South Carolina Community Loan Fund (SCCLF) has received a $400,000 grant from the Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation (MRBF) which includes a $200,000 General Support Grant and a $200,000 Capital Grant. The support will allow SCCLF to increase capacity and ultimately make more loans.

The Capital Grant will help SCCLF to raise additional debt and equity capital while the General Support Grant will allow them to hire new staff members and open new offices in the Upstate and Midlands. This expansion has been anticipated since the organization, formally known as Lowcountry Housing Trust, announced its name change and transition to a statewide organization in January 2014.

“We are looking forward to finally having a physical presence throughout the state and know that this will allow us to develop stronger relationships in the Upstate and Midlands and better understand the needs of those communities,” said SCCLF’s Chief Executive Officer, Michelle Mapp. “The Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation has been a key partner to us for years, providing both program support and operating support. They understand the importance of building capacity and we are grateful to them for providing us with a General Support Grant to make this expansion possible.”

“What we’ve learned about Community Development Financial Institutions, or CDFI’s, is that they require quite a high level of subsidy,” explained MRBF Network Officer, Lavastian Glenn. “From the staff that processes the loan to the staff that actually provides technical assistance and education to their partners, there’s a cost for doing that. We’ve found that it is a very effective strategy to provide general operating support because it makes the organization strong enough to actually grow their loan fund and put more capital on the ground.”

The ultimate goal of the MRBF grant award is to increase SCCLF’s capacity to partner with and invest in communities statewide in order to move people and places out of poverty.