Innovative Philanthropic Financing for Community Change

Posted July 25, 2014
By the Annie E. Casey Foundation
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This report provides a concise summary of the East Baltimore Revitalization Initiative, with a focus on how the Annie E. Casey Foundation used innovative financing techniques to support the project. The report provides background on the initiative, which is working to transform an 88-acre area near the Johns Hopkins medical campus that has been hard hit by disinvestment and social problems. The report details transactions that helped finance the initiative and highlights the critical role innovative financing can play in complex redevelopment efforts. The report also offers lessons from these transactions for the philanthropic community, local officials, developers and lenders involved in community development.

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Key Takeaway

Philanthropy can use innovative financing to support community development

The Foundation has used a series of innovative financing techniques to support a major community revitalization effort in East Baltimore. Along with direct grant making, the Foundation used its resources in new ways to generate working capital and other funding for the East Baltimore Revitalization Initiative. The Casey Foundation’s investment of more than $100 million in loans, guarantees and bond purchases leveraged more than $300 million in additional funding — $200 million from public sources, $90 million in other philanthropic support and $40 million in new markets tax credits. The Foundation’s involvement in this project has generated lessons that will help other foundations make innovative investments in similar community development efforts.