Community Impact Loan Fund

The Arizona Community Foundation’s Community Impact Loan Fund offers loans to nonprofit community projects, often at or below market rates. As loans are repaid, funds become available for use with other projects, creating a continual recycling of charitable capital.

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Leading the nation

The Arizona Community Foundation is becoming a national leader as it steps more boldly into the practice of impact investing—deploying charitable capital in ways that create both a social and financial return, often leveraging additional financing to bring projects to scale and achieve greater impact.

Using familiar market instruments such as loans, debt and loan guarantees, ACF has invested in innovative projects that advance education, healthcare and environmental sustainability in Arizona.

Over the last several decades, the Desert Botanical Garden has had to increase the use of City of Phoenix tap water to supplement annual rainfall. Warmer nighttime temperatures and the addition of new exhibits and plantings have required additional water.

A $375,000 loan from the Community Impact Loan Fund allowed the DBG to construct a new pumping system to draw nutrient-rich non-potable water directly from the adjacent Salt River Project Canal.

Using untreated canal water is a healthier and lower-cost option for the Garden's plant collection and allows the city to conserve its water resources in this time of persistent drought and realize energy savings from a more convenient and less expensive water source. The project is expected to save the Garden about $75,000 annually in irrigation costs. Learn more about this project.

Jewish Family and Children's Services conducted a $3.2 million capital campaign to replace its Catalina Behavioral Health Clinic in Maryvale.

The new 24,000-square-foot Catalina Wellness Center is a state-of-the-art integrated medical and behavioral health center for children and families. Among its capabilities, the new facility includes child and adult waiting areas, integrated primary and behavioral health services, observation rooms, videoconferencing and training, fitness and play therapy areas, and tele-medicine capability.

Currently, 95% of the population served by the clinic is covered by Medicare.

Jewish Family and Children's services used their $500,000 loan from the Community Impact Loan Fund to fund the purchase of necessary equipment.

The Mariposa Pharmacy in Nogales serves moderate- to low-income individuals and families from an office on the Mariposa Community Health Center's Nogales campus.

As a federally qualified healthcare center, Mariposa serves medically underserved areas and populations, including migrants and other seasonal workers with pharmacy outreach, daily prescription deliveries to Rio Rico and Patagonia, and full-service medical and dental care.

A $500,000 loan made from the Community Impact Loan Fund in partnership with Dignity Health allowed for expansion of the current facility, an upgrade to technology and an increase in service capacity to help meet the community’s growing needs.

ACF made its first loan from the Community Impact Loan Fund in 2012, in partnership with the Phoenix Industrial Development Authority. The loan funded pre-development costs associated with the acquisition and development of a new high school as part of Phoenix Collegiate Academy, a successful South Phoenix charter school.

Phoenix Collegiate Academy was formed with the idea that children of all socio-economic, ethnic, and cultural backgrounds should have access to a quality education, and that a rigorous program can help students obtain the necessary skills to enter and succeed in college and in life. The school developed and implements a focused college-prep curriculum, which includes two daily periods each of math and literacy, as well as reading, writing, science, social studies, foreign language, and ethics.

Opened in 2009, the school had a proven track record of successfully educating children in lower grades, adding grade levels each year. The expansion would allow the school to continue educating students through 12th grade.

In partnership with Salt River Project and the City of Tempe, the Rio Salado Foundation is working toward the completion of a restoration project for the Eisendrath House.

With $3 million previously raised through donors including American Express, Vestar and the Salt River Pima Maricopa Indian Community, the project was only $1 million short of completing the renovation in 2013.

The partnership has now raised the funds, although a commitment of $325,000 from SRP remains to be paid over the course of the next seven years.

The Rio Salado Foundation's loan from the ACF Community Impact Loan Fund makes the required capital available immediately and the restoration can be made using current estimates and costs.

Hospital gift shops are more than a place to get balloons, cards and get-well treats for your loved one. They can actually provide revenue to nonprofit service providers to increase their capacity for charitable work.

At the Scottsdale Healthcare Auxiliary, for example, revenues from the gift shop fund scholarships for teen volunteers and ongoing prize programs to create incentives for staff to bring forward ideas to improve patient experiences and outcomes.

A $150,000 loan from the Community Impact Loan Fund, matched dollar for dollar by Arizona Multibank, funded a renovation of two in-hospital gift shops to improve aesthetics of the entrances and inventory display.

A $400,000 loan drawn from the Community Impact Loan Fund in partnership with Dignity Health was made to the Torah Day School of Phoenix.

The loan will be used to complete expansion of its existing campus in response to a growth in enrollment during the last two years, a trend that is expected to continue.

Founded in 2010 with a class of seven kindergarten boys, the campus now accommodates more than 175 students enrolled in kindergarten through 8th grades and another 70 enrolled in their Kindertots preschool.

The Torah Day School of Phoenix is unique in the demographic that it serves and is recognized as the only Jewish day school in Arizona to offer single-gender classes.


  • Produces greater leverage and scale by using a small portion of assets as recyclable, low-interest, or market-rate loans across multiple nonprofit sectors.
  • Introducing new and sophisticated financial tools to nonprofits, increasing organizational expertise and ultimately strengthening the nonprofit sector.
  • Provides access to capital that may not be available or affordable to nonprofits through traditional lenders.
  • Expands impact across the broader community.
  • Attracts new donors interested in achieving greater community impact.
  • Applies lessons learned from ACF’s highly successful Affordable Housing Program to other important areas of need in Arizona.