Capital Access Services

Capital Access ServicesOver our thirty years, we've learned that connecting money to mission isn’t just about writing checks. It’s about providing the right kind of money, for the right purposes, at the right times. As simple as this seems, the distinctions between different kinds of money are often overlooked, leading to capitalization that loses sight of the big picture and organizations expected to do too much with too little.

Through our Capital Access Services, we work with funders to develop more effective, holistic, and multi-faceted financing strategies for nonprofits. Our goal is to maximize the impact of funding dollars and thinking creatively and conceptually about what an organization truly needs to get where it wants to go.

Successful Lending in the Social Sector


"As a community foundation, our role is to help people make smart investments in nonprofits and communities. This requires a thorough understanding of a nonprofit organization's financial health, and Nonprofit Finance Fund has been instrumental in helping us better understand how to evaluate this. Not only has NFF's shared knowledge helped us make more effective grants, but we've also passed that knowledge on to nonprofits so they have even deeper insight into their own financial situation." Alicia Philipp, President, The Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta

NFF is the largest and oldest national CDFI (Community Development Financial Institution) dedicated exclusively to social sector finance. (See Loans & Financing for more information on the breadth and depth of our financing program!)

  • Program-Related and Mission-Related Investment Services (PRI & MRI): When do PRIs or MRIs make sense? NFF’s experienced lenders support grantmakers’ strategic thinking on when, how and where to deploy PRIs and MRIs to maximum effect. Our lenders offer services to help funders create and maintain PRI or MRI portfolios, including program design, underwriting, loan closing, documentation and post-closing (including loan monitoring and billing).
  • Syndication & Participation Loans : Foundations looking to work jointly with colleagues can use NFF Funder Services to help enlist other participants and manage transactions, including structuring, documentation, closing, administration and reporting.

Philanthropic Equity: Grantmaking for Successful Change and Growth

NFF partners with foundations and individual donors who are investing in organizations or groups of grantees undergoing major growth or change. This can include rapid scaling; modifying business models; undertaking transformational growth; improving quality or efficiency; downsizing; and embarking on mergers. NFF adds the financial component to grantmakers’ customized change initiatives.

  • The NFF Build / Buy Funding MethodSM: This funding method distinguishes money that buys services from money that builds the organization’scapacity. Grantmaker partners become part of this innovation in social sector finance by working closely with NFF to apply these techniques in their work. NFF’s Capital Partners division pioneered these concepts, and NFF leads the field in their application and rapid evolution.
  • Customized Philanthropic Equity: Support with NFF Capital Partners More funders are taking a look at “scaling what works.” To date, our 16 nonprofit clients have raised more than $300 million in growth capital campaigns. We work with funders to assess nonprofits' suitability and readiness to undergo this process. We also dofinancial engineering and modeling, design growth campaigns and provide support as implementation unfolds.
  • Catalyst Funds: Collaboratives of grantmakers work with NFF as manager, organizer and screening agent to deploy capital and advisory support to organizations seeking to downsize, merge, collaborate or work in a new way to realize cost savings, program retention and improved effectiveness.

Philanthropic Capital to Sustain Great Results

  • Building for the FutureSM: This program was developed by NFF with funders seeking to strengthen a specific part of grantees’ balance sheets. It is used by funders to incentivize preventive maintenance routines and build replacement reserves among grantees who own facilities. It has also been used to build cash reserves and develop “savings” in advance of grantees’ planned incremental growth.