Crisis Response Fund Update
Jul 5 2020
In March, just as the COVID-19 crisis was taking hold in the United States, RSF met with investors and borrowers for our quarterly Community Pricing Gathering to discuss interest rates. The group recommended, and RSF’s Pricing Committee agreed, to lower interest rates and set aside 0.25% to contribute to a Crisis Response Fund (read more about the discussion here).
Over the last quarter, we’ve utilized the Crisis Response Fund to provide over $400,000 in loan payment relief to 58 social enterprises and over $100,000 in rapid response grants to 24 social enterprises in our community—helping them pay employees and rent while continuing their important work.
Below are some words of appreciation:
“Thank you so much for this incredible generosity!! Our partnership with RSF continues to demonstrate what real and timely support looks like. Thank you for being by our side in so many ways!” –Konda Mason, Strategic Director, The Runway Project
“Our partnership with RSF is a symbiotic relationship built on mutual trust and respect. Together, we empower each other to achieve our mission. In the midst of a global, collective reexamination of priorities, RSF’s offer of a line of credit and the confidence in our ability that it represents allowed the board and community a collective exhale. We know we are not alone, but are traveling shoulder to shoulder into the unknown together and we are grateful.” – Shannon Callahan, President of the Board, Urban Prairie Waldorf School
“After receiving news we were not awarded a grant and that other funders were focusing on current grantees, instead of supporting new grantees, I thought to myself, ‘I wish we had a funder that would do that’. Later that day, I heard from RSF about the Crisis Response Fund grant we would be receiving!” – Michael Frazier, Viva Farms
To date, we have raised close to $1 million into the Crisis Response Fund. Approximately $75,000 of this comes from the interest rate set aside from our investors. Another $300,000 comes from RSF’s Food & Agriculture Collaborative and Women’s Capital Collaborative. The remainder has been gifted by generous donors and we continue to fundraise as we seek to grow the fund to $3 million.
We are struck by the power of our community coming together and rapidly mobilizing to move capital where it is needed most. Over the last month, overlaid on the COVID-19 crisis, we have seen a moment of uprising in the wake of George Floyd’s murder, along with the murders of countless others. We know we need to do more to support BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) communities. One step we’re taking is to expand the focus of the Crisis Response Fund—it will continue to support those impacted by the COVID-19 crisis, as well as BIPOC entrepreneurs and those working to dismantle racism.
Based on the recommendation from our most recent Community Pricing Gathering in June, the Pricing Committee has agreed that RSF Prime and our investor interest rates will remain the same for Q3 (5.00% and 0.50%, respectively) and we will continue to contribute 0.25% to the Crisis Response Fund this quarter.
We are grateful, as ever, for our community of creative, generous, and action-oriented individuals.