Five factors help community-based organizations gain access to debt and equity and use it to best advantage.
A readiness to work with others. A community development process usually precedes and then complements the business development process. Likewise their investors work hard to search out collaborators with whom to pool risk and provide a balanced mix of revenues over time.
A focus on leveraging more assets. Successful organizations set out to build their overall asset base by using the momentum they have gathered to attract still more capital from other sources.
The ability to articulate the real value that the organization creates. They turn social and environmental change into credible objectives for investment or enterprise, despite difficulties in tracking and measurement.
Blend a variety of financial tools with a diversity of objectives. The investors or funders design financial structures that act more like equity, or that combine the features of grants and loans, in order to combine financial with social or environmental returns.
Take time. It takes time to build the relationships and capacity essential to the achievement of sustainable impacts. To assuring that long-term return, community support is key. It shows investors that an initiative is of value to the people who have to "live with it."
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