Every year at ACF, we set out to do more, and better, for our community. As the year comes to a close, we’re taking a moment to reflect on our collective work and highlight significant milestones of 2022, which include increasing our investments in affordable housing and launching our newest signature program, The Black Fund. Through ACF programs and scholarships, we infused nearly $9.2 million into the community. We are grateful to our donors, funders, nonprofit partners, staff, and board members who helped make this possible. Our work to close the opportunity gap by advancing economic security and affordable housing would not be possible without their support and partnership. Here is a brief recap of ACF’s impact thus far in 2022.
Through our Community Grants program, our fundholders granted more than $1.1 million to 85 nonprofit organizations for specific projects to benefit our community. These grants ranged in size from $165 to more than $60,000 and exceeded last year’s total by more than $147,000.
As for ACF’s strategic programs that completed grant cycles in 2022, we saw our most significant growth to date, both in dollars as well as our equitable grantmaking efforts. This year, the Women’s Fund awarded $490,000 to 24 organizations working in five strategy areas: Child Care, Education, Housing, Unplanned Pregnancy Prevention, and Women’s Health. This funding represents the highest amount awarded in a single year by the Women’s Fund since the program’s inception in 2004.
We’re also proud to share that the Hispanic Impact Fund awarded $365,000 to 28 organizations working to advance opportunities for Latinos in Central Texas—61% of which are led by a CEO or Executive Director that identifies as Hispanic or Latino, and 64% of which employ a majority Hispanic or Latino staff. This year also marked significant milestones for the program’s growth, including offering grants in a new impact area, Leadership Development, and awarding its one-millionth dollar since the program’s launch in 2017.
We partner with community leaders, philanthropists, and educators to support the educational goals of students as well as the charitable wishes of our donors. In 2022, ACF distributed $915,000 in scholarships to students, 49% of whom were first-generation college students, and 92% reside in Central Texas. To learn more, you can read our full scholarship impact report here.
IMPACT INVESTMENTS IN AFFORDABLE HOUSING
Unlike traditional philanthropy that relies on grants, ACF’s impact investments are structured as cost-effective loans to nonprofit organizations and community development institutions. This strategy allows the foundation to invest in local solutions while generating a financial return on philanthropic dollars that can be recycled to consistently fund new projects. In March, we renewed our loan to the Austin Housing Conservancy for $400,000, which increased their resources for purchasing new affordable housing properties.
In April, we convened local funders and community leaders to discuss the critical role of philanthropy in affordable housing. We solidified this stance in July by announcing a $4 million impact investment in the form of a low-interest rate loan to Austin Habitat for Humanity. The loan helps to accelerate the construction of 150 affordable, single-family homes at three sites across Austin. The pooled loan fund includes a combination of grants and impact investments from Tito’s Handmade Vodka, St. David’s Foundation, Bill Wood Foundation, Shield-Ayres Foundation, the Aragona family, and a group of donor-advised fundholders at ACF.
Lastly, we recently announced a $2.87 million impact investment in SGI Ventures for Cady Lofts—a permanent supportive housing development in Central Austin, providing 100 affordable rental units with onsite services for individuals transitioning out of homelessness. This project is expected to open for residents in the winter of 2024.
Another major milestone of 2022, and the most significant for our community, was the launch of The Black Fund. This new program aims to unleash the power of Black-led organizations and uplift solutions to benefit the Black community in Central Texas. The Black Fund Grants Committee is in the midst of reviewing approximately 90 applications—many of which were submitted by organizations building a first-time relationship with ACF—with the goal of awarding $340,000 in unrestricted, general operating support to 16 Black-led and Black-serving nonprofits early next year.
This change-making work doesn’t happen by accident. It’s the result of the community coming together to strategically address our most challenging issues. To help us increase our impact in 2023, you can make a gift to the Austin Leadership Fund today. Your generosity makes it possible for us to stay nimble and respond to our community’s ever-changing needs. We look forward to seeing how much more we can accomplish together next year and beyond.