The African American Alliance of CDFI CEOs’ Black Renaissance Fund Receives $5 Million Grant From The Rockefeller Foundation
Orlando, Florida | February 22, 2023 – The African American Alliance of CDFI CEOs (The Alliance) announced that it has received $5 million in funding from The Rockefeller Foundation to support the Black Renaissance Fund (BRF), a national fund providing patient capital to Black-led Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) and long-term operating support for the Alliance. By enabling Black-led CDFIs to increase their assets with credit enhancements that help fortify their financial position, expand their lending capacity, and reduce interest rates, the Black Renaissance Fund is a vehicle for ensuring affordable capital reaches Black communities.
“We are grateful for The Rockefeller Foundation’s support in our mission to advance economic equity and opportunity for Black-led CDFIs,” said Lenwood V. Long, Sr., President & CEO of The Alliance. “The Black Renaissance Fund is crucial in addressing systemic barriers and fosters an ecosystem for increased investments in affordable housing, high- quality job creation, small business support, and community facilities development in marginalized communities served by Black-led CDFIs.”
While CDFIs have been a vital source of capital for underserved communities for decades, Black communities have historically been underrepresented. Launched in September 2022, the Black Renaissance Fund aims to level the playing field for Black communities. By providing below market interest rate loans to members of The Alliance at a time when national borrowing rates are already up and could continue to rise, this national loan fund is focused on supporting businesses and building wealth and racial equity in Black communities.
“CDFIs empower populations underserved by traditional lenders. Despite their critical services, Black-led CDFIs still experience inequitable access to capital, capacity-building resources, and technical assistance,” said Gregory Johnson, Managing Director of the Equity & Economic Opportunity initiative at The Rockefeller Foundation. “Between 2014 and 2017, the assets of white-led CDFIs grew by an estimated $21.8 billion, while those of minority-led CDFIs grew by just $682.5 million. This is why support for organizations like The African American Alliance of CDFI CEOs is so critical.”
The $5 million grant from The Rockefeller Foundation is part of its commitment to the White House Economic Opportunity Coalition, which aims to strengthen the capacity of CDFIs.
To date, the BRF has raised $17.5 million in funds. The Black Renaissance Fund is currently open to additional investments from other funders. For more information on how to invest in the Fund, please contact Amber Bond at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.aaacdfi.org.