Walton Family Foundation Launches Two New Non-profit Lending Funds

The Walton Family Foundation announced the creation of the Charter Impact Fund and Facilities Investment Fund. The two distinct non-profit funds are supported through the foundation’s Building Equity Initiative, an unprecedented effort to make it easier and more affordable for public charter schools to find, secure and renovate facilities. The Charter Impact Fund and Facilities Investment Fund will provide quicker access to long- and short-term financing, respectively. The Charter Impact Fund, a new, non-profit organization, will launch with $200 million in seed funding and provide long-term, fixed-rate loans — similar to a home mortgage — to high-performing charter schools anywhere in the country for up to 100 percent of project costs. The CIF provides charter schools with access to lower transaction costs and quicker loan execution — allowing each school to save several million dollars over the loan term. Adapting a revolving-loan fund model that has successfully supported clean water projects and affordable housing, the CIF is the first pooled fund of its kind for public charter schools, providing permanent, credit-enhanced loans at low cost. Created in collaboration with Bank of America Merrill Lynch and managed by Civic Builders, the $100 million Facilities Investment Fund will offer public charter schools five-year fixed-rate loans for up to 90 percent of project costs for new construction or facility renovation.