The Roaring Fork Community Development Corporation is a joint
creation of Healthy Mountain
Communities, a 15 year old regional nonprofit organization and The Manaus Fund, a donor advised fund
of The Aspen
Community Foundation, which fosters social entrepreneurship.
What is a CDC? A Community Development Corporation (CDC) is a 501©3
non-profit, community-based organization designed to create or provide
the infrastructure, services, and amenities that are challenging for
private businesses, corporations, and local governments to provide.
CDCs began to gain support as an important community development
tool in the late 1960s. Today, there are over 4,000 CDCs
operating in the U.S.
In the same way
that traditional businesses seek venture capital to start or expand,
CDCs seek grants and investors interested in moving the market toward
more social purposes (affordable housing, job training, commercial
development, health clinics) while still generating a return on the
initial investment. CDCís help re-circulate capital to
build community wealth and address social issues. They are run by
a local board of directors and have a mission of community improvement
that often emphasizes democracy, social justice and equity, and quality
does a CDC do? Community
Development Corporations work as brokers, catalysts, and facilitators
between public and private interests and investments. Where
nonprofit organizations normally seek annual grants to accomplish their
socially oriented mission, CDCs operate more like a
business. By creating products and services the market
values and people will purchase, CDCs use market mechanisms to achieve
their social mission Ė a double bottom line. This approach
combines the generosity, caring, and determined optimism of the
non-profit sector with the financial sense and innovation of the
a 501©3 nonprofit organization with a mission to catalyze and
implement community-based ventures that create affordable
residential, commercial, and community spaces and to improve the health
and welfare of people and communities
in the Roaring Fork and Colorado
As a 501©3 tax-exempt
charitable nonprofit organization, the Roaring Fork Community
Development Corporation achieves its mission by working as a broker,
catalyst, facilitator, financier and developer to create
community-based / civic focused projects that ensure low and middle
income individuals and families can live in the communities of the
region, increase opportunities for locally owned businesses, and
encourage the efficient use of energy, land, and community resources.
In the Roaring Fork and Colorado River Valley the
economy operates has priced many middle income and lower income
households out of the housing and commercial markets. Consequently,
workers commute great distances to reach their places of employment.
The lack of affordable commercial rentals limits locally owned small
business expansion as well as new start-ups. Roaring Fork CDC works
with nonprofit, public, and private entities to create affordable
spaces to ensure both the diversity of people and businesses in a
Cultures and climates differ all over the world,"
notes architect Jan Gehl, "but people are the same. They will gather in
public if you give them a good place to do it." In a democratic
society, such gathering places arenít just niceties, they are practical
necessities that give citizens places to "rub shoulders" together and
exercise their community and democratic skills. Roaring Fork CDC works
to ensure private and public projects are "places for people" by
incorporating people centered design and raising additional funding as
Individuals invest in their future through IRAs,
401ks, and REITs while communities invest in their future prosperity by
reinvesting in their children and public infrastructure (schools,
parks, housing, health care).
Roaring Fork CDC works to combine
these investment tools and strategies to catalyze community-based
investment and broker private / public partnerships to develop projects
that not only build community wealth but address community and social
goals as well.
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Local Initiative Support Corporation (LISC)