What We Do
We make loans and grants and provide advisory support to organizations, initiatives, and coalitions throughout Wisconsin driven by the mission to reduce racial disparities and achieve social justice. We provide these loans and services on terms that are more favorable than generally available in the commercial market. Our services are provided at the lowest possible cost and at a margin of profit that is below the market rate. In addition to providing favorable terms, we strive to bring added value to our clients through our expertise in nonprofit strategy development, financial management, and governance.
Through our loans, grants and advisory services, we seek to support initiatives aimed at reducing social, racial, and economic disparities. FCI clients are involved in addressing inequities through a variety of strategies, including but not limited to: expanding and improving affordable housing and access to community services; stabilizing and revitalizing neighborhoods; and promoting community economic self-sufficiency. The potential social impact of prospective clients is a critical factor in our lending decision.
Funding for our loans comes primarily from the proceeds of the sale of promissory notes to individual and institutional investors, including banks, credit unions, corporations, religious institutions, foundations and unions. Simply put, we borrow money from our investors, and lend the money to our clients. In this way, loans from our investors help our clients succeed with their work, by leveraging their investment dollars and recirculating repaid loans to other borrowers.
Our financing, coupled with quality advisory services, often makes the difference in whether or not a compelling project moves forward. We often provide the “missing pieces” that few other lenders can offer. Whether we finance a big part of a small project or a small part of a big project, our loans are a critical factor in the project’s advancement. We have the patience and flexibility to remain committed to borrowers through lengthy public financing approval processes; to partner with small, midsize and emerging groups on their first projects; and to take on some of the most difficult development projects. Our willingness and ability to assist borrowers in ways that go beyond the traditional lender role enhances our clients’ prospects for success both in terms of repaying the loan and in terms of achieving community impact.