Momentum, Commitment and Growth: A $2 Billion Record Year at LISC

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NEW YORK (March 15, 2021)—The Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) today announced that it made more than $2 billion in community investments during 2020—a new record for the 41-year-old national nonprofit that was driven in part by programs related to COVID-19 relief and racial justice.

The expanded activity included nearly every aspect of LISC’s work, from increased affordable housing support to new funding for small businesses to deep engagement with partners around health, education, safety and jobs. It spanned some $1.5 billion in equity investments, $290 million in community development loans and $240 million in grants—more than four times the level of grantmaking in the prior year.

“Among the many lessons of 2020 is that community development financial institutions (CDFIs) like LISC play a vital role in the well-being of the country—both in communities as lenders, investors, technical experts and philanthropic supporters, and also as part of our national economic infrastructure, stepping into market gaps that the traditional financial system isn’t able to fill,” said Lisa Glover, interim LISC president and CEO, and a long-time LISC board member.

Since 1979, LISC has directly invested more $24 billion to support economic opportunity and growth in communities that have yet to fully share in the nation’s prosperity—especially those scarred by long histories of race and class discrimination. Those investments have helped fuel $70 million in development activity that crosses nearly every state.
Glover pointed to the broad range of partners that stepped up to advance this work in 2020, including corporations, foundations and institutional investors that had never before invested in community development activities. “Because LISC already had a proven delivery system in place, new funders didn’t need to be experts in how to reach hard-hit communities. We were able to efficiently deploy their capital to address key priorities like COVID-19 relief, disaster recovery and racial equity in places that, but for the intervention of CDFIs like LISC, would not have access to funding,” she said.

In addition to programs focused on the pandemic, LISC launched and grew a number of efforts in 2020 aimed at dismantling the systemic underpinnings of racial discrimination. Project 10X, for instance, kicked off a 10-year, $1 billion strategy to bridge racial gaps in health, wealth and opportunity. LISC’s Black Economic Development Fund raised $175 million from investors in the second half of 2020 to support Black-led financial institutions and businesses. The fund is expected to make its first community investments in the coming weeks. And LISC’s National Equity Fund affiliate launched a $100 million Emerging Minority Developers Fund to connect promising but often overlooked affordable housing developers with capital and technical expertise.

“We responded, as we always have, in close collaboration with local leaders, funding partners and staff members, each bringing their passion and expertise to this work.”
— Lisa Glover, LISC Interim President & CEO

“We could not have foreseen, at the outset of 2020, what the year would mean for our organization and the communities we serve,” Glover said. “But we responded, as we always have, in close collaboration with local leaders, funding partners and staff members, each bringing their passion and expertise to this work. All of that and more will be needed in 2021 to help the country move forward.”

For more on LISC’s COVID-19 small business relief: https://www.lisc.org/covid-19/small-business-assistance/

For more on LISC’s public policy priorities: https://www.lisc.org/our-initiatives/policy-research/policy/policy-priorities/

For more on LISC’s local program offices and affiliates: https://www.lisc.org/our-reach/#offices

About LISC

With residents and partners, LISC forges resilient and inclusive communities of opportunity across America – great places to live, work, visit, do business and raise families. Since 1979, LISC has invested $24 billion to build or rehab more than 436,320 affordable homes and apartments and develop 74.4 million square feet of retail, community and educational space.

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