Catalytic Capital Impact Investment Update
The Sierra Club Foundation (SCF) recently approved two new catalytic capital impact investments, bringing the total number of new investments in 2022 to three. When combined with our existing investments (2018 to present), SCF now has a total of eight catalytic capital investees, including a mix of investments in Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) led renewable energy initiatives and companies, a clean technology fund, and intermediary organizations that provide innovative financing for clean energy solutions that serve BIPOC communities. SCF’s primary investment objective for the Catalytic Capital Portfolio is to provide catalytic capital for projects and funds that advance climate solutions, social equity, and justice while striving for return of capital over the long term so that the funds can be redeployed into future catalytic investment opportunities.
The Foundation invested $1 million in the Working Power Impact Fund I, LLC, a start-up revolving loan fund (administered by Urban Ingenuity) established to provide below-market project financing in the form of loans for clean energy assets that advance racial and social equity and inclusion, support environmental justice, and foster deep community participation and capacity building within the development of local clean economy assets. With SCF’s investment, the $10 million fund has closed a first capital raise of $5 million. SCF joins five private foundations (Wallace Global Fund, Grove, Schmidt Family, Isenberg Family, and Kresge) in launching this new financing platform for early-stage, community-centered clean energy projects.
The Community Investment Guarantee Pool (CIGP) is a first of its kind platform allowing guarantors to combine resources and expertise by establishing a single, one-stop-shop for intermediary lenders in the climate, affordable housing, and small business sectors. CIGP is a new, self-sustaining guarantee facility that leverages philanthropic balance sheets to unlock $5 of capital for every $1 guaranteed in order to catalyze community development investments in affordable housing, small business, and climate, with an intentional equity, inclusion, and justice lens. SCF provided a $1 million credit guarantee to this growing pool, which is poised to increase guarantees for climate change solutions and clean energy project financing benefiting BIPOC and frontline communities.