In 2015, Florida Community Loan Fund celebrates 20 Years of providing expertise and capital to help build strong communities in Florida. As we help nonprofits and other mission-focused organizations reach their goals and succeed in their missions, we are able to help impact over 30,000 Floridians annually. Our impact is a result of partnerships and collaborations with borrowers and supporters over the first 20 years. But we know there remains much work to be done to realize our vision, that opportunity and dignity exist for every person and in every community in Florida. View our 2015 Annual Report to learn how we are planning for Florida's future. Read below a brief history of Florida Community Loan Fund's first 20 years.
The Florida Community Loan Fund (FCLF) was founded in 1994 to provide a statewide source of flexible financing for delivering capital to low-income communities to support community development projects by non-profit organizations throughout the state. Today it has made over 200 loans for a total of over $195 million to over 100 organizations to improve social and economic conditions in communities all across Florida.
FCLF's first support came from the Campaign for Human Development, which provided a grant to facilitate planning and outreach to civic activists, bankers, religious leaders, housing and community development experts. Led by Sister Mary Heyser of the Sacred Heart of Mary, agreement was reached to form a board of directors and embark on efforts to capitalize "the Loan Fund." This Florida-based board of directors, then and today, is made up of one-third borrowers, one-third investors, and one-third technical experts. Today, FCLF staff and board is a well-established team of highly experienced community leaders and industry professionals, and our core management team has been in place for nearly a decade.
Initial investments in FCLF first came from the pennies of the pension funds of religious orders of nuns and brothers. Today FCLF's investors and supporters include nearly all leading financial institutions, major foundations including the Jessie Ball duPont Fund and The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, interdenominational religious support including the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America and the Union for Reform Judaism, as well as state and federal governments.
Under the wisdom and leadership of its founders, FCLF became Florida's first certified statewide Community Development Financial Institution in 1996. Today FCLF is a multifaceted financing entity providing capital in various forms to improve conditions in urban and rural communities throughout the Sunshine state. Throughout its history, a strong social conscience, a commitment to excellence, statewide partnerships and collaborations, accountability to its stakeholders, and a clear focus on performance have enabled FCLF to thrive.
FCLF became certified as a Community Development Entity (CDE) by the U.S. Department of Treasury in 2004. Since then we have secured the largest cumulative amount of federal funding of any Florida-based CDFI entity through the U.S. Department of Treasury's CDFI Fund and New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) Program. The NMTC Program continues to have a high impact on economic development and jobs creation.
In 2009, FCLF received its current CARS(TM) rating of 2AA-Policy Plus. This rating and certification system evaluates both financial and social impact performance to enhance investor confidence. In 2005, FCLF had been one of the first CDFIs to be rated by the Opportunity Finance Network, a national network of CDFIs, using industry standards and accountability measured by an independent third party.This 2009 rating of 2AA-Policy Plus confirmed FCLF's sound financial performance and social impact through mission-based programs and activities. In 2009 FCLF also received its first major support from the State of Florida to help preserve affordable multi-family housing.This emphasis on preserving affordable rental housing was continued in subsequent years as we expanded the Florida Preservation Fund to a reach of 26 Florida counties.
FCLF was able to help our non-profit borrowers survive the economic downturn caused by the troubles in the Florida housing industry. We remained patient and persistent, working alongside community development organizations to maximize the success of their projects. If not for our flexible capital, some of these projects may have come to a halt.
2014 was a record-setting year for FCLF, as we deployed over $45 million in financing through our three distinct lending programs. Our board of directors and management developed a Strategic Plan that would guide FCLF through the next 5 years, which includes a new vision and mission as well as goals to diversify the type of projects we lend to.
FCLF continues to grow and evolve based on its strong social conscience, a commitment to excellence, state-wide partnerships and collaborations, accountability to its stakeholders, and a clear focus on performance.
Florida Community Loan Fund is a multifaceted financing entity with responsibility for over $175 million in total assets, managing three distinct programs: a Community Development Fund, a Florida Preservation Fund and a New Markets Tax Credit Program. We also offer discounted loan rates for Green building and environmentally sustainable projects.
Through these programs, FCLF is providing expertise and capital for community development and revitalization in both urban and rural communities throughout the Sunshine State, and our statewide footprint has given us the flexibility to direct lending to specific geographic areas as well as for specific purposes, as the needs and opportunities arise. Through all of these programs we consistently also work to match the needs of investors to the needs of the various communities in which we lend.