Photo: Alec Perkins

Responding to Natural Disasters With Different Types of Capital

I’m sure you too have been affected in some way – either directly, through people you know, or just by the stories and images - by the recent hurricanes and earthquake that have brought destruction to Texas, Florida, the Caribbean, Mexico, and elsewhere throughout the region. We at Calvert Foundation are deeply saddened by these events. Many of us have family and friends in these areas, including our some of our board members. We know that a number of our borrowers in the region have also been affected and are making efforts to best respond and serve their clients.

Our work has always been focused on channeling capital to communities in need, which includes contributing to rebuilding efforts and redevelopment. Over the past couple of weeks we have asked ourselves what we as Calvert Foundation can do, and we know that many of our investors and the broader impact investing community are asking the same thing. Now, as ever, capital plays a critical role in responding to the aftermath of these events.

From experience in the Gulf Coast and elsewhere, we know that redevelopment efforts require different types of capital at different stages. Donations now play a vital role in immediate relief and longer term investment plays an equally important role in rebuilding homes and revitalizing communities. At this time in the immediate aftermath, donations are needed most. While we fully support these efforts, channeling donor dollars is not a role that Calvert Foundation plays, nor do we want to distract from national and local efforts happening on the ground by experienced organizations and individuals.

We are active in supporting what our borrowers in these areas are doing and look to respond to their needs when the investment capital our investors provide us can have a real impact in rebuilding efforts. The rebuilding process will be long; it might take months and even years for us to best deploy capital that can aid in these efforts. Throughout this time we will be sure to keep you informed on the roles we are each able to play.

In the meantime, we encourage you to explore opportunities for your donations and the notable efforts of organizations we work with, know well, and fully support. We’ll continue to add updates about the work our partners are doing here.

(Listed in alphabetical order)

Affordable Homes of South Texas Affordable Homes of South Texas is receiving an overwhelming number of requests for capital and support for home rehabilitation services. They have expanded their loan borrower capacity and remain committed to helping anyone in need of home rehabilitation. You can support their work by donating on their website.

Enterprise Enterprise is pooling donations to provide grants to nonprofit organizations leading the work of traditional housing and other immediate needs to displaced residents. See their Harvey Community Recovery Fund.

FINCA FINCA is responding to their clients affected by Hurricane Irma in Haiti by helping them rebuild their lives and businesses. You can donate to their Haiti Emergency Response call.

Habitat for Humanity Habitat for Humanity is committed to responding to the housing and shelter needs of those affected by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. You can make donations to these efforts on their website.

LiftFund LiftFund supports entrepreneurs and small and medium size businesses in the Texas area. Many of the businesses they support have been hit hard by Hurricane Harvey. You can support their efforts to help rebuild these businesses by donating directly to LiftFund.

Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) LISC has committed $100 million for recovery and support efforts to areas devastated by Hurricane Harvey. You can donate to support this commitment.

Opportunity Finance Network Members and staff of Opportunity Finance Network have been affected, and the community is coming together to respond. Read more about their fundraising efforts and the response so far.

Solar and Energy Loan Fund (SELF) Pay it forward with donations to SELF’s “Solidarity Fund” and help others who are in much need of temporary relief. SELF’s most vulnerable clients including elderly living on fixed income, veterans, and women with children will need additional relief while they get back up on their feet after suffering the impacts of Hurricane Irma. You can donate in $5 increments ($5-$10-$15-$20-$25) to SELF to help those clients with their payments in the next 60-90 days, so that they can focus on using any disposable income on repairing their homes.

Volunteers of America Volunteers of America is a leader in providing affordable housing and support services to low-income families in Florida. Now they are calling for donations to help provide immediate recovery and rebuilding assistance. See their Hurricane Recovery Fund.