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.
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/
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.