Dear Shareholders and Friends:
We are all connected as people. Though we may label ourselves as investors, employees, or borrowers, we are all working together to address larger social issues such as affordable housing, poverty, and financial inclusion. As Clearinghouse CDFI completes 21 years of service, we are reminded that there is still much more work to be done.
In 2017, we were able to pursue our shared mission by working together. During the past year, your additional investment of $6.4 million in new equity increased capital by 22%. Of that amount, four investments were from new investors, including the two single largest investments ever made in our history: CIT and Western Alliance Bank. We were also honored to welcome our first Native investor, the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Tribe, and our first community-based nonprofit investor, Orange County Community Housing Corporation.
As a team of changemakers, we have created a more inclusive economy through our lending. In 2017, we funded 56 loans totaling $142 million. New Markets Tax Credits allocation and CDFI Bond Guarantee proceeds played significant roles in meeting our mission. Additionally, as a result of a 2017 Financial Assistance Award, our lending in Indian Country will increase by $10 million. In total, our direct lending served 43,000 families, created 300 affordable housing units, created/retained 2,000 jobs, and 1,000 student spaces. None of these life-changing impacts would have been possible without all of us doing our part.
Our journey as a CDFI was strengthened by our determination to establish a more inclusive network. Addressing difficult problems requires the commitment of many stakeholders, including both nonprofit and for-profit partners. That is why in 2017, we contributed 7% of our profits to mission-driven, nonprofit organizations. This amount represents a 33% increase over 2016. Our employees also volunteered a total of 1,400 hours to nonprofit organizations. We also continued to partner with other B Corporations. In 2017, Clearinghouse CDFI provided the single largest investment into the Force for Good Fund, which invests in women and people-of-color owned B Corporations. Together, we can all continue creating positive impacts far beyond our individual reach.
Tomorrow requires us to come together in more powerful ways than ever before. We must keep an open mind and possess the courage to increasingly count on one another. Clearinghouse CDFI will continue embracing diversity and striving for economic inclusion through our impactful lending. Let us continue to build a brighter and healthier future of financial inclusion by bringing people together, tomorrow.
Douglas J. Bystry
President / CEO