LISC National
What We Do

Lending & Financial Support

Putting capital where it's needed most. What do you call an organization that invests money in community groups working to revitalize disinvested neighborhoods? A Community Development Financial Institution, or CDFI. LISC’s purpose as a non-profit CDFI is to provide capital to projects in low-income, disadvantaged and underserved communities at affordable rates.

As one of LISC's 31 local offices, Duluth LISC has invested $90 million in the local community since 1997.

“Duluth LISC matters. Their leadership, vision, and resources have provided transformational value –throughout our neighborhoods and in the lives of our neighbors.”
— Emily Larson, Duluth Mayor

We offer this capital to Duluth's nonprofit developers, small businesses and other service providers who may not be able to get credit in the conventional marketplace. And we, in turn, receive investment capital from a range of sources that include all levels of government, foundations, banks, and individuals. There are nearly 1,000 CDFIs in the country and LISC Duluth is part of one of the largest. We are profitable, but we are not profit-maximizing. We put community first.

How we use our funds

We use our funds to provide loans, equity, and grants to local organizations leading projects and programs that help their communities. Our loans have financed affordable housing, supermarkets, schools, health centers and other vital community projects. We've invested our equity in housing, retail and commercial centers and theaters. And our grants have funded safety programs, opened recreation fields, and helped our local partners keep the lights on and get better at what they do.  See all the areas we support.

What we offer

  • project implementation loans to help cover costs associated with real estate development that further neighborhood revitalization goals; 
  • organizational development grants that assist community organizations to improve its administrative structures, management and financial systems, and real estate development and management capacities;
  • strategic planning grants to cover costs associated with the creation of new programs that are important to an organization's overall mission and needs of the community's residents; and
  • other loan products.


Lars Kuehnow, Neighborhood Development Officer