Benefit Chicago

Benefit Chicago is a new collaboration that aims to mobilize $100 million for impact investments for nonprofits and social enterprises working throughout the Chicago region.

 

Benefit Chicago Fund Announces $12 Million in Impact Investment Loans


Meet the borrowers

Make an Impact

Benefit Chicago is a long-term initiative with a rolling application process. There is no deadline for submissions. Applications will be evaluated based on eligibility, creditworthiness and the potential for the capital to contribute toward a positive impact that would not otherwise be possible.

Are you a mission-oriented organization interested in putting an impact investment to work?*

Check Eligibility and Apply

Are you a socially motivated investor looking to put your money to work in Chicago neighborhoods with anywhere from $20 to over $1M?

  • Invest today through Calvert Foundation Community Investment Notes
  • Start a Donor Advised Fund at The Chicago Community Trust and designate some or all fund assets for investment in a Chicago-targeted Note.

For More Information

FAQs on Eligibility

Calvert Foundation Community Investment Note prospectus

Frequently Asked Questions

The Need

Bridging the Gap

Research commissioned by the MacArthur Foundation and The Chicago Community Trust has found a significant unmet need for impact-generating financial capital throughout the Chicago region.

While many mission-oriented businesses, nonprofits, and social enterprises want to expand, grow, or increase their effectiveness for greater impact, they often cannot access traditional financing due to factors such as lack of collateral, the need for customized terms, and perceived risk.

In the Chicago region, there are also a growing number of individuals and institutions seeking an efficient way to make investments that have the potential to deliver social, economic, and environmental impact while aligning with their investment strategies.

The Solution

Benefit Chicago is designed to bridge the current gap in the region’s nascent impact investment marketplace by:

  • Offering everyone – individuals, businesses, and institutions - a dependable funding vehicle that pools resources from which loans and investments can be made
  • Unlocking new financial resources for mission-oriented businesses, nonprofits, and social-enterprises

Download the Report “Bridging the Gap”

Impact Borrowers


Castillo Family

Saving Homes

“We were afraid of losing the house to foreclosure. We looked for help.”

The Castillo family
Archer Heights
Arnold Smith

Changing Lives

“If somebody would give me an ounce of a chance, I would take it and run with it.”

Arnold Smith
cook at Green Tomato Café
Eating Well

Eating Well

“Yes, I’m a farmer. In West Englewood.”

Supporting Our Hometown

Calvert Foundation is issuing up to $50 million of its new Chicago-targeted Community Investment Notes® to further the mission of Benefit Chicago.

The Chicago Community Trust is making an inaugural $15 million, 15-year investment, which, along with all other investments in Chicago-targeted Notes, will flow to our region’s social sector as follows:

  1. Calvert Foundation will loan the proceeds of all investors’ Chicago-targeted Notes to a new charitable fund that the MacArthur Foundation has established solely to advance the mission of Benefit Chicago.
  2. The MacArthur Foundation is transferring $50 million of its own assets to this new special-purpose fund, creating a combined pool of capital – with a total goal of $100 million.
  3. The fund will use this pool of capital for loans and other investments to eligible nonprofits and social enterprises that help meet significant community needs in the Chicago region, such as education and child care, access to healthy food, quality affordable housing, energy conservation, job training and more.

An Advisory Council, chaired and convened by The Chicago Community Trust, will help inform the fund’s priorities and work on an ongoing basis.

Download the Benefit Chicago Frequently Asked Questions


About the Collaborators

The Chicago Community Trust, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and Calvert Foundation joined forces to create Benefit Chicago.

Powered by their deep philanthropic commitment, knowledge of the social sector in Chicago, and longstanding impact investing experience, Benefit Chicago provides a new way for everyone who cares about Chicago to invest for impact and make our home a better place for all.

The Chicago Community Trust and Affiliates

The Chicago Community Trust has been serving the people of metropolitan Chicago together for more than 100 years to bring about conditions for a thriving region where all residents enjoy a high quality of life and opportunities for a better future in a prosperous and inclusive community. Visit cct.org

The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation

The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation supports creative people, effective institutions, and influential networks building a more just, verdant, and peaceful world. The Foundation has a 30-year track record in impact investing and has dedicated $500 million of its investment assets solely to this purpose. The Foundation also is deeply committed to its hometown community, Chicago, where it has provided nearly $1.1 billion in grants and impact investments since 1978. Visit macfound.org

Calvert Foundation

Calvert Foundation is a global impact investing intermediary that connects investors with the causes and places they care about through its Community Investment Note. Since 1995, Calvert Foundation has helped investors create measurable social impact in communities, with a 100 percent repayment rate of principal and interest to its investors.* Visit calvertfoundation.org

For More Information

For more information about the Chicago targeted investment note, please contact benefitCHI@calvertfoundation.org.

For more information about opening a Donor Advised Fund, please contact benefitCHI@cct.org.

For more information about financing from the fund established by MacArthur, please contact us at apply@benefitchi.org.

For general questions about Benefit Chicago not addressed in the Frequently Asked Questions, to request a speaking engagement, or to begin a discussion about the applicability of a similar collaborative for your region, please contact info@benefitchi.org.

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