Calvert Impact Capital 2020 Impact Report & 25th Anniv.
October 2020 marks an important anniversary for Calvert Impact Capital. Twenty-five years ago, on October 25, 1995, we sold the first Community Investment Note®. Today, our cumulative Note sales are over $2 billion, but that journey began with a single check. What started as a novel, somewhat eccentric idea — aligning your investments with your values — is now gaining significant momentum.
Over the past 25 years, we have grown from a three-person shop, sending fliers through direct mail to teachers, nurses, and firefighters, to a firm with over $575 million in total assets, raising capital from hundreds of brokerage firms and institutions and thousands of individuals, who can now invest with us for as little as $20. We’ve made nearly 1,000 loans and investments to over 500 organizations across 100+ countries, supporting hundreds of thousands of businesses and benefitting millions of lives around the world.
Despite the challenging year, we’ve continued to do what we do best: build a more equitable and sustainable world by connecting capital with communities that need it. And the need is stronger than ever. We have already deployed $100 million this year to new and existing portfolio borrowers. In March 2020, we began arranging COVID-19 recovery funds to support Main Street businesses across America, designing them intentionally to reach low-income communities, women-owned businesses, and entrepreneurs of color through trusted local community lenders. We were named mid-sized Asset Manager of the Year by Environmental Finance, and our Community Investment Note® balance passed $500 million for the first time in our history.
We are proud of our success, but know our work is far from over. This is especially important to recall now, when a global pandemic, stark displays of systemic racism and injustice, and near-daily evidence of a rapidly changing climate have made it clear our systems are failing us.
The clarity of our vision, the strength of our mission, and the experience and knowledge we have built up over the past 25 years anchors our work and points us towards the future. Our history shows that it is possible to use the capital markets in service of sustainability and opportunity. But it will require matching the lofty rhetoric that often characterizes this space with equally inspiring action.
The challenges we face are daunting, but we remember that the journey to $2 billion started with one check and the refusal to believe the status quo was the best we could hope for.
We must think bigger, move faster, and work together. To that end, Calvert Impact Capital is forging new partnerships, developing new products, and reaching new audiences and new markets. We are committed to meeting this moment with the urgency it demands and we are grateful to have you all as partners in our work. Together with your support, we can continue connecting capital and communities, working towards a more equitable world.
Download a copy of the Calvert Impact Capital’s 2020 Impact Report – Investing for a More Equitable World .
Article by Jennifer Pryce, President and CEO of Calvert Impact Capital. For nearly a quarter of a century, Calvert Impact Capital has strived to make markets work for more people, more often, by investing in communities overlooked by traditional finance. Calvert Impact Capital invests through organizations that on-lend to people and businesses in the US and over 120 countries. In 2017 the organizations in their portfolio provided more than $5 billion to finance everything from solar panels in Tanzania and small businesses in Texas.
Over the past decade, Jenn has shaped the strategic direction of Calvert Impact Capital to focus on innovation, sustainability and scale. Under her leadership the organization has expanded the sectors it works in, developed new products and services, and committed to sharing their knowledge and expertise with the field on key topics like gender lens investing. Calvert Impact Capital remains committed to ensuring impact investing is accessible to all investors, large and small, having worked with more than 17,000 individuals, institutions and advisors to raise $2.5 billion since their founding.