Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Building Social Impact

Since November I have been given the exciting opportunity to lead an organization called American Communities Trust. This Baltimore-based nonprofit has been around since 2008 and is doing some outstanding work across the U.S., with the goal of “building social impact.”

We help partners to plan, finance, build and operate what we call social-impact real estate. What is social impact real estate? It’s any physical project that creates meaningful change for our society. It could be affordable housing, a business incubator, a community arts center, a public health clinic, a food bank. These types of projects are often much more challenging than traditional real estate and they require a different approach to get them built.

Some of our partners are nonprofits who are inexperienced as developers, but want to build a physical project in order to achieve their mission and deliver programs and services. In other cases government entities need a partner to develop innovative projects, or private developers want to build social-impact projects and need a partner who knows the ropes. Often we are involved in assessing feasibility, doing market research, planning the business model, and showing how the project can be operationally successful and sustainable. We are also often involved in helping our partners assemble their financing.

We work in a variety of ways help our partners get their projects to the finish line. Our team includes experts in real estate development, creative financing (e.g., New Markets Tax Credits, Federal Historic Tax Credits, Low-Income Housing Tax Credits, government and foundation grants, venture philanthropy), and a range of experience in program areas such as public health, workforce development, food systems, arts/culture, education, and the innovation economy. We are involved in amazing projects all over the country that will have significant impacts on their communities and regions. It is very rewarding work and I’m proud to be a part of it!

I invite you to visit our website at, follow us @amcomtrust, sign up for ourmailing list, and feel free to reach out to me if you would like to discuss a partnership or project. You can reach me at


adson stone said...

Too many would-be real estate agents obsess over the licensing test, then fail in their first two years because they didn't develop a plan and follow it for success in becoming a real estate agent. They passed the test, but failed to understand the business, to develop a budget and a business plan, or to learn the ropes that aren't taught or covered in the test. These are not just tips, but tools to help you to go into the business with a plan in place to be successful. Learning about the pace of the business, the costs of doing business, and getting to the right prospects is critical.
Ines Flax

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