We seek to be the best financial empowerment organization in America by providing high-quality, innovative and transformational financial services to underserved families.
It is not easy to escape from poverty. Low-income Americans face numerous obstacles to building better lives for themselves and their families. For many, the promise of the American Dream seems to be slipping away.
That's where we come in.
Capital Good Fund is a non-profit, certified Community Development Financial Institution that takes a holistic approach to fighting poverty. Our mission is to provide equitable financial services that create pathways out of poverty.
Recognizing the endemic nature of American poverty—as well as the interlocking issues that together form barriers to eradicating it—we use financial empowerment in a holistic way to meet the needs of our clients, foster true social mobility and eliminate the wealth and opportunity gaps in our society.
At Good Fund we believe in big ideas for solving big problems in as little time as possible, for we agree that “justice too long delayed is justice denied.” We are inventive, daring, fun, ambitious. We are passionate about collaboration, open-source sharing, transparency, and authenticity. We are unafraid to forge a new path in the service of our mission. And we are single minded in our devotion to fulfilling Dr. Muhammad Yunus’s dream of putting poverty in the only place it belongs: museums.
In late 2015 we embarked on a scaling plan that called for us to finance 17,000 loans over five years, with the goal of covering 100% of our operating expenses through interest income from our loan portfolio. To fund this growth, we launched a $4.25 million Direct Public Offering, allowing individuals, foundations, and others to invest as little as $1,000 in Capital Good Fund and earn up to 6%.
Hitting our growth targets was always going to require geographic expansion beyond our home state of Rhode Island, and we are proud to announce that as of October 2016 we are operating in three states--Rhode Island, Delaware, and Florida. Below is a brief of explanation of how and why we chose these states:
Why Florida SectionWhy Florida? After analyzing and ranking all 50 states, plus the District of Columbia, Florida came out on top for expansion for a variety of reasons. First, given our focus on the Latino market, it makes a lot of sense to expand to a state with over 4 million Latinos. More specifically, as we grow our Immigration Loan, we look forward to lending to the over 200,000 Floridians who become legal permanent residents or citizens each year. Second, Florida has a $3 billion payday loan industry, as well as a variety of other predatory products such as auto title loans, which present a tremendous opportunity for impact and growth. Third, from a regulatory perspective, it is possible for us to charge sustainable interest rates and offer our products to Florida residents. And finally, Florida is appealing because it is on the same time zone as Rhode Island, is only a three-hour flight away, and lacks lenders offering products similar to ours.
Why Delaware SectionWhy Delaware? While Delaware is a small state, geographically as well as in terms of population, it caught our attention for a few reasons. First, much as with Florida, the state has a significant predatory lending industry; in fact, there is no interest rate cap, meaning that it is possible and legal to take out a loan at 1,000% APR. Second, we can operate as an online-only lender and charge the same interest rates as in Rhode Island--lowering the cost of bringing our products and services to Delaware residents. Third, again as with Florida, the state is in the same time zone and is a relatively short train ride or flight away from Providence. And finally, many of the financial institutions that are significant funders of Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) like Capital Good Fund are headquartered in Delaware. This means that the Community Reinvestment Act incentivizes them to donate to, and invest in, CDFIs operating in the state.
Watching our clients achieve their dreams is incredibly rewarding. Every day, we witness the power of small loans and financial coaching to change people’s lives. Whether it’s seeing the gratitude of a single mother who has been given a loan to move into a safe and affordable apartment, or the excitement of an immigrant on the verge of becoming an American citizen, we are motivated by the spirit and drive of our borrowers.
Capital Good Fund began as a dream in a social entrepreneurship class at Brown University in the fall of 2008. Originally designed to combat environmental devastation and create economic opportunity for low-income Americans, Capital Good Fund was once a student-led initiative. Now, we're one of the fastest-growing microfinance institutions in the United States!
If your organization would like to request a presentation about Good Fund's services and credit-building and debt-management techniques, please fill out a Presentation Request Form here.