Community Foundation’s GoATL Fund Closes Largest Investment To-Date

Staff Report From Metro Atlanta CEO

Monday, October 22nd, 2018

GoATL Fund, an impact investment fund launched by the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta, has announced its most recent closing, a $1 million investment in Enterprise Community Partners, Inc.’s loan fund (“Enterprise”), to support their expanding portfolio of multi-family affordable housing throughout the metro Atlanta area.
The GoATL Fund, the first impact investment fund of its kind in Georgia, seeks to generate a measurable social outcome along with a financial return. Through impact investing, funders look for ways to strategically invest new forms of capital to scale and sustain nonprofits and social-purpose for-profits. Unlike traditional philanthropy that typically relies on grants, GoATL’s impact investments are structured as flexible, cost-effective loans that are expected to be paid back, thus recycling the dollars to consistently fund new initiatives into the future.
Focused primarily on neighborhoods with historically deprived levels of affordable housing and ones at risk of expiring affordability covenants, GoATL’s $1 million investment will provide Enterprise with locally-sourced, flexible capital that will benefit the entire metro Atlanta area. Since 2015, Enterprise has invested over $75 million in and around Atlanta, creating or preserving nearly 1,500 affordable units, and has made significant grants to nonprofits to support affordable housing preservation and production. Approximately 20 percent of Enterprise’s lending capacity will also support other community development projects, such as urban charter schools, homeless transition facilities and transit-oriented development.
“As our largest single investment to-date, this commitment to Enterprise represents not only our respect for their leadership in affordable housing but also the region’s goal to substantially increase affordable units for our communities,” said Mark Crosswell, managing director of social impact strategy for the Community Foundation. “Our hope is that GoATL’s focus on critical issue areas will ultimately inspire other local investors to consider social outcomes in their investment decisions.”
The GoATL Fund intends to make investments primarily through intermediaries like Enterprise, and other Community Development Financial Institutions, that have the knowledge and expertise to effectively structure loan capital to support solutions addressing critical needs in our region.
“GoATL’s partnership with CDFIs is strengthening local lending capacity, supporting creative capital solutions within the affordable housing and community development ecosystem,” said Meaghan Shannon-Vlkovic, vice president and market leader for Enterprise’s Southeast Market. “Enterprise is committed to working with partners such as GoATL to coordinate lending and investment strategies supporting housing stability in our region.”
In addition to financial investments, Enterprise also provides policy and technical expertise to community development professionals and policy makers around the state. Their staff provides a full range of support services for developers, policy makers, and social services.