Building Hope

Service Providers: Nonprofit LenderNonprofit Real Estate Developer
schools supported
$ 230,000,000
in financings

  • National

  • less than one year 
  • one to three years 
  • more than three years of operating history or one charter renewal
  • charter management organizations
  • stand-alone schools
  • single-site schools

Building Hope is a nonprofit organization that works to close the educational achievement gap by giving students access to high-quality public charter school education and providing schools with business services and school facilities solutions. In addition to being a nonprofit lender, Building Hope also provides the following real estate development services: credit enhancement, feasibility assessment, site identification and selection, fee-based development, turnkey development as long-term landlord, project management, and turnkey development with lease-to-purchase option. Building Hope also operates multiple incubator sites as part of its Charter School Incubator Initiative (CSII) in Washington, D.C., in partnership with the Office of the State Superintendent of Education. See the Washington, D.C., section of State Initiatives and the CSII brochure for more information.

Building Hope provides financing, financing technical assistance, real estate development, and real estate technical assistance services. List of financing products available below:

 Terms (Years)
Acquisition loans5
Construction loans3
Mini-permanent loans5
Permanent loans29
Predevelopment loans2
Working capital3


Maximum financing for a single project$2,000,000
Maximum equity for a single project$5,000,000
Maximum amortization (years)30 years

When evaluating a school project, Building Hope considers the following factors: project risk (i.e., cost of project, fees, future space needs, equity requirements, and appraisal value), operator risk (i.e., board and school governance, role of the charter management organization, and academic program and track record), financial risk (i.e., affordability, financial position, budget management, and guarantees), demand (i.e., enrollment, waitlist, and marketing plan), expansion plans, political risk (i.e., length of charter, city political culture, and competition), and exit risk (i.e., supply of replacement schools, alternative uses/tenants, and take-out pro forma).

Name of SchoolTotal Project CostLenders Involved
Tech Freire$10,800,000Building Hope, Local Initiatives Support Corporation, Reinvestment Fund
College Achieve$2,400,000Building Hope
River City Academy$11,600,000Building Hope, Charter School Florida Fund II
Carpe Diem$8,400,000Building Hope, Jefferson Bank, a local foundation, Charter Schools Development Corporation
Galileo School for Gifted$8,000,000Building Hope, Charter School Florida Fund II


Key Statistics:

Financial Overview
U.S. Department of Education (ED) Credit Enhancement$5,000,000
New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) allocation total$0
Community Development Financial Institutions Bond Guarantee Program (CDFI BGP) allocation total$25,000,000


Portfolio Statistics
Total historic financing1$214,000,000
Number of schools/projects supported182
NMTC allocation employed for charter facilitiesN/A
Number of schools supported with NMTCN/A
CDFI BGP allocation deployed for schools$0
Number of schools supported with CDFI BGP0
Remaining capacity in CDFI BGP allocation$25,000,000


Portfolio Performance
$ amount of financing repaid/refinanced2$175,000,000
NMTC matured/refinancedN/A
Total number of transactions3143
Original $ amount of defaults4$678,500
Number of defaults4
Default rate (% of total $ amount of financing)0.32%
Default rate (% of total number of financings)2.80%
$ amount write-offs$678,500
Number of write-offs4
Write-off rate (% of total $ amount of financing)0.32%
Write-off rate (% of total number of financings)2.80%


1Financing defined as grants, recoverable grants, loans, and guarantees.

2Includes full repayments only; does not include partial amortizations or restructurings.

3Number includes only those financings with a repayment obligation; it excludes grants.

4A defaulted loan is defined as one in which the school can no longer make debt service payments and the lender must litigate or foreclose for repayment. This figure represents the loan amount at origination, not the amount outstanding at default.


Last updated: August 2017


Disclosure: Information on this page has been provided by the organization. Any questions related to figures or programs listed should be directed to the contact shown above. Keep in mind that each school’s situation will differ slightly and you’ll need to speak to the contact listed for information specific to your school.