Mission-Aligned Investments

Mission-Aligned Investments use the corpus of the Foundation's endowments to make financial investments focused in Forsyth County.

Other foundations may have missions that focus in specific program areas, such as for human services or the environment, and they may choose to invest in projects that promote that mission. However, as a community foundation, our investments are focused geographically—specifically on Forsyth County, NC.  

The Foundation has a variety of mission-aligned investments, including the Inclusive Economy Portfolio, which serves as a responsive opportunity for mission-aligned investments in Forsyth County that are also aligned with the Foundation’s two focus areas.


The Winston-Salem Foundation Committee established the Inclusive Economy Portfolio to complement and augment the Foundation’s work on Building an Inclusive Economy and Advancing Equity in Education.  

Guiding Principles

Through the Inclusive Economy Portfolio, the Foundation seeks and makes investments in enterprises and economic opportunities that:

  • build the civic, social, and financial capital of communities of color
  • support ownership and governance by communities of color
  • are focused in Forsyth County and/or significantly benefit the population in Forsyth County
  • provide investment growth that can be used to support the Foundation’s grantmaking  

Who we invest in

Our investment partners:

  • can be nonprofit or for-profit.
  • must operate in line with the guiding principles above.
  • are likely to have at least two years of operating history (although this is not required).

Investment Information

Loans and investments will range between $100,000 and $1,000,000, with the Mission Aligned Investing Subcommittee evaluating each proposal on a case-by-case basis.

For Loans:
  • Loans are available in amounts of $100,000 to $250,000
  • The maximum loan duration is 10 years, with a preference for shorter durations
  • Interest rates will be less than 8%; financial return is not the highest priority of the fund, and the Foundation is committed to setting interest rates that meet an organization's need while meeting the mission of the portfolio
  • Guaranty of loans are permissible at no charge as long as the applicant complies with all loan covenants
For Equity Investments:
  • The maximum investment amount is $250,000
  • Investments are available in equity funds only (no direct equity ownership)
  • Quarterly reporting will be required to evaluate the most current value of the equity investment

Investments to-date

  • Piedmont Business Capital – $100,000 investment to provide loans to businesses that are owned by and benefit communities of color in Forsyth County
    Read press release
  • The Do School – $32,650 loan guarantee to renovate a home in the Boston-Thurmond Neighborhood, which will serve as a live training site for apprentices
    Read press release
  • Equilibrium Impact Ventures – $250,000 investment to support investments in BIPOC-owned businesses with sustainable social impact
    Read press release


Applicants to the Inclusive Economy Portfolio will be asked to submit basic project information that allows the Foundation to determine if the project is eligible for its loan program. If the project is determined to be eligible, Foundation staff and consultants will work with the applicant to assemble materials for a full underwriting application for the proposed investment.

Submissions are accepted at any time. After receipt of initial materials, organizations will be contacted within 30 days as to whether they are invited to submit a full proposal. The process will take three to four months from receiving initial materials to closing an investment.

for more information
Charlie Gardner
Program Officer, Inclusive Economy
(336) 607-5118
Elaine Summerfield
Vice President, Community Investment
(336) 231-0491