To meet our most urgent global challenges – climate change, inequality, racial and gender inequities – we need a financial system that prioritizes solutions instead of one that exacerbates the problems. We have to ensure that the growing interest in sustainable investing is translated into action. That means activating the full power of the capital markets without diluting the integrity of the social and environmental impact.
We raise capital from individual and institutional investors to finance sectors that mainstream capital markets aren’t comfortable with (yet), but that have potential for transformative impact - sectors like off-grid solar in Sub-Saharan Africa or small business in unbanked communities across the US - and work to get capital flowing more efficiently and at scale.
How? We build financial products that meet the needs of the projects and businesses in these high-potential sectors and the needs of the people who want to invest in them. We know how to design investment products that are easily accessible so more people can put their money to work for a better world.
We have spent the last 25 years moving billions of dollars supporting the growth of markets like microfinance, affordable housing, and clean energy access. In our next 25 years we need to move trillions.
We’re ready to go. Are you?
A timeline about how we created Calvert Impact Capital and where we’re headed.
Calvert Research and Management (then Calvert Investments), together with Ford Foundation, MacArthur Foundation, and Mott Foundation, funded a bold new idea: that investing directly in communities was not only a good investment, but one that everyone should be able to make, regardless of wealth. We officially launched our impact portfolio and Community Investment Note® to raise capital directly from investors to channel capital to communities.
“Calvert Social Investment Fund has a vision that the world can be different. And it’s going to make the world different. Calvert’s source of power is in the belief and knowledge of this vision. High social impact investing is one way the Fund is encouraging change...In a very real way we can all be about changing the world. Poor people need a chance, not charity. By sharing a chance and making change, the paradigm shifts. We can solve poverty in this country. We can solve poverty in the world.” -Rebecca Adamson, founding board member, in a 1990 speech that led to the creation of Calvert Impact Capital
We created the Community Investment Partners (CIP) program to support investors with due diligence and helped nonprofits create more than a dozen impact investment products.
We launched the Calvert Giving Fund, a socially responsible donor advised fund (DAF), that was spun out as a separate organization – ImpactAssets – in 2010.
Our Community Investment Note® became the first retail impact investment conveniently available through brokerages with a CUSIP – a code that facilitates electronic trading of securities. We did this in partnership with InspereX (formerly Incapital), and investors have now bought our Note through over 135 brokerages.
In the wake of the 2007 financial crisis and resulting economic recession, we registered our subsidiary Community Investment Partners as an SEC-Registered Investment Advisor and launched the Communities at Work Fund with Citibank and Opportunity Finance Network. The Fund was launched to the help fuel critical small business lending in low-income communities across the US.
We launched the Women Investing in Women (WIN-WIN) initiative, highligting our longtime commitment to gender equity, and developed our first explicit gender lens strategy, which we continue to deepen and evolve.
We celebrated raising $1 billion cumulatively and diversified our portfolio into emerging sectors and geographies with an expanded focus on addressing climate change.
We also launched our online investment platform which enables all investors to purchase the Community Investment Note® for as little as $20, further democratizing access to impact investing.
In November 2017 we changed our name to Calvert Impact Capital to better reflect the work we do to connect investment capital with communities that need it. We also became financially self-sufficient, demonstrating a sustainable and resilient financial model.
In 2019, we celebrated raising $500 million exclusively through brokerage accounts in addition to the capital we raise directly from investors. Today, we have raised over $785 million from brokerage and more than $3 billion cumulatively.
The Community Investment Note® balance exceeded $500 million for the first time in 2020, a further indication of the growing popularity of impact investing despite the challenging year. Today, the Note balance is nearly $600 million.
Despite our successes, we know there is much more work to do. The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed much of what we already knew about society's failures, but in more stark terms: deep, structural inequities exist in our financial system and our economy; our climate is changing more furiously than ever, leaving too many vulnerable to its effects; and access to basic services like quality healthcare remains vastly uneven.
To respond to this crisis, we mobilized quickly and utilized our syndication services to arrange, structure, and fundraise for multiple small business recovery funds to support community-based businesses across the US. We are proud to leverage our decades of experience working with community lenders and the lessons we have learned to build towards a more resilient recovery.
The challenges we face are daunting, but we remember that our journey started with one check and the refusal to believe the status quo was the best we could hope for.
For more about where we're headed, read our latest strategic plan.
We are proud to be acknowledged by the following industry awards and participate in the following industry collaborations.