FLINT, Michigan (June 15, 2023) – The Ruth Mott Foundation has reaffirmed its commitment to Flint through a new $5-million allocation for impact investments above and beyond its annual community grantmaking.
The funds are intended to provide capital or guarantees to entities doing business in Flint while also generating positive social change and financial returns. The Foundation views impact investing as another tool it will use to advance racial equity, strengthen north Flint neighborhoods and create opportunities for residents to contribute and thrive.
To kick off the initial $5-million commitment, the Foundation has so far made two impact investments:
- $1 million to ELGA Credit Union, a Community Development Financial Institution, to expand its loan program supporting small businesses and homebuyers in north Flint.
- A loan of $302,000 to the organization operating the Flint Development Center, Evergreen Community Development Initiative, to pay off and consolidate bank loans.
“We are excited to go beyond traditional grantmaking in service of our mission to advocate, stimulate, and support community vitality in Flint,” said Charlie Meynet, trustee and chair of the Foundation’s impact investing subcommittee. “For over 20 years the Foundation has awarded grants to local organizations doing important work, and now we’ve developed a responsible framework for employing even more of our resources in the Flint community.”
As a place-based foundation, the Ruth Mott Foundation will seek to fund investments with targeted impact in north Flint or investments within the local systems or region that would help north Flint to thrive.
The funds will be deployed through program-related investments or mission-related investments intended to have high social returns that benefit Flint and real financial returns that are at or below the market rate. The financial returns will go back into the impact investing fund for future investments.
The $5 million set aside for impact investing is in addition to and will not reduce the Foundation’s annual grantmaking budget.
“We see impact investing as yet another lever to move north Flint residents’ priorities forward and nurture our long-term commitment to the community,” Ruth Mott Foundation President Raquel Thueme said. “We intend for our impact investments to achieve measurable impact and work in concert with our grantmaking to achieve better outcomes than grantmaking alone.”
The impact investing subcommittee of the Ruth Mott Foundation Board of Trustees assists in evaluating local and regional impact investment opportunities. The Foundation expects to fill the subcommittee’s vacant community representative seat, which was formerly held by the late Bryant “BB” Nolden. Meynet, the great-grandson of the late Ruth Rawlings Mott, leads the subcommittee.
The Foundation will seek impact investment proposals that advance racial equity and address at least one of the four priorities identified with the north Flint community during the Foundation’s strategic planning process: youth, public safety, economic opportunity and neighborhoods.
As defined by the Global Impact Investing Network, impact investing is investing into companies, organizations, and funds with the intention to generate measurable social and environmental impact alongside a financial return. The financing tools used by the Foundation could include equity investments, loans, guarantees, and fund investments, among others.
To learn more about the Ruth Mott Foundation’s impact investing, please visit ruthmottfoundation.org/impact-investing.