Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Investing in microfinance to support Haiti's recovery

Calvert Foundation has made an initial $300,000 investment to support recovery efforts in Haiti. Partnering with other organizations, including the the Clinton/Bush Foundation, Calvert Foundation is making this investment through a newly created fund called HELP Haiti.
HELP Haiti will breathe new life into the microfinance system in Haiti, providing fresh capital and some flexibility to three microfinance organizations whose pre-earthquake peformances were solid and effective in helping Haitian microentrepreneurs succeed: ACME, MCN, and FINCA Haiti. The new fund will allow these organizations to bolster their capabilities to serve current customers and take on new ones. The fund will also provide technical assistance and training for microfinance organizations and their borrowers. Most importantly, HELP Haiti will help avert a significant reduction in microfinance operations, which will help Haiti's working poor and contribute to recovery and reconstruction efforts.

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"yobo" was founded by Tom Willits and Jeff Mackler, who have both worked throughout their lives to further peace and sustainability through education, content distribution, and funding projects. In late fall 2008 they were developing a marketing plan for a new film, Soldiers of Peace, and brainstormed about the need for both an international social network and positive news blog site focused specifically on peace and sustainability. 
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Thank you to APCO Worldwide!

Special thanks to APCO Worldwide for their recent work with Calvert Foundation!
APCO selected Calvert Foundation to receive a grant for public relations and communications consulting. APCO Worldwide is one of the largest independently-owned communication consultancies with offices in major business and media capitals throughout the world. The firm serves clients in the energy, financial, consumer goods, government, healthcare, nonprofit, and technology sectors. More than 56 percent of APCO is owned by women.

Slow down! How we can better assess financial decisions and consequences

A troubled economy has spurred a new financial movement; money is now going local. This “slow money” movement is taking the focus off international investments and bringing it back to our own communities, where we can better understand and realize the impact our dollars have on the economy. Featured in the article, Calvert Foundation’s Community Investment Note is one way to “slow” your money down and create not only financial returns, but clear, beneficial social returns as well.

The Fiscal Times recently published an article about different ways the slow money movement has manifested itself all around the country, including local currencies, local food businesses, and the Community Investment Note.
  • Click here to read the article in The Fiscal Times

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

We're Hiring!

 Join an industry leader in Community Development and Microfinance!  If you would like to use your experience and education to make a difference, Calvert Foundation is hiring for several positions.  Be part of a growing organization that is changing the world through investment. 

Open spots include:
  • Investment Officer, Lending and Advisory Services
  • Risk Officer, Risk Management
  • Systems/Business Analyst, Finance and Operations
  • Fund Manager, Community Investment Partners
  • Associate, Lending and Advisory Services

Go to for more information and application instructions. 

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Shari Berenbach featured in the Huffington Post

A recent article on the Huffington Post highlights the important achievements that Calvert Foundation CEO Shari Berenbach has helped create during her 13-year tenure here. Jonathan Lewis, Founder/CEO of Opportunity Collaboration and author of the piece, describes Shari as “a connect-the-dots, collaborative, tough-minded, kind-hearted anti-poverty leader.”

Read more to get a glimpse of Shari’s hard work and contagious spirit that makes her such an effective, inspiring leader for the community investment industry.

Investing in the Southern U.S.

Calvert Foundation is committed to investing in a diverse range of organizations. This means we vet opportunities not only around the world, but also across the country. In the first quarter of 2010, we dispersed over $8 million in new loans, including new investments in southern states like Virginia, South Carolina, and Florida – places where we had not been as active before. New groups in our portfolio include:

  • Virginia Community Capital (VCC) – VCC works in affordable housing and economic development sectors, providing loans and financial products all around the Commonwealth. Since 1995, VCC has created/rehabilitated more than 2,000 affordable housing units and created/revitalized over 500,000 square feet of commercial projects.

  • Florida Community Loan Fund (FCLF) – FLCF finances non-profit organizations offering affordable housing and economic development. Raising money through a variety of investments, including equity and debt capital investments, FLCF has loaned more than $12 million to help create over 2,000 affordable housing units, 20 community facilities, and create more than 350 jobs. 

  • Charleston CDC (CACDC) – CACDC works within three counties surrounding Charleston, SC to improve the lives of people who are below the area’s median income. They do this through services such as affordable housing, debt management, financial literacy education, and neighborhood stabilization programs.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Calvert Foundation honored by the Financial Times

Last week, Calvert Foundation was honored by The Financial Times at the Sustainable Banking Conference in London on June 3rd. Calvert Foundation was recognized as the runner-up in the "Sustainable Investor of the Year" category. The awards recognize banks and other financial institutions that have shown leadership and innovation in integrating social, environmental, and corporate governance considerations into their operations. It is an honor!

  • For a list of winners and runners-up, click here.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Calvert Foundation and Borrower Manna featured in Ode Magazine Article

Calvert Foundation and our DC-Based borrower Manna have been featured in an article in Ode Magazine. The article, "Profit with a Purpose," discusses the growing importance of "impact investing," or investments that combine social and/or environmental goals with monetary gains. Calvert Foundation has been an industry leader in impact investing and continues its goal of providing monetary returns while also financing hundreds of community development organizations. These type of investments may reach $500 million within the next decade, helping investors increase the impact their money creates. Impact investments "blend good sense, good causes and good financial returns."