COVID-19 Co-Lending Fund
Open Road Alliance (Open Road) provides short-term catalytic lending to ensure the social sector’s innovative efforts to address the world’s greatest challenges can carry on despite unexpected roadblocks.
REDF Impact Investing Fund (RIIF) is a loan fund that specializes in providing loan capital and technical assistance to the employment social enterprise sector.
This partnership allows us to leverage our complementary expertise to meet a financing need, while making the process more efficient for employment social enterprise borrowers.
Organizations qualified to submit a loan inquiry form are:
Employment Social Enterprises that have participated in a REDF program since January 2016. This includes any organization that has received a grant or a loan, is currently in or has graduated from the REDF Accelerator, or is a contracted employment social enterprise partner of LA:RISE.
Employment Social Enterprises with businesses that have historical profitability and have a COVID-19 related challenge that can be solved through a one-time, short-term, fully amortizing loan ranging between $100-$250K.
If your organization fits both of these qualifications and the additional eligibility criteria, we invite you to complete an inquiry form.
Once we review your inquiry, RIIF will invite qualified applicants to apply.
Final loan terms will be structured on a case-by-case basis to match the cash flow needs and projections of the applicant. However, all terms will fall within the following guidelines:
Size: Minimum $100,000, Maximum $250,000
Interest rates: 6-8%
Term length: These will be designed based on cash flow projections, with a maximum 6-month interest only period, followed by principal and interest payments over a maximum of 12-18 months
Repayment: Loans will be fully amortizing, meaning they will need to be fully paid off by the maturity date
Prepayment: Loans may be partially or fully prepaid at any time
Allowable Usage of Loan Proceeds
These loans can be used for the following purposes
Bridge financing: Provide bridges to funding such as receivables, delayed fundraising event revenue, incoming grants, etc.
Working capital: In the absence of firm commitments, loans may be used for working capital to borrowers that had sufficient cash flows prior to the crisis to service the proposed debt. The loan amount will be matched according to how much is needed to cover operational expenses for approximately 12 months.
An organization is eligible for this grant if it has participated in a REDF program since January 1, 2016.
This includes any organization that has received a grant or a loan, is currently in or has graduated from the REDF Accelerator, or is a contracted employment social enterprise partner of LA:RISE.
Additional Open Road Application Eligibility Criteria
The roadblock scenario presented in the application must be:
Mid-implementation: If not for the roadblock, the application would not require funding — all of the necessary operating funds for the period in question were secured, and then something unexpected occurred necessitating additional funding.
Unexpected: The additional funding need must be unexpected – it cannot be an internal error or standard and pre-identified working capital needs, but rather an unnatural event external to the organization that has created a roadblock to achieving its social and operational goals.
Discrete: The problem must have a discrete, one-time funding solution that is not recurring, and does not “kick the can down the road.” We want to fully solve the problem at hand.
What to Know Before You Submit an Inquiry
Information RIIF will Request
- FY 2017-2019 annual financial statements (audited or reviewed, FY19 can be company prepared if audit or review is not available yet)
- 3/31/2020 company prepared quarterly financial statements
- Overview of executive team including key finance team members – how long with the organization, functions, expertise, clarify if full-time, part-time or contracted
RIIF Evaluation Criteria
RIIF will be evaluating inquiries based on the following criteria:
- Demonstrated historical profitability and financial strength (measured by various measures such as earned revenue, EBIDA, total revenue/total cost, liquidity, cash position, prior successful track record of servicing debt if applicable)
- A clear plan to either retain or re-hire program participants
- Minimum of three years in operation
- Strong fiscal management team, and track record of successful business operations
- RIIF will review applications through a DEI lens per our standard impact lending practices
Information Open Road will Request
Open Road’s request for due diligence, which will take place after RIIF invites qualified applicants to apply, can include but is not limited to:
- Cash flow projections and financial model
- Formation Documents/Articles of incorporation
- Corporate Structure (subsidiaries, etc.)
- Capitalization Table
- Debt Schedule (if applicable)
- Board of Directors
- If bridging to committed funding:
- (Draft) Agreement of funds being bridged
- Signed term sheet
- Grant agreement, purchase order, etc.
In addition, the application will include:
- Narrative sections on organizational background
- An explanation of roadblock or opportunity created as a result of COVID-19
- Impact targets (both numerical and quantitative)
- Project description, budget and timeline
Per Open Road’s standard process, employment social enterprises will measure their impact against their own bench-marking and proposed metrics. 45 days after the loan maturity date, a final impact measurement report will be due to both Open Road and RIIF. Borrowers will NOT need to submit REDF’s standard semi-annual and impact data reports.
What is REDF Impact Investing Fund (RIIF)?
Created in response to demand from our employment social enterprise partners, the REDF Impact Investing Fund (RIIF) is a 501(c)(3) debt fund that provides loan capital and technical assistance to nonprofit and for-profit employment social enterprises. RIIF supports borrowers to improve their financial sustainability and strengthen their businesses so they can employ and empower more individuals striving to chart a new course in life.
To date, RIIF has closed eight loans to social enterprises, and has disbursed over $1.3 million.
Who is Open Road Alliance?
Open Road is the “emergency room” of impact for social enterprises and nonprofits, quickly providing short-term loans for one-time unexpected roadblocks and cash crunches. Founded in 2012, Open Road works across geographies and sectors. As the market leader in social sector bridge funding, its goal is to ensure innovative efforts to address the world’s greatest challenges can carry on without interruption.
Open Road Alliance has provided more than 270 grants and loans to 225 organizations across 60+ countries, keeping $450M+ of impact on track.
What is a co-lending partnership, and how will that impact me as a borrower?
RIIF and Open Road will be 50/50 co-lenders, meaning for example, that if you take on a loan for $100,000, each lender will lend $50,000. This helps lenders reduce risk, and also creates efficiencies in the lending process. You will have two lenders, will sign two loan agreements and promissory notes that will be identical, and will make payments to both lenders.
The lenders have mapped out a strong plan to work together so that you will have a streamlined loan underwriting and closing process, as well as portfolio management during the life of the loan. From your end as a borrower, the goal is to make this a seamless process. Co-lending relationships are very common! In fact, RIIF has successfully closed several loans in partnership with other mission-aligned lenders.
Why would I apply for a co-loan, instead of applying for a loan just through RIIF?
This partnership was formed specifically in response to COVID-19, so it is our goal to make most loans over the next 12 months through this partnership. However, we are aware that not all prospective borrowers would be able to fully pay off a loan within a maximum 24-month term. Therefore, if you have strong cash flow but are seeking a longer-term loan (3-5 years), then you would be a better fit for a loan just through RIIF.
What if my employment social enterprise is comprised of multiple entities (e.g. I have a parent organization or multiple business lines)? Which entity should be represented in the application?
Applications should be submitted on behalf of the legal entity that has received funding from or has engaged in a program hosted by REDF.
When will I hear about the status of my inquiry?
Inquiries will be reviewed on a rolling basis. Within approximately one week of submitting your inquiry, RIIF will inform you whether you will be invited to formally apply for the co-loan and will introduce you to Open Road to start the application process. Once you complete the application with Open Road, it should take an additional 4 weeks.
What is the application and underwriting process like?
- Once you are invited to apply through Open Road, you will complete their application.
- The co-lenders will issue a non-binding joint term sheet outlining the proposed terms.
- Once the underwriting is complete, you will participate in a joint investment committee meeting, and both co-lenders will seek approval at that time.
- If approved, the co-lenders will move into documentation and closing.
How and when will the loans be disbursed?
RIIF and Open Road will work to close loans within approximately five weeks, from inquiry submission to loan disbursement. This may depend on a variety of factors including volume of applicants, and applicant responsiveness to follow up calls or requests.
What is the deadline to apply?
There is no deadline. Inquiries will be reviewed on a rolling basis. That said, we expect to be able to fund 5-10 loans via this partnership, so inquiries will be reviewed on a first-come, first-served basis.
How long will the RIIF inquiry take to complete?
Depending on the accessibility of your financial documents, the time it will take to complete the application will vary. However, we anticipate it will take approximately 30 minutes to 1 hour to complete.
How long will the Open Road application take to complete?
It is anticipated that the Open Road loan application will take 5-7 hours to complete.
Are there size or budget requirements for employment social enterprises to qualify for these loans?
No, we are not limiting who can inquire though you will be evaluated based on the criteria listed above.
What are my chances of receiving a loan through this fund?
There is a limited pool of funds available, so inquiries will be reviewed on a rolling, first-come first-served basis. We will review each inquiry on a case by case basis, but more than 100 of REDF’s social enterprise partners are eligible for approximately 5-10 loans. Potential applicants will need to meet both RIIF’s and Open Road criteria as described above, and must be able to show that the loan can be fully repaid in a maximum of two years.
If I have questions who should I reach out to?
Please contact Emilie Linick, Director of Impact Lending, at firstname.lastname@example.org. The REDF impact lending team will be working closely across teams, so we will be working with your relationship manager during the process as well.
How do I fix an error in my inquiry?
If you realize that you submitted incorrect information in your pre-screen inquiry or would like to update a response please email Emilie Linick, Director of Impact Lending at email@example.com.
Where can I access the REDF Application and Award Portal?
You can access the REDF Application and Award Portal HERE.
I don’t have a Portal User account. How do I submit this inquiry?
The inquiry forms are only accessible through Salesforce, which all REDF grantees, program participants, and applicants use for program and financial reporting.
If you or your organization have previously applied to any of our grants or programming, it is likely that you already have an account registered on our Portal (try FirstNameInitial.LastName or FirstName.LastName as your username).
If you are still having trouble accessing your Portal User account, please use the “Can’t access your account?” link on the login page of the Portal or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I am going to be the new point person for my organization to apply for this loan and/or I have never had Portal access. How do I access the REDF Application and Award Portal?
If you are the new point person for your organization to apply for this grant, you may not have a Portal User account. Please send us an email at email@example.com with your full name, title, and organization and we will have an account created for you as soon as possible.
I have access to the REDF Application and Award Portal, but am having trouble navigating the application page.
For any application related questions, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.