in Oregon, Washington and British Columbia. EFM’s forest management work focuses on conservation, restoration, climate change, water stewardship, sustainable timber production and other non-timber forest enterprises.
Photo: Golden Chanterelles foraged from the coastal forests managed by EFM.
Regions: North Coast, South Coast, Southern Willamette Valley
Impact Area: Land & Nature
Since 1997, Business Impact NW has been providing coaching, classes, and access to capital to small businesses. The BINW team focuses on reaching traditionally underserved populations– entrepreneurial low/ moderate income earners, women, BIPOC, veterans, immigrants, or members of the LGBTQ+ community—and partners often with community-based organizations, including Adelante Mujeres, LatinoBuilt and Oregon Association of Minority Entrepreneurs.
Photo: David Molinas, Army veteran and founder of Molinas Construction Company, with his family.
Impact Area: Economic Vitality
In 2017, Mercy Corps launched the East Portland Community Investment Trust (CIT) as a financial inclusion tool created to empower residents and strengthen communities. The CIT is designed to provide a low-dollar investment opportunity to local residents for long-term collective ownership of a property. Today, CIT owns a commercial property and has engaged over 300 investors—including many first-time investors.
Photo: A young mother and her child after completing the “Moving from Owing to Owning” course and becoming an investor in the East Portland CIT.
Region: Portland Metro
Impact Area: Economic Vitality
CASA of Oregon is a statewide, affordable housing focused community development financial institution working in primarily rural areas of Oregon. CASA has received loans from OCF to provide pre-development and construction loans, as well as critical support to help manufactured housing park residents to form a cooperative and purchase their own park. In 2021, CASA helped preserve 328 manufactured home park spaces and made loans to build 48 homes for veterans and 24 for farmworkers.
Photo: CASA of Oregon, working with Coalición Fortaleza and other partners, purchased the Talent Mobile Estates to redevelop the site for households displaced by the Almeda fire.
Impact Area: Housing
Investments range from $500,000 to $2,000,000 with terms of five to ten years. Investment diligence and terms for each opportunity are reviewed in detail by OCF’s Strategic Opportunities Committee and approved by the OCF Board. See the full portfolio of loans, as of August 2023, here.