The Opportunity Finance Network (OFN) and Twitter have announced the launch of a socially responsible investment fund aimed at raising $1 billion in capital to address racial injustice and persistent poverty in the United States.
As the first corporate investor in the Finance Justice Fund, Twitter is committing $100 million to the fund for long-term, below-market-rate loans and will provide a grant of $1 million and additional contributions in support of the disbursement of loans and administrative costs.
To be managed by OFN, the fund will provide loans through a nationwide network of more than eleven hundred community development financial institutions (CDFIs) working to support and strengthen small businesses, affordable housing, critical community services, quality jobs, and economic opportunity, with a focus on Black, Latinx, Indigenous, and rural borrowers.
OFN president and CEO Lisa Mensah said, “The Finance Justice Fund will help to address longstanding issues of disinvestment, the racial wealth gap, and persistent poverty in our country. I commend Twitter for stepping up as the first corporate investor, for investing substantial capital, and for making a large grant to a fund that will deliver loans through CDFIs to underserved people and places across the country. I invite more corporate and philanthropic partners to invest in this unique opportunity to advance justice.”
Twitter CFO Ned Segal said, “Twitter is proud to partner with OFN and Operation HOPE to bring more support to Black, Latinx, Indigenous, and rural borrowers. By allocating a portion of our cash to the new Finance Justice Fund, Twitter will provide access to capital through loans to…underserved communities. Interest income from Twitter’s investment in the Finance Justice Fund will then be used to support Operation HOPE’s financial coaching initiatives. This is renewable, durable corporate philanthropy that creates a blueprint for other companies to join us in this critical work.”
Twitter will reinvest some of the returns from the below-market-rate loans in a new partnership with Operation HOPE in support of five Operation HOPE Inside centers working to provide financial coaching and tools to customers of Black-owned banks, minority-serving financial institutions, and institutions serving underserved communities.