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Community investing resources

Image from the Design Portfolio, UK

Community investing takes the form of place-based, patient, and catalytic infusions of capital. Community investment funds benefits investors and the community. Are you interested in learning more about community investing? Thanks to a number of pioneering leaders around the country, there are a wealth of resources. Here are just a few:

We recommend starting with this great article by Michael Shuman of The Main Street Journal: What is the cost of NOT investing in distressed neighborhoods? As Michael writes:

“One unique virtue of local investing is that it offers social as well as personal financial returns. We know that a community with a critical mass of healthy local businesses grows income, wealth, and jobs. That pays off to local investors in the form of better community services and lower taxes. We might quibble about what your social return might be from any specific local investment, but we know it’s not zero.

“The best local investments, however, are often not just in the wealthy zip codes in a metropolitan area. I believe the mother lode of unrealized opportunities is in neighborhoods that are economically worse off. Why? Because an investment dollar in the hands of a low-income entrepreneur in an underfinanced neighborhood will make the most significant difference in a regional economy. That dollar will be stretched further, address deeper needs, and fill a gaping hole of demand for smart investment.”

The Main Street Journal is a great resource if you want to stay on top of the latest news in the fields of local economies and community investing. As is SuperCrowd, for those interested in crowdfunding.

The National Coalition for Community Capital is accelerating community investment across the country by supporting local leaders like Local Return. We relied heavily on their Community Investment Fund Handbook and Toolkit in our early planning. Neighborhood Economics focuses on the repair of local economies.

The Democracy Collaborative published an Action Guide for Advancing Community Wealth Building in the United States, which includes detail on locally rooted finance. And check out the Local Leaders Roundtable webinar we did with the American Independent Business Alliance.

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