Reflecting on Black History Month
High Impact Financial Analysis Blog
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4d ago
​Peter Schaeffing, President ​During Black History Month, we appreciate the progress made and the long journey ahead toward racial equity and the destruction of structural racism. Being involved in lending, we have a front-row seat to some of the hallmarks of structural racism. The concept of CDFIs originated in large part due to the economic exclusion of minorities from mainstream financial institutions and, through the pernicious and institutionalized practice of redlining, particularly from the mortgage market. In the present day, many of our clients now have successful programs supporting ..read more
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Giving Ourselves and Others Permission to Dare Greatly
High Impact Financial Analysis Blog
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2w ago
In 2024, the team at High Impact is taking turns sharing quotes that are meaningful to them. February's quote is a bold one from staff member Alex Vazquez, Portfolio Manager, care of Teddy Roosevelt: Here is Alex's explanation of what this quote means to him: "I keep this quote close to me because it reminds me in my personal life that our efforts are what’s truly important. We cannot control outcomes nor what others have to say - but we can control our efforts. Life and especially our work can be discouraging because of not being able to see our impact in a way the moves the needle tremendou ..read more
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At High Impact, everyone has a seat at the table
High Impact Financial Analysis Blog
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3w ago
​As we have grown from a one-person startup to a more mature 10-person company, High Impact’s growth has been made possible by our commitment to the concept of “everyone has a seat at the table.” At High Impact, “everyone has a seat at the table” is one of our four core values because we know that we will be stronger as a company if we hear everyone’s voice and insights. Embracing this principle fosters a culture of inclusivity, where diverse perspectives converge, creating a vibrant ecosystem of ideas and innovation. In such an environment, every team member, regardless of title or tenure, fe ..read more
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Hopelessness never got anything done
High Impact Financial Analysis Blog
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1M ago
This year at High Impact, our team is sharing words of inspiration with each other. At the end of 2023 we gave each staff member a frame with the same inspirational saying in it--and each month this year, a different staff member will select a new phrase to be shipped out and put in these frames for the new month. It's a simple way to connect us all from our headquarters in Albany to the home offices of our remote staff across the country. The first phrase is this: Hopelessness never got anything done. It struck me as having two important applications to our work. First, the wo ..read more
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What CDFIs Should Expect in a Recession – Part 3
High Impact Financial Analysis Blog
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10M ago
This is the final segment in a three-part series on the likely impacts of a recession on the CDFI industry. Part 1 focused on the negative impacts, Part 2 focused on potential opportunities, and this final installment offers guidance on how CDFIs can position themselves to thrive--even in a recession.  In the days since we published Part 2, more signs of recession have emerged—August inflation came in higher than anticipated, markets are forecasting as much as a 100-basis point rate increase, and stocks had their worst day since pandemic-driven volatility in 2020. The urgency to prepare ..read more
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What CDFIs Should Expect in a Recession - Part 2
High Impact Financial Analysis Blog
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10M ago
This is the second in a three-part series that will consider the likely impacts of a recession on the CDFI industry. Part 1 focused on the negative impacts. Part 2 focuses on the positive impacts. Part 3 will provide suggestions for how CDFIs can position themselves to thrive—recession or no recession. The prospects of a recession are unsettling to us all in the impact finance space—a recession means people losing their jobs, entrepreneurs closing their doors, and opportunities for homeownership vanishing. It makes the work we do and the mission we strive for even harder to accomplish. It als ..read more
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What CDFIs Should Expect in a Recession – Part 1
High Impact Financial Analysis Blog
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10M ago
As economic indicators increasingly point to a recession, understanding a recession's likely impacts on our industry can help us react strategically as the economy changes. This is critical for any sector, but for CDFIs it is not just an existential moment to ensure self-survival, it is an urgent call to action to be economic first responders for our most vulnerable neighbors and communities. Just as airplane passengers should put on their own oxygen mask before helping others, CDFIs should ready themselves now so that they can support their constituents when an economic emergency arrives. Th ..read more
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​A Note on First Fridays Off
High Impact Financial Analysis Blog
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10M ago
April 1st will be a “first First” for us at High Impact—the first day celebrating our new company policy, First Fridays Off. This policy makes the first Friday of each month a company holiday, meaning High Impact will be closed for business each first Friday going forward. It represents a radical expansion of our PTO and holidays policy—12 new days off in one fell swoop—and the biggest change in our benefits policy since our founding. We are making this move as the first step in revamping staff benefits in 2022 to acknowledge the changes and challenges of the post-pandemic business environment ..read more
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CECL FAQs for CDFIs
High Impact Financial Analysis Blog
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10M ago
With implementation of the new Current Expected Credit Losses accounting standard required by December 2022, many impact lenders are beginning to feel the pressure of the impending deadline. As CDFIs begin accelerating efforts to implement CECL, many questions naturally arise.   Let’s start with the basics. What is CECL? On June 16, 2016, the FASB issued Accounting Standards Update No. 2016-13, Financial Instruments—Credit Losses (Topic 326). The new guidance requires organizations to measure expected credit losses for financial instruments considering: 1. Historical experience, 2. Curren ..read more
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Reflections and Updates on our Charter Market Scans
High Impact Financial Analysis Blog
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10M ago
For the past four quarters, High Impact worked alongside The Community Development Trust to release charter school market scans covering four specific state markets: Tennessee, California, New Jersey and Colorado.  We learned a great deal about the charter market through this process, from getting access to information to understanding how the nationally present charter school debate trickles down to the state and local level. In this blog post, we share our tips and update the political outlook in our focus states as we begin 2019. Finding Data The state’s Department of Education is th ..read more
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