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MCF Loan Fund

Grants & Loans › MCF Loan Fund

The MCF Loan Fund was created in 1989 to increase the Marin Community Foundation's support for nonprofits in Marin. As a complement to the Foundation's grant programs, the Loan Fund is an important resource for the community's nonprofits. Its primary goal is to help borrowers that are not served by the commercial banks due to the perceived risk of the nonprofit sector. The Loan Fund's low interest rate helps bring their projects and programs to fruition — something that the market rate would not allow.

The Loan Fund provides short- and long-term financing for a wide range of important endeavors in Marin, including affordable housing, human needs, environmental protection, and education, among many others. For example, the Loan Fund has enabled the construction and/or rehabilitation of over 200 units of affordable and special needs housing in Marin County.

Our Loan Fund Goals

1. Expand Access to Debt Financing: We provide loans to nonprofits in Marin County when other financial possibilities have been exhausted. Loans will be considered for nonprofits that cannot afford or qualify for commercial debt, and are made for a number of uses, including:

Fiscal Restructuring or Relief — A means for nonprofits to make more efficient use of present resources or offer fiscal relief during financial or organizational restructuring.
Capacity Building — A financial bridge to take organizations or programs to a new level of programmatic effectiveness.
Site Acquisition — A resource for site acquisition, construction, rehabilitation, to help stabilize nonprofits for the future, and for projects aimed at Marin County's affordable housing market.

2. Develop Financial Expertise: Enhance the fiscal management skills of Marin County's nonprofit boards and staff through workshops and training.

3. Assure Loan Fund Integrity: Maintain a healthy loan portfolio so that money can be lent out to other nonprofits in need on a continuous basis.

4. Develop New Products: The Loan Fund plans to develop new loan products based on market feedback and the needs of Marin County nonprofits.

A note to MCF donors: Donors can invest a portion of the assets in their fund at MCF into the Marin Community Foundation Loan Fund. The assets invested will expand the dollars available to loan to Marin nonprofits. This investment option is available except upon the infrequent occasions when the Loan Fund has reached its capacity. Click here for more information on this investment option.


Financial Education

One of the goals of the MCF Loan Fund is to provide free technical assistance on financing and act as a resource for current borrowers and the broader nonprofit community in Marin County.

The Loan Fund offers:

One-on-one Technical Assistance: Our staff provides one-on-one technical assistance to Marin-based nonprofit organizations. In many cases, this is done for potential and current borrowers as they navigate the MCF Loan Fund application process and throughout the life of the loan.

Collaborative Workshops: The Loan Fund has joined with other nonprofit professionals and organizations to host half-day workshops on specific topics. Past workshops have covered nonprofit financial statements, insurance, and budgeting.

Outside Speakers: The Loan Fund facilitates the presentations of outside speakers with expertise on topics relevant to nonprofit organizations. Past presentations have included How to Make the Most of your Finance Committee and Affordable Housing in Marin County.


How to Apply for a Loan

Step 1 If you are a nonprofit organization whose proposed project or program is conducted in Marin County, you will first need to discuss your needs with MCF's Loan Officer. If it is determined that debt financing would be a good fit for your organization, you will be asked to complete and submit a Letter of Intent.

Download the Loan Fund Letter of Intent.

Step 2After the Letter of Intent is submitted, the Loan Officer will set up a meeting to discuss the project in detail. You will be asked to provide documentation to measure the viability of the project and your organization's ability to carry debt. This may include three years worth of financial statements, operating projections, purchase agreements, etc.

Step 3 If it is determined that your organization and/or project would be viable with debt financing from MCF, you will be asked to complete a full proposal and application to apply for a loan. The Loan Officer will work with your organization to evaluate your application and analyze your finances, debt capacity, and the source of repayment.

Step 4 Your loan will be reviewed by the Loan Officer, the Foundation's Loan Committee, and the Foundation's Board of Trustees for final approval.

Step 5 If the Board of Trustees approves the loan request, MCF Loan Fund staff will work with your organization to close and fund the loan.


Frequently Asked Questions

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From the Resource Library

Your Contact for the MCF Loan Fund

Program Director, Loans and Affordable Housing

Marc Rand

Program Director, Loans and Affordable Housing


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Typical Loan Terms
Amount: $150,000 - $1,000,000
Interest Rate: Prime minus 1.5%
Term: 1-10 years (30 year amortization schedules possible)
Collateral: Fixed assets, pledges of future fundraising, guarantees

"I always know that when I ask MCF to help my clients better understand their options regarding charitable giving that they will receive thoughtful and informed advice. I also appreciate that MCF truly engages my clients in conversations that take into account their personal interests and experiences."

Betsy Strong, CFP
Strong Legacy Planning