The Black Cooperative Investment Fund

Impacting the Black Community

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What We Can Accomplish:

 

A $500,000 FUND COULD RESULT IN $1.2 MILLION IN ASSETS BEING GENERATED IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA’S BLACK COMMUNITY, A 145 PERCENT GROWTH RATE ON BCIF’S INVESTMENT!!!

How BCIF Works

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Donors Give

One-year commitment required. Minimum of $1,000 annually, can be a one-time annual gift or monthly contributions for 12 months.

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We Provide Microloans

Loans range between $5,000 – $20,000. We invest to build financial assets by helping individuals or businesses.

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The Community Prospers

With $500,000 in the fund, BCIF’s investments can result in $1.2 million in assets generated for Southern California’s Black community annually.

About BCIF

howpic3Founded in 2016 and launched in January 2017, the Black Cooperative Investment Fund (BCIF) is a community-based 501(c)3 nonprofit fund based on the tradition of cooperative economics. BCIF provides microloans to African Americans that have a high likelihood of building financial assets. Our mission is to create social change for the Black community through the primary strategy of building assets and wealth. We provide microloans through pooled dollars from individuals and companies who are passionate about economic empowerment for the African American community. Housed at OneUnited Bank, BCIF has a specific focus on communities in the Southern California region. The vision is to provide a dedicated, reliable, and perpetual source of capital to create assets and build wealth for, and within, African American communities.

We provide affordable, low-interest, low-fee loan alternatives to traditional lenders. All earnings from interest repayments are reinvested into the fund to grow and sustain the fund for long-term usage in the Black community.

Annual fundraising goal: $500,000 will allow the fund to distribute 24 – 36 microloans annually, ranging between $5,000 – $20,000.

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BCIF provides microloans for the following areas:

  • Securing primary residential or investment property
  • Renovating residential or investment property
  • Starting small businesses
  • Securing growth capital for small businesses


Learn more

Why is BCIF Important?

African Americans’ economic growth when compared to whites has remained stagnant since the Jim Crow Era. Additionally, the growing American backlash toward efforts to uplift people of color and the general ineffectiveness of traditional (and/or outdated) social justice efforts require African Americans to galvanize its resources to spur economic growth. Economic empowerment is the main tool that will “move the needle” forward for the Black community and bring the desired change we seek.

CURRENT & POTENTIAL DONORS

Determine Your Amount

One-year commitment required, minimum of $1,000 annually (one-time or monthly)

Monitor Your Loan

We will send you a detailed annual report covering fund performance

Realize Benefits

Receive a refund of 25% of financial gift, tax credit for remaining 75%

  • One-year commitment required
  • Minimum of $1,000 annually
  •          --Can be a one-time annual gift; or monthly contributions for 12 months

  • Automatic bank account deductions required for monthly giving plan
  • Receive a refund of 25 percent of financial gift; paid back to donor on a quarterly basis for one year
  • Tax credit for 75 percent of financial gift
Note: Refunds are not available for monthly plan until minimum contribution of $1,000 is met.



Current & Potential Borrowers

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Loan Details

  • Amount: between $5,000 - $20,000
  • Monthly Repayment Schedule
  • Fixed Interest Rate
          --10.0% based on two-year amortization
          --12.0% based on three-year amortization
  • Applicable Loan Processing Fees


Apply Now

How to Apply

Determine Eligibility

Determine if you are eligible for any of our loan programs

Apply for Loan

Apply for downloading application or applying online

Application Review

Our team reviews all applications and determines who gets a loan

Eligibility Criteria

  • Primary target population: African American residents or business owners in Los Angeles County and Riverside County
  • Strong potential for positive impact on the economic trajectory of the African American community
  • Evidence substantiating that a microloan will help yield a financial return and future asset building
  • Must demonstrate the need and a capacity to repay; Stellar credit history is NOT required
  • Annual gross household income of less than $200,000 for individuals and less than $500,000 in annual gross revenues for businesses
  • Experienced, entrepreneurial, and/or innovative leadership
  • First-time home buyers and/or home buyers targeting property in communities with high concentrations of African American residents
  • African-American owned businesses, preferably with the capacity to create jobs for other African Americans


The Review Process

Applicants submit loan applications online through the BCIF website. BCIF leadership and the fund manager will review application materials and conduct due diligence (review business concepts, viability of request, financials, etc.). If applicants move beyond preliminary screening, leadership and fund manager will conduct individual interviews with the applicant, conduct a comprehensive review of financials, and assess borrowers’ ability to repay. Recommended loans will be reviewed for final approval by a loan review committee comprised of selected BCIF donors. Borrowers are notified of application approval and loan amounts. Funding is processed and disbursed two weeks from formal loan approval.

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Frequently Asked Questions

 

General Questions

How is BCIF different from other local alternative lending institutions?

BCIF is not intended to compete with other financial institutions already providing microloans. BCIF intends to supplement existing financial resources and in some cases, fill the gaps in access to capital for the African-American community. BCIF’s unique characteristics include:

Check mark symbol A specific focus on the Black community;

Check mark symbol The interest rate for borrowers is lower than many of the other alternative lending institutions;

Check mark symbol The fund is a community-based effort that will have much more visibility and appeal to community-at- large (not just for those “in the know”); and

Check mark symbol The lending criteria for borrowers will not be as restrictive as they are for many other alternative lending institutions.

Why does BCIF focus on real estate and start businesses?

In America and in a capitalist society, its widely acknowledged that ownership, especially of real property and business, is the primary vehicle for asset and wealth building. With assets and wealth come influence and power to achieve the type of substantive sociopolitical change we seek. Helping to grow financial assets provides the Black community with the “financial muscle” to equip itself with the capacity to create the change it seeks.

How does BCIF manage potential borrower default?

Because borrower default is a common risk associated with loan programs, BCIF has created a financial model that allows it to mitigate a specific cap on the number/percentage of loans that could potentially experience defaulted payment. Of course, loan requests are vigorously screened to assess for repayment capacity and thus minimize risks for borrower defaults.

Is BCIF a loan fund run by OneUnited Bank?

No. BCIF is a transparent, independently operated, 501c3 nonprofit organization that is managed by direct staff, a loan review committee, and a board of directors. BCIF is housed at OneUnited. Therefore, BCIF funds and transactions are fully insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC).

Is it only for African Americans?

Due to the disparities in financial assets and wealth for the Black community, BCIF microloans are exclusively directed toward African American borrowers. BCIF actively seeks and welcomes donors/activators from diverse backgrounds who are concerned about the economic state of the Black community and view economic empowerment as a primary vehicle for social and political change.

What percentage of the fund’s dollars are distributed in microloans to the community?

Approximately 75% of all dollars are distributed directly to the community through microloans. The other 25% covers necessary administrative costs of the fund. These costs include but are not limited to: staffing, business development activities, marketing/advertising, supplies, etc.

 

For Donors

Who will manage the funds? Back office support?

The President/CEO is primarily responsible for monitoring and managing funds. Governance of funds and BCI-repeated activities is conducted by the board of directors.

Why does BCIF give a 25% refund to donors?

BCIF’s 25% refund policy is unique in the nonprofit sector and represents the organization’s unique approach to moving the needle forward for the Black community. The fund essentially “holds” 25% of financial gifts of $1,000 or more to allow the fund to do three things:

Check mark symbol Compile a reserve fund that allows it to mitigate potential loan defaults;

Check mark symbol Cover administrative costs of the fund; and

Check mark symbol Provide an additional incentive and relevant differential benefit to donors/activators, both of which are not typically found among nonprofit organizations.

Can a donor make a financial gift of less than the $1,000 minimum?

Yes, BCIF welcomes financial gifts of any amount. Every dollar helps to build the financial muscle of the community. However, financial gifts of under $1,000 are not eligible for the 25% refund.

What is the typical profile of a BCIF donor?

BCIF donors come from all walks of life and represent various professional, political, racial/ethnic, geographic, and cultural backgrounds. There is one common characteristic between them: they all are passionate and/or concerned about the economic condition of the Black community and view it as a means to create sociopolitical change.

Does the fund need to raise its annual goal of $500,000, in order for donors to receive a 25% refund?

No. As long as a donor makes a financial gift of $1,000 or more, BCIF will distribute a 25% refund of the gift on a quarterly basis over the course of one year from the date of the gift.

 

For Borrowers

Are there loan distribution cycles? Are loans given at a certain time of year?

There is no set loan distribution cycle. Loans are given on an ongoing basis throughout the year. Loan applications are welcome at any time. Preliminary screening of application materials is completed four to six weeks from the date of receipt of the application. Once approved, funding is processed and disbursed within two weeks from approval date.

Can we apply for more than one loan at a time?

No. Individuals/businesses can only apply for one loan at any given time.

Can I apply if I don't live in Southern California?

Exceptions may be allowed in special circumstances to provide loans to individuals/businesses outside of Southern California. However, such loans must have a substantive impact on the Black community in BCIF’s target geographic area (Los Angeles and Riverside Counties). Individuals/businesses residing outside of the target geographic area should seek BCIF consultation before applying for a loan.

If denied a loan, how soon can I apply again?

Declined applicants must wait at least six months before applying again for a BCIF loan.

Follow the Conversation on Social Media

Search or use these hashtags to follow the black empowerment conversation

#WeaponizeYourDollars #ChangeNotCharity #NoTalkAllAction





Join Our Monthly Webinars for More Information

Want to learn more? Have questions?

Our Leadership

Board of Directors

What are YOU waiting for?

Do your part to impact the Black community today!

Contact Info

(310) 904-6336

info@bcifund.org

5792 West Jefferson Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90016

Contact Us!

For more information about how to donate to or partner with BCIF, please send us a message below or email us at info@bcifund.org.

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