Frontline nonprofit organizations and small businesses are often well positioned to deliver food and housing programs and services, thanks to their local footprint, cultural understanding, and firsthand knowledge of their neighborhoods’ assets and needs. They also employ members of the community creating important jobs that strengthen their local economies. As a result, these entities serve as effective and strategic partners to investors interested in providing solutions which not only serve communities’ immediate and long-term food and housing needs, but also address underlying economic disparities through job growth and greater access to capital in historically BIPOC and/or lower-income communities.
These entities can provide desired food and housing services through straightforward contracts with aligned investors. However, investors should also consider how their capital can be applied to meet partners’ other needs that unlock greater capacity over the longer term. Example: as a one-time grant to improve a nonprofit organization’s IT infrastructure to enable better reporting capabilities or low-interest debt financing to enable the construction of more affordable housing units.