For decades, Annie Donovan has led innovative efforts to spur economic opportunity and revitalize communities. Now, the former head of the CDFI Fund is bringing her considerable talent and experience to LISC, taking on the new role of chief operating officer to help drive strategies that support a broadly shared prosperity in urban and rural communities.
As she steps into her new roll as COO for LISC, Annie Donovan, former head of the CDFI Fund, shares some reflections on the current promise—and challenges—of doing community investment, the origins of her personal commitment to service and creating equitable opportunity, and the reasons she decided to come to LISC.
The Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund, part of the U.S. Treasury Department, announced the recipients of $3.5 billion in New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) allocations for 2019. The awards include $60 million for LISC, which will be deployed through its subsidiary, the New Markets Support Company (NMSC). Since its inception, NMSC has harnessed $1 billion in tax credits to offer flexible capital for projects that benefit low-income communities across the country--projects ranging from Cincinnati’s CityLink Center, home to 15 social service agencies, to a health clinic-plus-grocery store in Brockton, Mass. to a public library in Petersburg, Va.
An in depth report from NY1 News explains how the Inclusive Creative Economy Fund has galvanized the future of a venerable downtown theater, La Mama. Thanks to a $3 million line of credit from LISC, the nearly 60-year-old institution, which has nurtured thousands of experimental artists and engages a broad diversity of audiences, is able to renovate its aging building and continue its valuable work. The fund’s model of raising debt capital from an array of impact investors to support creative economies and stimulate job growth, the report noted, can be scaled for communities across the country where real estate costs and other forces threaten local arts and culture.
The NFL Foundation/LISC Grassroots Field Grant Program announced grants totaling $3 million to newly build or significantly renovate fields in parks, schools or at community organizations in 14 cities from Brooklyn to Houston and Racine, WI to Indian Trail, NC. The funds will be used for improvements such as irrigation systems, lights, bleachers, scoreboards and more. About a partnership that has lasted 20 years, Alexia Gallagher, executive director of the NFL Foundation stated: “With more than one million youth using these fields, which provide safe places for families to come together and participate in sports, the benefits of the NFL Foundation/LISC Grassroots Field Grant Program are indisputable.”