Tucson Botanical Gardens

Tucson Botanical Gardens is a loan client of the Nonprofit Loan Fund of Tucson and Southern Arizona.

The Nonprofit Loan Fund of Tucson and Southern Arizona recently was recognized by the U.S. Department of the Treasury as a Certified Community Development Financial Institution, giving the organization access to funding through various Treasury Department programs.

Founded in 2013, the Nonprofit Loan Fund is a supporting organization of the Community Foundation for Southern Arizona.

It joins more than 500 nonprofit CDFI loan funds across the country that provide affordable financing to promote economic and community development in underserved and distressed communities.

“Lack of access to capital and sophisticated financial expertise has limited the potential of many of our nonprofits,” said Clint Mabie, Community Foundation president and CEO and a co-founder of NPLF with Helaine Levy of the Diamond Foundation.

Mabie said through NPLF, nonprofits can avoid lengthy fundraising campaigns and repay loans with future grants, pledges or earned income.

NPLF is the only local CDFI to target nonprofit organizations throughout Southern Arizona.

Besides funds that specifically serve Native American communities, there are only two other CDFI loan funds serving Southern Arizona, and one focuses exclusively on economic development in Nogales; the other focuses on individuals in Pima County.

NPLF also is one of the few CDFIs in the country focused exclusively on financing for nonprofit organizations, said Don Jenks, NPLF board chairman and a Bank of Tucson executive vice president.

NPLF says it has loaned nearly $1.9 million to 13 nonprofits, most of which focus on underserved populations or areas.

The CDFI Fund was established by the Riegle Community Development and Regulatory Improvement Act of 1994.

Since its inception, the CDFI Fund has awarded more than $2 billion dollars to community development organizations and has allocated $43.5 billion in New Markets Tax Credits.

Find more information on the Nonprofit Loan Fund of Tucson and Southern Arizona online at nonprofit-loans.org.

Contact senior reporter David Wichner at dwichner@tucson.com or 573-4181. On Twitter: @dwichner


David joined the Star in 1997, after working as a consumer and business reporter in Phoenix for more than a decade. A graduate of Ohio University, he has covered most business beats focusing on technology, defense and utilities. He has won several awards.