Around the world, nonprofits are tackling some of the biggest socioeconomic and environmental problems we face today. In the U.S. alone, the nonprofit sector represents the third largest workforce, employing over 12 million people. Nonprofit organizations continue to play an integral role in improving and sustaining communities, filling in gaps and providing opportunities to those most in need. In solidarity, we’re introducing a few of the nonprofits we’ve had the joy of working with, and sharing their mission to promote positive change.
Bridging the gap between small businesses and capital, non-profit community development loan fund Bridging Virginia provides education, technical assistance, and expert guidance for historically-marginalized businesses and not-for-profits in Virginia to thrive.
With an intentional focus on Care, Collaboration and Capital, Bridging Virginia provides support services around strategic business planning, financial health analysis, pre-lending support, marketing and sales growth. By helping businesses find flexible financial solutions, Briding Virginia is supporting the growth and ultimately, the success of communities throughout Virginia.
Common Good Alliance’s mission is to create aBlack Business District to help close the wealth gap for African Americans in Cincinnati, OH. By building local Black economies, Common Good Alliance aims to solve the pervasive challenges facing their communities such as high poverty, lack of home ownership and lack of business ownership.
Common Good Alliance was founded by diverse individuals willing to give and share power by investing their time, talent and treasure for the common good. By building local Black economies, Common Good is helping to solve high poverty, lack of home ownership and lack of business ownership in their communities.
The East Bay Community Foundation (EBCF) partners with donors, fund advisors, social movements, and the greater community to eliminate structural barriers, advance racial equity, and transform political, social, and economic outcomes for all residents of the San Francisco East Bay.
Through the development of arts and culture for social/racial justice, capital building via a racial equity lens, community organizing, and fostering inclusive economic models, EBCF is on a mission to advance an inclusive, fair, and just East Bay Area. The EBCF was one of the nation’s first community foundation and currently has 575 charitable funds under their stewardship, growing their impact and furthering their mission.
The Haven Home Foundation believe affordable and equitable housing is a basic human right. In providing housing to residents and then supporting those residents towards self sufficiency, the Foundation’s intended result is an increase in home ownership and generational wealth. Haven Home Foundation programming includes financial literacy, mental health counseling, career development, and more, all developed with a focus on finance, family and the future.
As the housing crisis continues to displace and destroy communities across the country, mission-driven organizations are hard at work developing innovative solutions aimed at addressing the failing system.
Often, communities struggle to have social impact as a result of environmental and economic shifts that appear, such as changing local demographics, gentrification, aging physical facilities, and resource challenges. The Institute was established to train, inspire and nurture social entrepreneurs within communities of faith and enterprises to rise above these challenges and maximize their overall social impact.
Crossing Capital will utilize this partnership to train, mentor and coach leaders on how to access multiple sources of capital to achieve the vision and mission of their organizations and promote positive social change.
Courage Housingis an investment firm that deploys capital to develop and operate multifamily developments where new Americans thrive. Courage Housing partners with refugee-focused nonprofits to provide tenants essential services like healthcare, employment opportunities, classes, social services, and more. Courage Housing is on a mission to bring together new and established Americans and foster thriving communities that embody the promise of hope, inclusion, and opportunity that America represents.
Doing Development Differently in Metro Detroit (D4)
Doing Development Differently in Metro Detroit (D4)aims to reinvent the development process, which too often unfairly burdens low-income families and people of color. D4 represents a diverse coalition of residents, labor, environmental, faith-based, and community organizations all committed to developing a built environment that creates “win-win” scenarios for the community, the economy, workers, and the environment.
New Way Homes
New Way Homes is on a mission to address the growing housing crisis in California by providing a pathway for mission-aligned land owners to use their land to help their communities without the burden of development and construction. New Way Homes commonly partners with churches, social services providers, organizations and individuals in possession of underused land who share their mission to revitalize communities through affordable housing.
Homekeep by Duo
Featured in last month’s newsletter, Chicago-based project Homekeep by Duoaims to eradicate the landlord-tenant housing model and replace it with a more equitable approach centered on neighborhood ownership. In purchasing small buildings at an affordable price now, Homekeep aims to graduate tenants to owners, extending more protection and ethical investment options to residents.
Each June we celebrate PRIDE, a month-long celebration that recognizes and honors our LGBTQIA+ community and their contributions to society. We use this time to not only acknowledge the challenges faced by this community, but to stand in solidarity as allies in their continued fight for equality and identity. Since the first Pride marches commenced in 1970, Pride was and still is resistance through visibility and joy. In commemoration, we’re highlighting the work of LGBTQIA+-led organizations pioneering change in communities far and wide.
Recompose is a queer, female-led human composting organization led by CEO Katrina Spade. Spade has been integral in developing and advocating for the legalization of human composting as an environmentally-friendly death care alternative. Now legalized in seven states, Recompose has composted over 250 people representing over 250 metric tons of carbon saved through a process called natural organic reduction (NOR). Essentially, their process turns human bodies into soil, creating a gentle way for human bodies to return to the earth after death. Through their regulation crowdfunding campaign, Recompose is working to change the future of death care and expand this offering to people all over the world.
Sugarwitch is founded and run by “a couple of flavor-obsessed queer food system nerds” who craft small batch, from-scratch frozen treats in St. Louis, Missouri. Owners Sophie Mendelson and Martha Bass’ ongoing commitment to building a more equitable food system is reflected across their organization, from using responsibly-sourced ingredients to utilizing fair labor practices. The name “Sugarwitch” is an ode to the celebrated witches of literature and lore, and also lends itself to a witch theme that “is an extension of Sugarwitch’s identity as a queer-owned business.”
Did you know Cutting Edge Capital is also a queer, female-led practice? As a strategic practice of our law firm, Cutting Edge Counsel, we provide fellow mission-driven organizations with creative capital raising solutions that are in alignment with their values and goals. Our legal experts use their experience, knowledge, and passion to assist businesses, cooperatives, and nonprofits with innovative and successful capital raising campaigns. Interested in a capital raise? Connect with us to schedule a complimentary consultation.
The professional aviation community is full of skilled pilots who command aircraft across the globe. With the world more open than ever, it’s easy to assume that the pilot pool is just as wide and diverse. However, if that was the case, Cutting Edge client FlexAir would not exist.
Instead, FlexAir was developed to address this growing problem. With representation by women and people of color in the professional aviation community less than 5% despite decades of outreach and effort, the FlexAir flight school was created to serve the underrepresented.
FlexAir provides flight training, mentorship and coaching to veterans, minorities, and others who wouldn’t normally get a chance to enter the career field of aviation. FlexAir’s mission is to make the next generation of pilots more professional, diverse, and inclusive than ever before.
“We believe the pilot shortage is a mentorship shortage,” shared FlexAir Co-founder and CEO Paul Wynns. “We’re breaking away from the traditional training model of ‘you must have the right stuff’ to become a pilot by creating mentorship relationships with student pilots to raise them up instead of weed them out.”
As a member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation, son of an immigrant family, and second-generation veteran, Paul Wynns long career in aviation and aerospace was devoid of mentors that looked like him. Reflecting on his experiences, Wynns realized that successful pilots not only possessed strong skills, they also had strong support systems of people behind them. This emphasis and need for mentorship led to the idea of “One Crew,” a combination of flight instruction and career mentorship FlexAir offers to all of its pilots.
Now, FlexAir is taking its mission to new heights with a recent acquisition of Air Associates Flight Training, a Kansas City flight school serving veterans and Department of Defense SkillBridge trainees. With plans to fly the world’s first all-electric, zero-emissions training aircraft, FlexAir is seeking impact investment partners to help the company grow and change the face of aviation. Learn more about FlexAir here.
Each April, we celebrate Earth Month and Earth Day, recognizing and advocating for the need to protect our planet, its resources, and the people within it. In commemoration of Earth Month, we’re featuring clients actively investing in our planet and putting sustainability goals to work.
Camino Verde is a growing organization based in the Peruvian Amazon, connecting native tree planting to improved livelihoods in historically marginalized native and mestizo communities.
Camino Verde partners with Amazonian farmers and native communities to regenerate forests and has planted over 200,000 trees representing over 400 native tree species. Their reforestation centers and tree nurseries form a one-of-a-kind Living Seed Bank of Amazonian biodiversity.
“Despite the terrible rate of destruction of intact ecosystems, we know that it is possible to restore entire landscapes using known tools and tried and true strategies,” said Robin van Loon, Camino Verde Executive Director. “Because we know restoration is possible, we don’t really have another choice but to commit to doing the work.” Learn more about Camino Verde’s mission, vision and programs.
“CoPeace, is committed to acting morally, ethically, and responsibly in regard to society and the environment,” said CoPeace Founder Craig Jonas. “Equity, inclusion, and justice are not just valued at CoPeace – they are pillars supporting our mission.”
A fully certified B Corp and public-benefit corporation (PBC), CoPeacehelps impactful companies grow. CoPeace screens, selects, and directly invests in companies that are doing work to combat the climate emergency. Some examples of such companies include Uncharted, Advanced Sustainable Technologies, and Compost Colorado.
As an impact-driven holding company, CoPeace is building a portfolio of carefully selected businesses with measurable social and environmental impact. To learn more, visit copeace.com.
Kingstown Green Inc. Eco-Friendly Casket Cooperative
Kingstown Green is a cooperative that produces handcrafted wooden products, including wooden caskets, all from sustainable sources materials. As a lumber user with a deep value for trees, Kingston Green only utilizes FSC-certified lumber or locally sourced eco-friendly lumber to help minimize deforestation.
“We believe that by placing such emphasis on eco-conscious manufacturing that we are helping to make our beautiful little planet a more habitable place for the inhabitants,” said Edward Henderson, Kingston Green President. “We also believe that by placing such emphasis on sustainability that we are being role models to other industries.”
In addition to their focus on sustainability, Kingston Green is committed as an equitable employer where anyone can get a job making a living wage regardless of education status.
Mid-Hudson Energy Transition
Mid-Hudson Energy Transition (MHET) is deeply committed to strengthening the resilience of local communities in the face of climate change through community education and local knowledge. MHET empowers municipalities, their residents, and businesses to own and share renewable energy, create healthier buildings, and join in community wealth-building to ensure that the clean energy transition benefits everyone, especially the low-income communities and communities of color that are being impacted first and worst by climate change.
“Every decision we make as an organization is in the context of the climate crisis and the intersecting racial and economic inequalities that this problem was borne out of,” said Jasmine Graham, MHET Executive Director. “An equitable transition to local, renewable energy will bolster our community’s resilience and capacity to survive increasingly frequent and severe climate events.”
MHET’s community-centered approach has led to innovative and equitable solutions that reduce emissions while advancing a more inclusive and regenerative economy.
“With the resources, knowledge, and solutions to contribute to this monumental shift, MHET we’re thrilled at the chance to do so with the communities of the Mid-Hudson region.”
For Terra Genesis, harmonizing the economic system with the ecological systems of Earth is of the utmost importance for ensuring a livable planet for current & future generations of humans and the wider community of life.
“We focus on agriculture because it is the very foundation of society and a powerful opportunity for regenerating the relationship between humans and landscapes,” shared Luke Smith, CEO and Partner at Terra Genesis.
As a regenerative design and development firm, Terra Genesis works to regenerate agricultural supply systems, align the interests of farmers, brands and consumers and produce better outcomes for people and the planet.
Learn more about the various ways Terra Genesis supports communities in becoming ambassadors of social and ecological regeneration.