The events of 2020 led to an unprecedented outpouring of corporate support for racial equity, community development, and local nonprofits and small businesses. As part of their effort to realize a more expansive vision of stakeholder capitalism, corporations have looked to community development financial institutions (CDFIs) as partners to leverage their balance sheets. In this session, we will hear from two corporate partners—Starbucks and JPMorgan Chase—about why they chose to partner with CDFIs, how they went about structuring their partnership, learnings to date, and how to ensure that the investment in community and equity is not merely a window in time.
At the same time, CDFIs have been around for decades, doing the work of deploying capital into community for triple bottom lines even before it was known as “impact investing.” To help us contextualize the history and growth of CDFIs, we will also hear from Sister Corinne Florek, the “godmother” of impact investing. She and the Catholic sisters were seminal in helping CDFIs establish proof of concept by investing their retirement savings in the early days of CDFIs. Together, we will explore why CDFIs provide a wide tent, attracting investors as diverse as Catholic nuns motivated by social justice to corporations motivated by stakeholder capitalism, and how CDFIs are uniquely positioned to align capital with justice.