Featured funder: Lord Mayor's Charitable Foundation
Hanna Ebeling speaks to Catherine Brown, CEO of Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation
How did the relationship with Sefa come about?
I knew of Sefa due to my participation on the SEDIF Advisory Committee. The Foundation's first contact with Sefa was with (former CEO) Ben Gales when he was making contact with foundations to introduce us to Sefa on impact investment opportunities. Our first investment related to a loan to Habitat for Humanity via Sefa to assist HfH grow their pipeline of low income housing projects.
What is LMCF's main focus at the moment in relation to impact investment?
We are seeking to align our impact investment with our overall impact strategy, which include priorities in affordable housing, energy efficiency and vulnerable households, and employment focused social enterprises, amongst other areas. We also want our impact investments to help demonstrate new opportunities and grow the impact investment ecosystem.
Favourite thing about working with affordable housing projects?
We are inspired by the potential for philanthropy to unlock impact investment opportunities. We enjoy working with not for profit leaders who are trying to create new solutions, for example, through layered investment.
We are always learning. Impact investment is a developing sector and we are gaining knowledge all the time. Sometimes structuring investments takes time and there can be several players. We are all learning about the best role we can play in each transaction.