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National Community Investment Fund Efforts Inform Investment Strategy

The Kellogg Foundation is using several social performance metrics that were developed by the National Community Investment Fund to select banks and local financial institutions for mission-driven investment deposits.  In addition, it is tracking other social return indicators and conducting social audits to determine if its double bottom line investing is showing both financial and social returns.

The Foundation recently committed $22.4 million in a cash investment strategy to help selected banks, credit unions, and other local financial institutions increase lending for community development activities. The majority of the dollars – $22 million dollars – have been placed in banks that qualify for the federally insured Certificate of Deposit Account Registry (CDARS) program.

 “We’re pleased to have used the social performance metrics created by the National Community Investment Fund to help allocate this money among Community Development Banking Institutions that have a mission of community development and are superior financial performers,” said Anne Mosle, a vice president for programs at the Kellogg Foundation. “These are trailblazing metrics that have helped us identify banks that have a high proportion of their home lending in low- to moderate-income communities and institutions that are targeting a significant proportion of their branches in these areas. When combined with other metrics developed by the Foundation, they are expected to be a powerful indicator of our social impact.”

This is the first time that publicly available data has been mined to create transparent and credible metrics for generating a social return on investment product, Mosle said.

“This has helped us considerably in identifying appropriate targets for our investments and we congratulate the National Community Investment Fund for this accomplishment,” she said.

The Kellogg Foundation hopes that the community development banking industry will build on these metrics and report their outstanding community development impact so as to attract more investors, she said.

“We’re honored to work with the Kellogg Foundation in allocating its funds in high-performing banks,” said Saurabh Narain, chief fund advisor at the National Community Investment Fund.  “It is our mission to increase the number and capacity of community development banks in the country.  We’re proud to build partnerships with social investors like the Foundation and take the community development banking field to the next level in serving under-served communities and customers.”

Banks selected to receive the funds include:

ShoreBank, Chicago, IL
Southern Bancorp of Mississippi, Little Rock, AR
First Bank of the Delta, Little Rock, AR
Liberty Bank and Trust, New Orleans, LA
Carver Federal Savings Bank, Brooklyn, NY
New Mexico Bank & Trust, Albuquerque, NM
South Carolina Community Bank, Columbia, SC

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