RSF Social Finance is committed to offering innovative opportunities to invest, give and get funding that generate positive social, economic and ecological impact. RSF serves social entrepreneurs (non-profit organizations and for-profit companies) across multiple focus areas, including sustainable food & agriculture, educations & the arts, ecological stewardship, and workforce development. Since 1984, RSF has made over $450 million in loans, investments, and grants.
At RSF the arts are viewed as central to the renewal of culture because of its vital role in fulfilling people’s intellectual, emotional, aesthetic, and social needs. We focus our funding on art service organizations that further the interests of artists, creators, and arts organizations.
The RSF portfolio includes $11.3 million in Creative Places and Businesses – roughly 10% of the total portfolio – RSF has a distinctive strategic focus that includes focusing on deeply transformational organizations, including the accessibility of space for artists to iterate, practice, and create.
RSF employs an approach called Integrated Capital within its deployment strategy. Integrated capital is the coordinated use of different forms of financial capital and non-financial resources to support an enterprise that’s working to solve complex social and environmental problems.
Equinox Studios, Seattle, WA
Equinox Studios was founded in 2006 as an enclave for artists and artisans. Located in four adjacent factory buildings in Georgetown, Seattle, Equinox hosts 101 studios and shops. In them are over 125 tenants that do amazing work, from blacksmithing and metal sculpture to painting and ceramics. Equinox is a growing community that collaborates in order to create inspiring work that engages the public—allowing them to come and experience the arts in the place where they are made. RSF has supported Equinox’s goals of providing more studio space through creatively designing facility financing.
Veritable Vegetable, San Francisco, CA
Founded in the early 1970s, Veritable Vegetable is a women-owned business that distributes organic produce by purchasing, transporting and supplying the highest quality organic fruits and vegetables on the market. The company is unique in its commitment to making every business decision based on their values. Veritable Vegetable is a certified B Corporation, using the power of business to solve social and environmental challenges. RSF worked to meet the complex financing needs of Veritable Vegetable by coordinating multiple parties and multiple forms of capital to get the project done.
Lumberyard, New York City, NY
RSF Social Finance recently provided a $5 million loan to Lumberyard Contemporary Performing Arts in New York City to construct a state-of-the-art facility near the Hudson River waterfront in Catskill, New York. The financing will drive a key part of Lumberyard’s efforts to economically and culturally revitalize the region where its new campus will open in the spring of 2019, bringing jobs, tourism, cultural activity, and other economic development activities. The location will also serve artists by providing them with technical support and residencies before a national or New York premiere.
Urban Teachers, Baltimore, MD
Every child deserves an excellent teacher. Students in urban school districts, however, often receive the least capable ones available. Urban Teachers, a non-profit organization, seeks to change that dynamic by offering high-need schools a supply of competent educators who are ready to make a difference in student’s lives from day one. The organization does this by recruiting teaching candidates and equipping them with state-of-the-art training that weds practice and study over four years. Since 2009, Urban Teachers has welcomed over 500 aspiring teachers and expanded to 93 schools across Baltimore and Washington, DC. RSF collaborated with the community to provide a working capital line of credit to support growth.
RecycleForce, Indianapolis, IN
RecycleForce offers comprehensive, innovative and responsible recycling services while providing life-changing workforce training to formerly incarcerated individuals. Taking the electronic waste and other recyclables provided by residents and corporate partners, RecycleForce deconstructs these items, recycles the materials and disposes of the waste safely and cleanly. The scrap metals and other reusable materials collected in this process are then sold to help pay for job training programs for formerly incarcerated men and women in order to support their re-entry back into society. RSF has providing extensive equipment financing to improve their output and ability to secure recycling contracts.