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Stephanie Pinnington

Calling all affordable housing providers!

By News

There is a critical need for flexible sources of financing that can be designed to meet the budgets and timelines of affordable housing providers. At the same time, there is a need for greater, and more meaningful participation of communities in affordable housing projects. 

Tapestry Community Capital is leading the development of a social finance program, specifically designed to meet these complex needs of affordable housing providers. 

Tapestry has been shortlisted by the CMHC Housing Supply Challenge program to work on this idea. We are recruiting non-profit and co-operative housing providers from across Canada that are interested in the use of community bonds to help inform the design of the program. 

We are offering:

  • Coaching to your team and Board to understand how community bonds could be used by your organization 
  • An assessment of your project financing and viability to utilize community bonds to unlock private capital within your community 
  • Preferential participation in the implemented program, which may involve financial support to launch a community bond campaign 

To find more details, click here

If you are interested in this idea or want to know more, please contact info@tapestrycapital.ca.

About Tapestry Community Capital

Tapestry is a non-profit organization that supports social purpose organizations across Canada to raise impact investments using a social finance tool, called a Community Bond.

We have developed a straightforward process that allows organizations to efficiently use community bonds to achieve their funding goals within 8-12 months. We help them to structure their investment offering, take their product to the community to raise investment, and professionally manage their investors.

In the past 8 years, we have supported in raising over $90 million in community investment from more than 4,000+ investors. This capital has been deployed by our non-profit and co-op clients to develop a range of essential community assets, including those in renewable energy, arts & culture, and education. 

We hope to connect with you!

Tapestry is hiring a Senior Researcher

By News

Tapestry is catalyzing a vibrant community investment marketplace to finance iconic community projects. We work with a wide range of partners to help them tap into their network of supporters, raise investment, and grow their impact.

To date, we have helped to raise $80 million in community financing to fund 59 projects across Canada. Each of these projects strives to make our country a more sustainable, inclusive and resilient place.

We have recently undertaken two new research projects in the fields of affordable housing and community energy. Both require that we dig deep into the existing literature on the use of social finance tools in these sectors, engage stakeholders, and ask important questions about where challenges exist.

This is why we are hiring a Senior Researcher to join our team. We are looking for someone energetic, dedicated and resourceful, who can be responsible for the project management of these two portfolios. They will spend the majority of their time engaging a wide range of stakeholders to uncover barriers and opportunities, and work with the Tapestry team to conceptualize solutions.

The individual selected will be hired on as a fulltime consultant for a duration of six months, however, there may be a longer term opportunity available at the end of this period. In recognition of differing situations and availability, we are also open to considering a reduced time commitment with a focus on one of the two projects.

To learn more about this option, the details of the projects, and what we are looking for, please read the full job description here. Please note that the application deadline has been extended to Feb. 22, 2022.

So, why should you be interested in working with Tapestry?

1. We are an innovative and growing social enterprise, working in a rapidly expanding sector. Now more than ever, people are interested in investing their money not only to make a fair return, but to also have a positive impact. At the same time, growing demands on the social purpose sector are pressing organizations to think more creatively about financing solutions. We are contributing to the creation of a vibrant marketplace where impact investments can flow directly to community-based organizations that are addressing local needs.

2. We are working hard to address some of Canada’s greatest challenges. We offer you the chance to be involved in finding and implementing realistic solutions. Our organization was involved in one of Canada’s first community-financed and community-owned renewable energy projects over 20 years ago. We are continually building on our knowledge and experience to evolve our process and harness of the power of community.

3. We believe in work/life balance and take pride in our office culture. Our office supports 100% remote working and offers flexible hours to meet your needs. Our team members come from a wide range of backgrounds including marketing, banking, social services, music production, real estate, and policy. We value diverse perspectives and know that our team is our greatest strength.

Tapestry Community Capital is fully committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion. We value contributions from our employees coming from diverse backgrounds and lived experiences. We welcome applications from all people, especially equity-seeking groups, racialized people, women, people with disabilities, members of sexual minority groups, and any others with a non-binary or traditional background who may be interested in the position. If you have questions or require special arrangements, please let us know via email at careers@tapestrycapital.ca.

We look forward to hearing from you, and to growing our tapestry!

Tapestry receives incubation funding for CMHC Housing Supply Challenge

By News

The Housing Supply Challenge, led by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), is an innovative competition that encourages residents, stakeholders and experts from across the country to propose creative solutions to housing. The goal: to help meet Canada’s pressing need for safe and affordable homes by breaking down barriers to the creation of new supply. The Challenge will distribute $300 million in funding over five years through various unique rounds. 

We are excited to announce that Tapestry Community Capital has been accepted into Round 2 of the program, Getting Started, which seeks to find solutions to pre-development challenges. 

CMHC received a total of 167 submissions that all demonstrated great potential impacts. Tapestry’s application is one of 29 that has been shortlisted and provided with incubation funding to further develop a concrete and implementable solution. Stage 2 of this round will make up to $38 million dollars available to successful applicants to implement their solutions.

Our solution seeks to solve two very complex challenges. 

Non-profit affordable housing providers have a dire need for a flexible source of financing that can be designed on their terms, to meet their desired timelines. Simultaneously, there is a critical need for greater, and more meaningful participation of communities surrounding affordable housing developments. Affordable housing providers require innovative avenues for participation that will help to shift perceptions and build community support.

“There is immense pressure to fill the void in affordable housing stock and community-based organizations are urgently looking for solutions to fill their funding gaps and speed up the process of securing financing,” says Tapestry Co-Executive Director, Ryan Collins-Swartz. “At the same, we have seen that NIMBYism in these regions can slow development or even stop projects from getting off the ground. The result is that many housing projects never succeed, or are not scaled to their full potential, because of a lack of financing and community support.” 

Community bonds allow organizations to set their own financing terms and raise funds on a predictable timeline. While unlocking private capital, they also build a powerful sense of community ownership. Residents, neighbours, and local businesses alike can all invest to improve their community, while earning a fair return. 

Community bonds have been used to finance several affordable housing developments across Canada, including The Mount in Peterborough, Ontario and Brique par Brique in Montreal, Quebec. While affordable housing projects in Canada have raised a total of $3 million in community bonds to date, one single inclusive housing provider in the UK, Golden Lane Housing, has used this model to raise the equivalent of $26 million CAD. There is huge potential for non-profit housing providers to unlock capital on this scale to develop more affordable housing. 

Building on our extensive experience of engaging communities to fund locally impactful projects, we seek to apply this knowledge to the affordable housing sector as a flexible and scalable source of financing. Our solution adapts our proven process for raising community bonds to meet the complex funding needs of affordable housing providers. 

Be part of the solution

We will be designing this program through a highly collaborative process involving a diverse range of stakeholders that provide, fund, or are personally impacted by affordable housing. 

As part of our discovery phase, we will be looking to speak to a multitude of stakeholders affected by affordable housing financing, including non-profit housing providers, financers and community members. 

Please get in touch with us at info@tapestrycapital.ca if you or an organization you know might be interested in this consultation. 

Learn more about our project, and the projects of other applicants, here.

 

*Please note the ’Financing affordable housing with the power of community’ project received Incubation Funding under the Housing Supply Challenge – Getting Started Round, however, the views expressed are the personal views of the author and CMHC accepts no responsibility for them.

Meet our new Board Members

By News

As we approach the end of an exciting year, we are pleased to share that three new individuals have joined Tapestry’s Board of Directors. Their voices will support our evolution as we navigate the future; engage in new dynamic ways with non-profits, charities and co-ops across Canada; and continue to deepen and integrate our efforts to advance diversity, equity and inclusion in our organization and beyond.

As leaders in their respective fields, we are thrilled to have the unique expertise of Homaira Siddiqui, James Chan and Mritunjay Sinha to help guide our growing organization. Each of them brings a wealth of experience to strengthen our organization, with vast skills in finance, technology, social enterprise, and policy. Their addition to the Board will help to further position Tapestry as a critical leader in social finance in Canada. 

Our new board members have shared some of their motivations and hopes for their time with Tapestry below – we look forward to growing with them in the time to come.

Mritunjay (MJ) Sinha

A social entrepreneur-operator and an investor, MJ helped build a multi-million-dollar micro-loan portfolio in rural India and a co-operative that served over 200 women entrepreneurs. Through his advisory firm, he has helped deploy over C$150M through private-market impact investing, and another C$250M through responsible investment strategies for family offices and foundations, including the Hamilton Community Foundation, the Kitchener Waterloo Community Foundation, and the Upper Canada Equity Fund. MJ is Treasurer for Computers for Success Canada, a Board Director for The Helderleigh Foundation and Philanthropic Foundations Canada, and sits on the Impact Investment Committee for the Laidlaw Foundation and the Investment Advisory Committee for the Foundation for Black Communities. MJ’s passion for social change is complemented by his experience in capital markets, corporate strategy, and global health, and his degrees in Computer Engineering and M.B.A.

“I  have been deeply passionate about the intersection of positive social change and financial returns for more than a decade now, even before I knew what impact investing was. I’ve admired the work that Tapestry Community Capital has done for the last many years helping structure impact investment products (such as community bonds), making them market ready, and assisting both investors and investees in looking at capitalism differently. So, it isn’t surprising that I am very excited to have been appointed to their Board. I look forward to working together with an amazing Board and team, and helping make capitalism a little more fair, just, and equitable.”

Homaira Siddiqui

Homaira seeks to find more sustainable and equitable ways in which energy can be generated, distributed, stored, and conserved. She is particularly interested in the intersection between energy and equity, and the ways in which distributed and aggregated energy projects can bolster community resilience. Homaira began her career in a technical role re-engineering the very first plastic known as the Bakelite resin by repurposing biomass from a pulping waste stream. Her engineering career has since traversed advocacy and policy, holding roles with Engineers Without Borders and the International Renewable Energy Agency. Her experience in the energy sector spans over five years covering markets across North America, where she has supported diverse clients to navigate pathways towards a distributed, low-carbon, and resilient energy future. Homaira is also an Advisory Committee member of Women In Renewable Energy (WiRE), where she serves to offer passionate women in the energy sector a meeting point and a catalyst for forming highly engaging and supportive relationships. 

“I first came across the concept of a cooperative many years back with news of some of the earliest renewable cooperative pilots in Germany and Denmark. I remember being intrigued by this alternative – and what seemed ‘novel’ to me at the time –  an investment model of pooling resources to meet an essential communal need. As an energy geek, I am fascinated by the parallels that can be drawn between decentralization of the grid and localization of economies. I am particularly interested in identifying and countering barriers to participation in alternative models that continue to favour elements of traditional top-down structures and do not recognize the diversity of local potential and needs. I am thrilled to have been appointed to the Board of TREC/Tapestry, a powerhouse of social innovation that has 20+ years of experience in raising community investment. It is an honour to have a chance to work with some of the most brilliant and passionate folks at TREC/Tapestry to facilitate and support resilient and inclusive investment models for community-led, socio-economic driven projects.”

James Chan

James works with people, places, and partnerships to foster civic participation, promote equitable urbanism, and grow the social economy. He is currently the Manager of VERGE Capital at Pillar Nonprofit Network, and serves on the Board of Directors for Inspirit Foundation. James is a past member of London Community Foundation’s social finance committee, was a co-founder of Ottawa Civic Tech, and served on the Board of Directors at Code for Canada, Park People, and The Centre for Active Transportation.

 

“TREC has been at the forefront of social innovation and social finance long before those terms were popularized. The idea that led to its creation over two decades ago is more relevant and important than ever –  bringing communities together to address big challenges like climate change through shared risk-taking, financing, and ownership. Through TREC’s latest social enterprise Tapestry Community Capital, that same innovative and cooperative spirit is making it possible for communities to build and invest in a wide range of local initiatives such as affordable housing, arts & culture spaces, and community hubs. I am proud to join the Board of TREC and support its mission of bringing these projects to life through the power of community capital.”

 

Our new Board Members will provide diverse views and expertise that will further our collective work at Tapestry. Please join us in welcoming our newly elected Members!

Trillium Waldorf School launches Bond Campaign

By Client Stories

In 1996, a group of parents based in Guelph, Ontario came together with a vision for a different type of school. One which would nurture their children, teach to their developmental needs, and inspire a lifelong love of learning through the Waldorf Education philosophy. 

And so the first Waldorf school in the Tri-cities area was born. Initially opening their doors to 21 children in a local church building, the school has since grown to over 20 faculty and staff, and 175 students from grade one to eight. 

In 2005, the school relocated for its third time to a beautiful 3 acre property next to the Guelph Lake Conservation Area. It was everything they needed, with nature abound and space to grow. 

In early 2021, an opportunity arose to purchase the property from longtime supporters, Christine Golec and Mark Carragher. For Trillium, this meant the opportunity to avoid future rent increases, save on property taxes, and therefore become more financially sustainable and stable. Owning the property also means that they will be able to expand their programming and facilities to better meet the needs of their students and families.

The Waldorf School’s philosophy centers around community, so the choice to fund the project through the use of community bonds was a natural one. “I’ve always been interested in bonds as a way for community members to make a fair return while also keeping their money local,” says Ian Digby, former Trillium Parent and Chair of the Trillium Rising campaign. “Community bonds will give our supporters the opportunity to make a solid investment, while also allowing them to support our amazing school.”

The Trillium Rising campaign will raise $2 million in community bond investments and $1 million in donations, over $830,0000 of which has already been secured. With investment minimums as low as $1,000 and interest rates as high as 4%, Trillium Bonds have been designed to attract a wide range of bond purchasers from everyday Canadians, to corporations, foundations and Waldorf Education supporters.

“We’ve intentionally launched a series of bonds to suit a wide array of people in our community, while offering them a competitive return at the end of each year” says Mike Craig, Chair of the  Board of Directors. “Our bonds will appeal to investors as they are backed and secured by our real estate and allow funds to stay within the community.”

Trillium Waldorf students, families, alumni and community see this campaign as a critical step for the maturing school, helping to expand enrollment, facilities and programming. “Buying the school right now will give us a foothold for the future. We want to be able to grow, and one day even have a Waldorf high school in Guelph,” Ian says with a proud smile. 

Driven by a strong belief that Waldorf education should be accessible to all families, Trillium Waldorf has also committed to a Tuition Adjustment Program for students. “We have a sliding scale to ensure that the acceptance of a child doesn’t depend on their economic status,” explains Ian.  “We hope to be able to grow this program further in the future.”

It is clear from the way Ian speaks about the school that he, like all Trillium Waldorf parents and students, has a strong bond to the school and community. “I believe that Waldorf education is very special. It’s hands-on and allows children to learn in a beautiful way at their own developmental rate. It has had a profound impact on my own children and supported them to become the free-thinking individuals that they are today.” 

This campaign will allow Trillium Waldorf to continue providing the extraordinary Waldorf Education that develops bold, courageous, loving and giving citizens well into the future.

 “We want to build the foundation for the next 25 years of Waldorf education in Guelph,” says Ian smiling again, “I am looking forward to that time in another 25 years when we can gather and celebrate the 50th anniversary of Trillium and know that we laid those foundations through this campaign today.”

Learn more about Trillium Waldorf School and how you can invest by visiting their website here, and register for their upcoming information session

COP26: Community energy key to climate action

By Policy and Advocacy

Thousands of government officials, researchers and environmentalists have descended on Glasgow, Scotland for the United Nations climate summit, COP26. The goal: to get countries to commit to more ambitious plans to cut their emissions and collectively slow climate change. 

The climate policies that have emerged from previous COPs have focused primarily on big-business and big-budget solutions. The lack of attention to collective action at the community level, many argue, has been a fatal flaw. This year’s COP has seen more community focused groups stepping up to the plate to make their voices heard. 

What are they saying? 

Community energy has an essential role to play in achieving net-zero by engaging communities in designing, adopting, and financing local climate solutions. 

For those not familiar with the term, community energy refers to the delivery of community-led renewable energy and energy demand reductions, owned and/or controlled by communities.

Community energy benefits local economies

Beyond the important role of communities in project design, most community energy projects also involve an element of community financing. Whether this is in the form of a debt or equity stake, communities stand to benefit significantly. In fact, a Scotland based study that was launched in the lead up to COP26 illustrated that community wind projects deliver 34 times the community benefit of commercial installations. 

In Canada, there are 65 renewable energy generation co-ops incorporated, with approximately 30 of them active. Aside from co-operatives, community energy projects may also be initiated by non-profits; charities; First Nations, Metis and Inuit; educational or health institutions; municipalities; and other community-based groups.

Community investment for community energy 

Tapestry has long been involved in community energy, supporting renewable energy cooperatives to leverage community support and tap into private capital. To learn more about our parent organization, the Toronto Renewable Energy Co-operative (TREC) and our 25 year history, read our story here

We have supported in raising and managing investment for 53 community energy projects in Canada. Our work dates back to supporting Canada’s very first renewable energy co-operative, WindShare. Their wind turbine project at the CNE is collectively owned by over 600 community members and Toronto Hydro, and has become a beacon for community-led climate action.

Today, we continue to work closely with Canada’s renewable energy co-ops, many of whom were initially inspired by the perseverance and success of WindShare. SolarShare, for example, is Canada’s largest and most successful renewable energy co-op with over 2,000 members, who have collectively invested more than $70 million in solar PV and earned over $9 million in returns. Their projects annually generate over 17 million KWh of electricity, resulting in annual greenhouse gas emissions reductions of more than 500 tonnes of CO2e. 

So what do we hope to see as a result of COP26?

This year, among Canada’s delegates to the conference, are several representatives from Indigenous Clean Energy (ICE), a non-profit group emphasizing the social, economic and environmental benefits that can result when First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities are full or part-owners of energy projects.

“Indigenous-led renewable energy in remote areas on Turtle Island (Canada) is making lasting and positive impacts to energy systems, environmental protection, social programs and circular economies,” said Chris Henderson, Executive Director of ICE in a recent press release. “The power of community-led initiatives go beyond measure and need to be at the forefront of climate action.”

We echo the recommendations that have been made by Chris, Mihskakwan James Harper and other delegates from ICE – we urge governments to think big but to also think small. Specifically, about how projects financed and owned by communities can help power a lower-carbon world.

What can the Canadian Government do to support Community Energy?

  1. Implement a social investment tax relief program, which would offer tax relief to investors to support investment into social purpose organizations that experience difficulty accessing financing and that deliver social/environmental benefits.
  2. Provide federal loan guarantees for co‑op projects. Federal loan guarantees could quickly reduce the cost of raising funds for co‑op projects while adding little risk for the federal budget.
  3. Support community energy and co-op investment funds that can provide traditional sources of financing and also complement co-operative members’ investments with quasi-equity (subordinated debt).
  4. Finally, the Canadian government could also create a Community Power Production Incentive directly targeted to projects that improve community energy self‑sufficiency and climate resilience. This could help close the gap faced by community power developers (co‑ops, First Nations, schools, etc.) for higher deployment costs they incur compared to commercial developers that do not have the overhead involved in attracting and administering individual community investments.

For more recommendations, read the TREC report Accelerating Renewable Energy Co-operatives in Canada

“I cannot emphasize enough that people need to be engaged in a societal effort to reach net-zero emissions,” says Mary Warner, Co-executive Director of Tapestry Community Capital and TREC. “We need energy production that is owned by local people for the benefit of local people. For this to happen, people and communities must be at the heart of climate policy.”

Kingsway College School enters last phase of their Community Bond campaign

By Client Stories, News

The kids are back to school and those at KCS couldn’t be more thrilled! For students and families who have entered the newly launched Senior School program, this is a particularly exciting time because construction of their new facility is well underway. 

For the past 7 months, KCS has been on a journey to raise $4 million in community bonds and $1 million in donations for the construction of a new campus at 2183 Lake Shore Boulevard West in Toronto, which will allow them to expand to grade 9-12. 

Set to open its doors in September 2022, the new Senior School will give students access to open spaces for performing and community-building, science labs for chemistry, biology and physics, and a fitness room to support healthy activity. 

Since March, community investors have purchased and pledged $3 million in KCS community bonds. With just shy of two months until the close of their campaign on November 30th, KCS are getting ever closer to achieving their investment goal and Senior School vision! 

Learn more about their story here, and watch the video below.

We’re listening, learning and taking action

By News

If you take a look at our brand, you can learn a lot about our organization and what we stand for. You will see a red thread connecting people, capital and solutions to society’s greatest challenges. That thread illustrates our ethos – that solutions must be designed, financed and implemented collectively, equitably, and inclusively by and for communities. That thread is the foundation of our Tapestry. 

While we have lived these values since our inception three years ago, we have now gone a step further to put these principles into a policy to guide how we operate internally and externally to ensure that we contribute to a more just, equitable, diverse, inclusive, and dignified society for all. 

“That may sound like a mouthful,” says Karen Scottie, who leads Tapestry’s Human Resources, “but each of these pieces is critical in making sure that everyone we engage with feels welcome and safe at all times.”

“This is not just a policy for our Staff and Board,” they explain, “we really see it as a foundation for the way we operate as an organization, and want this to transcend through to our work with the organizations that we serve as well.”

At the policy’s core are several main themes, explains Karen. “The first is that we simply aren’t ok with the status quo. We don’t want to just say that we are welcoming of all groups, whether it be in a job application or in supporting a new project, but actually want to be more conscious about actively engaging with people and groups comprised of and led by indiginous, racialized, women, people with disabilities, members of sexual minority groups, or any others with non-binary or non-privelged backgrounds.” 

“This can be a challenge”, says Karen, “and we are learning as we go”. Tapestry has made a recent change in its recruitment policy to make it clear that priority will be given to the groups addressed above, because we acknowledge the importance of a diverse workplace and know that to achieve this, we need to be deliberate about it. 

We are also strategically seeking out more diverse organizations that could benefit from the use of community bonds and thinking critically about how we can improve the accessibility, both physical and financial, of our services. 

“We have established a Committee to create a Tapestry Fund.” shares Mary Warner, Co-Executive Director of Tapestry. “We hope that through this fund that we can make our services available to a wider array of organizations that might not otherwise have the funds available to make it to the point of raising community bonds.”

The second core theme of the policy is that Tapestry is committed to continuous learning about anti-racism, justice, equity, inclusion, diversity (JEDI) and accessibility, and to integrating these learnings into every aspect of what we do.

“We have come a long way as a team simply by having open conversations about these difficult topics,” says Karen. The team recently completed the Feminuity Diversity, Equity and Inclusion course and the Canadian Race Relations Foundation Anti-Racism Workshop, and has initiated a bi-weekly JEDI book club. 

The final core element of the new policy is collective accountability. “What we mean by this,” shares Karen, “is that we are all responsible for each other’s actions by tolerating, ignoring or harbouring them. We hope that through education, training and open discussions, we can build the confidence of our team to always stand up for what is right, and speak out against injustice.”

Acknowledging that these topics are ever changing, Tapestry has committed to maintaining this policy as a living document. “This isn’t just a policy for the bookshelf,” says Karen, “we have developed an implementation strategy to help us make sure that these commitments come through in everything that we do and want to make sure that it can evolve as the needs of our communities change.”

Do you have any suggestions on how our organization can become more diverse and inclusive? We would love to hear from you. Please write to us at info@tapestrycapital.ca.

Meet our new Impact Investment Manager

By News

We are pleased to welcome Theodora Mladenova as our new Impact Investment Manager at Tapestry Community Capital.

Theodora brings to our team a diverse background in banking, having worked for the past 10 years across Client and Brokerage Services at Invesco and BMO Nesbitt Burns, as well as Capital Markets, Derivatives Services and Treasury at RBC and Scotiabank.

“I’ve always had an interest in Finance, but I also have a strong desire to contribute to building a more fair economic system,” says Theodora. Born in Bulgaria, and having lived in many countries when she was young, she was always interested in politics and the ways in which political and economic systems impact individual’s livelihoods.  

She moved to Canada as a teengager and pursued her degree in Economics and Political Science at the University of Toronto, where she also led a research team at the Munk School, monitoring G20 compliance. 

“I’ve been looking to transition into a sector that aligns with my values for some time now,” shares Theodora. “Impact investing provides an avenue for me to make that change in an effective way, while using the skills and knowledge I already have.” She hopes that her credentials, including her CFA and FRM designations, as well as her banking experience will add value to the growing Tapestry team. 

“Community investment is a sound and sustainable way to finance capital projects. Not only do community bonds unlock private capital that would otherwise be out of reach to non-profits, but they also encourage deep community involvement,” says Theodora. “This aspect of community building is a remarkable by-product.” 

At Tapestry, Theodora will lead our process and infrastructure to manage 4000+ community investors and $80 million in impact investments. Together with Tapestry’s Investment Management team, she will focus on building and implementing systems that make community bonds an efficient and user friendly experience for issuers and investors alike. 

In her spare time, Theodora enjoys getting outside. She is an avid camper, hiker, climber and cyclist. She loves to travel, meet new people, and learn about new cultures and customs. Lately, she has been trying to revive her piano skills.

She also loves to spend time with her adorable rescue pup, Mitko.

We hope that you will get the chance to meet and work with Theodora in the near future. Interested in arranging a chat? You can reach her at Theodora@tapestrycapital.ca

Timing your Community Bond Campaign: what to expect

By Education

Typically, a community bond campaign takes about one year from start to finish. While every project is different, and may vary slightly depending on the total sum being raised and unique project milestones, we find that the vast majority of organizations are able to achieve their funding goal within this timeframe.

In this article, we will walk you through our community bond process so that you can understand how your funding timelines can fit with your project needs.

Getting Started

Each community bond campaign begins with an introductory workshop as the first step. This 3-hour session will be a chance to bring your entire organization together (Volunteers, Staff, Board Members, Advisors, etc.) to learn more about community bonds and how they could potentially be used to fund your project. After the workshop, you’ll receive a readiness assessment from Tapestry with a recommendation on whether community bonds will be a good fit for your project and organization.

If your assessment suggests that community bonds are a promising financing route, you will move into the Planning & Feasibility phase.

Planning & Feasibility

Clients come to us at all different stages. It is our job to get you to the point of being investment ready. In order to do this, we will model your finances to get a picture of how much debt your organization can comfortably carry.

Next, we will map your community stakeholders to understand their needs and appetite for investment. Together, these two critical steps will take approximately 2 months.

If it is clear after Planning & Feasibility that 1) your organization is in a financial position to carry debt and repay investors, and 2) there is a sizable community to support your project, you will move into the Structuring phase.

Structuring

During the 3 months in Structuring, we will be helping you to set your bond terms. This will be done through a combination of financial modelling and community consultations to test the bond terms.

We will also be preparing all the necessary documents to bring your investment offering to the public. These will include a:

  • 5-10 year business plan
  • Offering statement
  • Term sheet
  • Trust agreement

Your Tapestry Campaign Manager will work with you to create your marketing and communications strategy, and set you up on our sales platform so that investors can easily invest online. We will train you to use these tools, and to communicate effectively with potential investors.

By the end of the structuring phase, you will have:

  • Your investor package ready to go
  • A campaign website that links to your organization’s homepage
  • A marketing and communications plan that will include a detailed budget and timeline for key messages through social media, e-newsletters, investor information sessions and press
  • A sales process set-up on our customer relationship management (CRM) system and on Tapestry’s investor management platform, Atticus

Raise

At this point, you will be ready to go live and bring your campaign to the public! Once your campaign is launched, it will take 6 months to raise your target investment. Though this timeframe can vary slightly, we find that a period of 6 months gives your organization enough time to tell your story and demonstrate your impact, and gives investors ample time to do their research and make an investment decision.

We generally don’t recommend extending beyond the 6-month timeframe as there needs to be a sense of urgency in order to engage investors.

Your Tapestry Campaign Manager will meet with you regularly throughout your raise and make sure your campaign is on track. As bonds are being purchased, our Investment Management Team will work in the background to onboard investors and process their transactions.

 

Management

Once you have reached your target investment, Tapestry will continue to support you with professional investor management services for the duration of your bonds.

Our Investment Management Team will look after interest disbursements, issue tax forms and provide customer service to investors as needed. At year end, we will also support you with financial reporting on your bonds.

An accelerated timeline is sometimes possible

We are often approached by organizations that are on a tight timeline and interested in pursuing an accelerated plan. In some cases, this may be possible but will depend on the readiness of your organization.

In certain cases, organizations may have already taken the time to build detailed financial models on their own. In such a situation, we would work together to assess whether it is possible to by-pass the Planning & Feasibility phase.

If your project will require tighter timelines, it will be important to share this with the Tapestry team early on so that we can adjust your schedule accordingly.

Don’t raise before you can spend

Another important question is when to raise your funds. We always advise organizations not to begin raising funds until they have a defined use for the capital, and there is a planned transaction date within sight.

Of course, if you are searching to purchase a property, finding the right property may take time and you will need the funds in hand to do so. However, once your raise is complete, we recommend deploying the funds as soon as possible as you will be beginning to accrue interest.

Under certain circumstances, it may make sense to stage your raise to match project milestones. For example, if you are constructing a building rather than buying one, you may wish to issue multiple offering statements in order to secure the funds only when you need them.

 

Tapestry will always work with your team to understand the important milestones of your project, and do our best to match the timing of your funding.

Where to start?

Are you interested in raising community bonds for a project? The first step is our Introductory Community Bond Workshop. Learn more about it here, and get in touch with a member of our team at info@tapestrycapital.ca.

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