Building Social Impact
American Communities Trust (ACT) is dedicated to building strong, vibrant communities by partnering with nonprofit and for-profit organizations to develop community investment strategies that have lasting social impact and create economic opportunity. ACT focuses on the nexus of social-impact real estate, impact investment, and community benefits in order to build dynamic, cross-sector partnerships. Through our work we harness national best practices, deep expertise, and innovation to create lasting benefits for resilient communities. ACT carries out this work through our Community Benefits Strategies, Social Impact Consulting, Impact Investing, and Project Development.
We tailor our approach to fit the unique needs of each project and community, designed in concert with our partners and local stakeholders. We often employ outside-the-box strategies informed by national best practices. Our creative approaches include local coalition building, technical assistance, capacity building, and deploying a community impact fund to support local groups. Our work includes:
- Community needs assessments
- Local stakeholder engagement
- Community investment strategies
- Community benefits agreements (CBAs)
- Evaluation, compliance and reporting
- Advising on sources of local and national subsidy
- Administering and advising on community fund deployment
- Advisory services
ACT believes that real estate projects with a social mission are critical for local economies to grow and succeed. However, these projects and programs are often nontraditional, challenging to plan, and complicated to finance. ACT partners with nonprofits and community-based organizations to help them make their projects and programs a reality. We also help our partners gain expertise and build capacity along the way. ACT’s diverse team is experienced in community development, real estate, fundraising, and marketing. We have helped our partners secure financing from a range of sources including federal and foundation grants and New Markets Tax Credits. Our work includes:
- Strategic planning
- Research and studies on innovative models and best practices
- Operational and programmatic modeling
- Capital project structuring and finance
- Tax credit financing
- Fundraising strategy and grant writing
- Technical assistance and capacity building
- Developer services and project management
- Advisory services
ACT makes strategic investments in real-estate and operating businesses that have a social impact on our communities. Examples of investments include early-stage predevelopment loans in catalytic real-estate projects, and loans to small businesses that need operating capital to scale but lack the ability to secure traditional financing. ACT often seeks to target its investments to markets where it has existing projects and partners through its community benefits services or social-impact consulting work.
ACT occasionally takes on the role of master developer or development partner on real-estate projects that have a high impact on improving our communities, creating jobs, and building community/economic development. Through these projects ACT seeks to build capacity for place-based nonprofits and businesses so that ultimately ACT can step away and turn the project over to local partners.