Making Communities Investable: Attracting and Leveraging Private Investment for Public Good

Robin Hacke, Kresge Foundation, David Wood, Harvard University’s Hauser Institute for Nonprofit Organizations, and Christopher Goett, California Community Foundation

Whether the goal is economic development, affordable housing, environmental sustainability, or healthier communities, achieving change at scale is likely to require blending public funding, philanthropic grant dollars, and private investment. Mobilizing private capital that seeks financial as well as social and environmental returns, sometimes called “impact investment,” can help revitalize communities and achieve important public goals, but what does it take to attract and deploy capital for public good? In this video of an event held at the Lincoln Institute August 26, 2016, Robin Hacke, a senior fellow at the Kresge Foundation, introduces  the framework of “capital absorption” and describe how it has been applied in Los Angeles, the Bay Area, and Denver to assess and improve community investment systems in pursuit of social and environmental goals. The framework looks beyond individual transactions and encourages leaders to collaborate to articulate strategic priorities for investment, build a set of investable opportunities with community benefits, and create an enabling environment that helps to advance the pipeline of deals and projects.