Forward Community Investments is a Wisconsin-based loan fund that provides financial and technical resources to nonprofit organizations that serve to enhance the lives of low-wealth persons and communities in Wisconsin. Our loans allow nonprofits to develop affordable housing and community facilities, improve programs and services and promote economic development initiatives. By increasing the accessibility of financing for community facilities, FCI stabilizes real estate costs and risks, thereby improving the overall economic security for its nonprofit borrowers.
Since its inception in 1994, FCI has disbursed almost $16 million to benefit low-income people and disadvantaged communities. In total, this capital has created or sustained more than 520 units of affordable housing and provided services to 315,000 low-income individuals. Through business incubation strategies or expanded community facilities our clients have maintained 2,530 jobs for neighborhood residents.
FCI uses a lending criteria which rates innovation, equity, collateral, sustainable development and community-based measures. Debt can be used to fund: property acquisition, new construction, rehabilitation, leasehold improvements, equipment purchases, and, depending on the risk, working capital. The fixed rates and below-market pricing offers added cash flow savings to nonprofits serving low income people. For the last three years, FCI experienced record deployment levels and closed each year with every available dollar of investment capital lent to our borrowers.
To ensure a steady pipeline of high performing clients, FCI provides technical assistance. Through workshops and seminars, individual consulting, and a facilities planning manual, we annually train 100+ nonprofit executive directors and managers about topics ranging from day-to-day financial management to financing complex real estate transactions.
We believe that integrated high quality professional advice ensures projects are realistic and sustainable. FCI has had only one minor default in its 15 year history and can only cite a handful of short-term delinquencies.
The majority of our clients are community-based nonprofits with annual revenues between $500,000 and $5,000,000. These nonprofits are integral to the success of community development strategies and to sustaining healthy communities long-term. All of our loans are required to benefit low- to moderate-income populations (defined as having 80% or less of county median income). Priority is given to projects targeted toward low-income individuals, minorities, female-headed households, individuals with physical disabilities, the homeless, and the elderly.
Since its inception, FCI has disbursed loans totaling almost $16 million. During that time, FCI has experienced only one minor default in its 15 year history; we attribute this to the depth of our staff, an involved board of directors, committee oversight and an integrated finance and lending strategy. For the last two years, FCI experienced record levels of demand for its loans and development services and lent every available dollar of investment capital. With shrinking public funding sources and the increase in community needs, FCI has become a critical collaborator and financing source for housing and community development projects in Wisconsin.
Central Wisconsin Community Action Council (CWCAC) provides housing, employment and homeless aid services to people in Adams, Columbia, Juneau, Sauk, Dodge and Waushara Counties. In 2007, they served 302 households, including 496 adults and 360 children. Full Story