In 2020, social entrepreneur Adrick (A.D.) Ceasar saw a need for safe, affordable housing for men and women living in poverty. He founded The Good Shepherd’s House, LLC (GSH) to provide innovative solutions to rehouse and restore individuals experiencing homelessness or housing instability.
GSH started by leasing homes and providing furnished rental rooms and programming to transform marginalized individuals into fruitful community contributors. However, a model based solely on rentals was not sustainable. When the opportunity came to buy a nearby home in which to base GSH’s operations, A.D. knew this would give the enterprise both the place — with space for gatherings and administration — and the permanence it needed to make a lasting difference in the community.
All he needed was a loan.
Fortunately for GSH — and the Upstate community — a new donor-advised fund platform, Abundance Capital, launched February 15. Founded by philanthropy and impact investment industry veterans Mike Gatchell and Margaret Gifford, Abundance is designed to provide risk-tolerant capital in the form of grants, loans, and equity investment to businesses like GSH.
“Donors can join on the website with a donation of $100 or more and, depending on the project, participate immediately in supporting innovative businesses such as GSH,” says Gifford. “Abundance donors can find philanthropic impact investment opportunities through our partnerships with VentureSouth, CommunityWorks, and others.”
For GSH, Abundance joined forces with CommunityWorks to provide a loan on a timetable that would have been difficult without Abundance Capital’s involvement.
“A donor client can join by funding their account and taking a charitable tax deduction immediately,” Gifford says. “Our members can then strategically deploy their venture philanthropy through an opportunity they bring to us, or one that we help them find. Our model takes the hassle and risk out of impact investing, using philanthropic capital in a new and regenerative way.”
(Excerpt taken from Rebecca Howerton Greenville Journal March 14, 2022)