COMMUNITY FORWARD FUND

ABOUT

Community Forward Fund invests in the charitable and non-profit sector in the form of loans. We lend to small- and medium- sized organizations that are committed to serving their communities. We draw on extensive experience to structure investment opportunities that are customized to our investors’ needs, while also creating long-term community benefit. Our investments offer financial and social returns.

SELECTED INVESTORS

Our investors include community foundations, private foundations and other institutions.
  • Bealight Foundation
  • Green Shield Canada
  • Hamilton Community Foundation
  • Inspirit Foundation
  • Jamscor Inc.
  • Laidlaw Foundation
  • Lyle S. Hallman Foundation
  • McConnell Foundation
  • Niagara Community Foundation
  • Ottawa Community Foundation
  • The Kitchener and Waterloo Community Foundation
  • The Lawson Foundation
  • Victoria Foundation

PORTFOLIO

Four Feathers’ Housing Co-operative

London, ON

Our work with Four Feathers’ Housing Co-operative facilitated the creation of 33 new affordable housing units for Indigenous community members of southern Ontario.

  • Target Community: Indigenous peoples
  • Sector: Housing

Early in 2012 Lloyd Stevenson, president of the Four Feathers Housing Cooperative board, discovered that due to a number of unforeseen circumstances, Four Feathers needed a second mortgage for their building in London, Ontario.

Mr. Stevenson looked into a number of possibilities but the rate of interest for second mortgages was prohibitively high.  He checked in with Tim Welsh Consulting of London, Ontario and, after some research, they were pleased to discover the Community Forward Fund.  They contacted CFF and started the loan application process.

Mr. Stevenson states, “I found the loan process straightforward and clear-cut.  Working with the team at the Community Forward Fund was a great experience.  We appreciate their assistance and their collaborative approach.  We really feel we have partners in our endeavour and not simply a lender.”

Nora Sobolov, past CEO of the Community Forward Fund, notes, “We are pleased to support Four Feathers Housing Cooperative which will provide more affordable housing to the aboriginal community in southern Ontario.”

Four Feathers will have a total of 33 units that will provide affordable housing to aboriginal peoples in the region, supplementing a similar cooperative just two blocks away.

Four Feathers Housing Cooperative will be move-in ready in the fall of 2013 and is aiming for 100% occupancy by November 2013.

25One Community

Ottawa, ON

Our work with 25One Community helped them secure a line of credit to build a collaborative co-working space for the Ottawa community.

  • Target Community:  Non-profit and Community Organizations
  • Sector: Community space

25One Founder Diane Touchette, a staff member of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (a well established nonprofit organization) wanted to fulfill a need she saw growing in the Ottawa community by building and managing a co-working space for nonprofits and community organizations. But it proved to be a challenge to secure the required funds in the form of a loan to create the required working capital.

The organization needed a line of credit to pay for construction work to set up the second and fifth floor in their downtown building as a collaborative workspace. Though the building’s landlord assumed 70% of the renovation costs, 25One faced the need for significant investment to support their portion of the renovation costs and to market the space.

Founder Diane Touchette learned about the Community Forward Fund and its services at a workshop for organizations interested in alternative finance, hosted by the Community Foundation of Ottawa, CFF’s local collaboration partner and investor. After subsequent meetings with CFF loan staff, 25One made a successful loan application. This loan enabled 25One to open its doors and begin to market the space as a vibrant hub where nonprofits and members of Ottawa’s community could meet, interact, and collaborate.

The second floor now serves as the main meeting area where tenants meet with clients, and work at the in-house café. The fifth floor was set aside for individual desks and offices for whole organizations – currently the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives and Volunteer Canada are their two anchor tenants.

25One Community’s former Executive Director John Urquhart is grateful to have worked with CFF: “We knew we had a business model that worked. But without CFF’s help at a critical stage in the process, we would have been hard-pressed to provide the services we planned to provide for nonprofits and members of the progressive community who have since joined us. I’m pleased to report that we’re at 80% capacity with an outlook for 100% occupancy soon.”

25One Community

Ottawa, ON

Our work with 25One Community helped them secure a line of credit to build a collaborative co-working space for the Ottawa community.

  • Target Community:  Non-profit and Community Organizations
  • Sector: Community space

25One Founder Diane Touchette, a staff member of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (a well established nonprofit organization) wanted to fulfill a need she saw growing in the Ottawa community by building and managing a co-working space for nonprofits and community organizations. But it proved to be a challenge to secure the required funds in the form of a loan to create the required working capital.

The organization needed a line of credit to pay for construction work to set up the second and fifth floor in their downtown building as a collaborative workspace. Though the building’s landlord assumed 70% of the renovation costs, 25One faced the need for significant investment to support their portion of the renovation costs and to market the space.

Founder Diane Touchette learned about the Community Forward Fund and its services at a workshop for organizations interested in alternative finance, hosted by the Community Foundation of Ottawa, CFF’s local collaboration partner and investor. After subsequent meetings with CFF loan staff, 25One made a successful loan application. This loan enabled 25One to open its doors and begin to market the space as a vibrant hub where nonprofits and members of Ottawa’s community could meet, interact, and collaborate.

The second floor now serves as the main meeting area where tenants meet with clients, and work at the in-house café. The fifth floor was set aside for individual desks and offices for whole organizations – currently the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives and Volunteer Canada are their two anchor tenants.

25One Community’s former Executive Director John Urquhart is grateful to have worked with CFF: “We knew we had a business model that worked. But without CFF’s help at a critical stage in the process, we would have been hard-pressed to provide the services we planned to provide for nonprofits and members of the progressive community who have since joined us. I’m pleased to report that we’re at 80% capacity with an outlook for 100% occupancy soon.”

Tucker House

Ottawa, ON

Our work with Tucker House allowed the environmental group to finance the purchase of solar panels at its community space to reduce its environmental footprint and establish a sustainable revenue stream.

  • Target Community: Youth and Adults
  • Sector: Renewable Energy

Tucker House, a local environmental group in the Ottawa region, is the proud recipient of the Community Forward Fund’s first loan.

Situated in the countryside on a former family estate, they have successfully run day camps for children in the summer and year-round programs for adults on energy efficiency and renewable energy for several years, taking over operations from a church group. Their growth has been slow and steady over the past five years as the focus has changed from faith-based to environmental, under the tutelage of a dynamic Executive Director and an engaged Carver-model board.

In 2009, the Ontario government created a Micro-FIT (Feed In Tariff) program that allows small organizations to feed electricity into the grid and be paid 80 cents per kilowatt hour.

The environmental group will use the loan to finance the purchase of solar panels. This will allow them to reduce their environmental footprint and be a role model for sustainability in the community. It will also provide them, over time, with a sustainable revenue stream. With the Micro-FIT program, solar panels would pay for themselves within 15 – 20 years and the organization needed the capital to purchase them.

Thanks to a loan from the Community Forward Fund, this dream has now become a reality.

Get in touch to learn more