We are pleased to announce a new Program-Related Investment in the Living Cities Blended Catalyst Fund, a structured fund managed by Living Cities. A nonprofit founded in 1991, Living Cities harnesses the collective power of 22 of the world’s largest foundations and financial institutions to develop and scale new approaches to improve the economic well-being of low-income people. Living Cities accomplishes its goals via grants, investments, research, networks and convenings.
Living Cities recently launched a new fund: the Blended Catalyst Fund. In December 2015, The San Francisco Foundation approved an $875,000 loan to the Blended Catalyst Fund. Living Cities will draw funds incrementally over the next four years as they finance projects.
Living Cities plans to leverage TSFF funds 41 times to create a fund of $36M, of which $4.5 million is projected to be invested in the Bay Area. These potential investments include a Pay for Success contract (a Social Impact Bond) through HOPE SF, and a loan to the City of San Francisco to support the work of HOPE SF. Living Cities has a strong track record of success. They have already given $850,000 in operating grants to HOPE SF and their first fund, the Catalyst Fund, was one of the early lenders testing how Pay for Success models can address human capital issues such as juvenile recidivism.
Photo Courtesy of HOPE SF: Students at Malcolm X Elementary talk about making their neighborhoods great.
All Blended Catalyst Fund investments will align with Living Cities’ programmatic priorities, which include: preparing low-income people for opportunity by ensuring that they are prepared for quality 21st century jobs; connecting low-income people to opportunity (ensuring the essentials people need to succeed are affordable and reasonably accessible via public transit, car/bike sharing, broadband, etc.); and creating jobs that provide low‐income people with sufficient income and assets.
Photo courtesy of HOPE SF: Youth on a walk at Heron’s Head Park.
Our $875,000 investment in the Living Cities Blended Catalyst Fund provides an excellent opportunity for TSFF to invest in making communities more equitable through an innovative and leveraged structured fund. In partnership with our donors, we are proud to support Living Cities with this investment.