In response to the recession, a group of community leaders in Southern Arizona came together to discuss the changing needs of the region’s nonprofits. Despite the demand for services, the economic downturn took a significant toll on Arizona nonprofit agencies. Most experienced funding cuts and the dwindling of cash reserves. The group, convened by Jim Click, decided to take action and create a new type of community loan fund.
NPLF was founded in 2012 as a supporting organization of the Community Foundation for Southern Arizona. It is governed by a 12-memberBoard of Directors
, representing diverse backgrounds and fields of expertise, such as philanthropy, finance and nonprofit management.
“NPLF has the flexibility to meet the unique needs of nonprofits and add to the financial tools for our nonprofit sector,” said Mike Hammond, President of Cushman & Wakefield/PICOR Commercial Real Estate and NPLF Board Chair.
Today, NPLF’s loans range from $10,000 to $50,000, with terms up to 12 months. As loans are repaid, funds become available for use by other NPLF projects.
“We’re expecting a significant increase in revenues in 2014 due to investments we’ve made in creative new programming and staff,” said Kelly Fryer, executive director of YWCA Tucson. “The loan from NPLF is a bridge to help us manage our cash flow while waiting for anticipated revenue.”
NPLF’s loan experts work one-on-one with each organization to customize a short-term loan package with affordable interest rates based on its unique needs.
“We were pleased with how accessible and responsive everyone was to our questions and how the whole process was so transparent,” said Carol Grimsby, executive director of Wingspan. “We appreciated the fact that a Loan Committee makes the final decisions and the loan closing paperwork– simple and straightforward. The timing was perfect for Wingspan.”
Funds for NPLF come from investors, charitable gifts, grants and loan fees. Investors and partners of NPLF include the Community Foundation for Southern Arizona, Community Finance Corp., City of Tucson Industrial Development Authority, Pima County Industrial Development Authority, Habitat for Humanity Tucson, Diamond Foundation, BMO Harris Bank, BDFC Advisor Services, LLC and community volunteers.
Minimum qualifications for a loan for a loan through NPLF include 501(c)3 status, a presence in Pima County, an annual budget of at least $250,000, an operating history of three years and the ability to provide three-year financial statements and tax returns. For complete information on eligibility and terms to apply, please visit nonprofit-loans.org