"Power is the force that changes systems whether through organized people or organized money. It is the only way to achieve equitable outcomes for all communities. Unless we acknowledge and confront the role of power in perpetuating disparities, we won’t make progress in health, housing, education, criminal justice and every other major societal issue."
What if we could set up a fund where everyone could have access to a "rich uncle?"
This is the vision of the Friends & Family Fund (FFF) being raised by Hyper Local Impact and a network of community champions.
The FFF will be "we're taking a bet on you money". The kind of money that is usually raised from the accumulated wealth of friends and families. This initial $1,000,000 raise will be specifically earmarked for BIPOC business and nonprofit leaders in Southeast Fort Wayne, IN.
The FFF will be structured as a Donor Advised Fund (DAF) and will hosted by a qualified tax-exempt organization -- so all contributions will be donations, immediately tax-deductible.
The FFF will be able to make grants, loans, and equity investments in mission-aligned nonprofits and for profit organizations. Savvy individual, family, and corporate donors have been making impact investments using their DAF assets for years, both making an impact and growing their DAF. Its time we grow this practice in Fort Wayne.
We are currently in the middle of a once-in-a-century movement. The Black Lives Matter movement is national -- but the outcomes of systemic racism are starkly visible here in Fort Wayne. Let's compare three maps:
Income Distribution in Fort Wayne: It is clear in this map that the lowest household incomes are disproportionately clustered in Southeast Fort Wayne.
2. White Race Distribution in Fort Wayne: This map is also surprisingly simple to interpret. Southeast Fort Wayne has by far the lowest concentration of white residents.
3. Black Race Distribution in Fort Wayne: If you live here this likely doesn't surprise you. If you don't, I'd encourage you to check your own city. According to my city planner advisor (aka Husband) this is true of most cities in America. It is often an outcome of historic redlining and disenfranchisement.
(maps sourced from: https://statisticalatlas.com/place/Indiana/Fort-Wayne/)
If Friends & Family capital comes from friends and family with money...the argument isn't difficult to make that our neighbors in the Southeast could use some of our "I'm making a bet on you" money...and urgently!
The groundwork has been laid for years for this work. There have been countless meetings by city officials and employees, neighborhood presidents, and civic leaders. We know what types of businesses and uses our neighbors in Southeast Fort Wayne want.
AND more importantly, we have entrepreneurs ready and willing to build. I've identified around $1,000,000 in deal-flow simply through word of mouth in the last two months. There is a vibrant, beautiful, thriving business community just waiting for someone to take a bet on them for growth or to get started.
Are you in? Details coming this week on how we're going to raise $1,000,000 for our neighbors in Southeast with an urgency -- because they need us (and more importantly, WE NEED THEM).