Essays on People, Place & Purpose

Investing in What Works for America's Communities

Portfolio Tag impact investing

Future of Community Development: How CDFIs Can Best Ride the Impact Investing Wave

Think of the community development finance industry as a small boat with an outboard motor. For four decades, pioneering leaders have helped to build this boat, take it out of port, and chart new waters. This boat has served as a lifeline, bringing essential resources to previously cu…

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From Community to Prosperity

“Past performance should not be seen as an indicator of future success.” Anyone who has ever had to decide among investment options, whether for retirement, an endowment, or savings, should be familiar with this warning. Just because a certain investment achieved a 20 percent return o…

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What Problem Are We Trying to Solve?

What is the problem that community development was created to solve? What is the problem it is solving today? And will it be able to solve the problems of tomorrow? I think I know the answer to the first question. Community development emerged as a product of the War on Poverty to giv…

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Deep Democracy Is Not Meetings that Last Forever: Community Development Next

Community development has long been part industry, part social movement. At its core is an idea that American educator and philosopher John Dewey would have recognized but that many of today’s activists, entrepreneurs, and change agents sadly do not. It is the idea of deep democracy. …

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Routinizing the Extraordinary

It is hard not to be inspired by the community-revitalizing work highlighted in this book. Geoffrey Canada, Angela Blanchard, Tom Cousins, and many others are lifted up as extraordinary leaders who are making their communities thrive despite difficult circumstances. But we cannot rely…

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About The Project

Investing in What Works for America’s Communities is a joint project of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco and the Low Income Investment Fund.

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The views expressed in this book and on this website do not necessarily reflect the views of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, the Federal Reserve System, or the Low Income Investment Fund.

Tell Us What Works

The ideas in Investing in What Works for America’s Communities are just a start. We want to hear about what’s working in your community. Tell us about innovative ideas for addressing poverty and share examples of people and places that inspire you. We want to share these ideas and spark conversation about how to create opportunity and prosperity for all Americans. Tell Us What Works

Funding for this project was generously provided to the Low Income Investment Fund by the Citi Foundation.