The Black Cooperative Investment Fund

Impacting the Black Community

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What We Can Accomplish:

 

A $500,000 FUND COULD RESULT IN $1.2 MILLION IN ASSETS BEING GENERATED IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA’S BLACK COMMUNITY, A 145 PERCENT GROWTH RATE ON BCIF’S INVESTMENT!!!

How BCIF Works

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Donors Give

One-year commitment required. Minimum of $1,000 annually, can be a one-time annual gift or monthly contributions for 12 months.

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We Provide Microloans

Loans range between $5,000 – $20,000. We invest to build financial assets by helping individuals or businesses.

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The Community Prospers

With $500,000 in the fund, BCIF’s investments can result in $1.2 million in assets generated for Southern California’s Black community annually.

About BCIF

howpic3Founded in 2016 and launched in January 2017, the Black Cooperative Investment Fund (BCIF) is a community-based 501(c)3 nonprofit fund based on the tradition of cooperative economics. BCIF provides microloans to African Americans that have a high likelihood of building financial assets. Our mission is to create social change for the Black community through the primary strategy of building assets and wealth. We provide microloans through pooled dollars from individuals and companies who are passionate about economic empowerment for the African American community. Housed at OneUnited Bank, BCIF has a specific focus on communities in the Southern California region. The vision is to provide a dedicated, reliable, and perpetual source of capital to create assets and build wealth for, and within, African American communities.

We provide affordable, low-interest, low-fee loan alternatives to traditional lenders. All earnings from interest repayments are reinvested into the fund to grow and sustain the fund for long-term usage in the Black community.

Annual fundraising goal: $500,000 will allow the fund to distribute 24 – 36 microloans annually, ranging between $5,000 – $20,000.

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BCIF Member/Donor Messages

BCIF Testimonial – CHNO Brands

BCIF Testimonial – Ride On Bike Shop

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BCIF provides microloans for the following areas:

  • Securing primary residential or investment property
  • Renovating residential or investment property
  • Starting small businesses
  • Securing growth capital for small businesses


Learn more

Why is BCIF Important?

African Americans’ economic growth when compared to whites has remained stagnant since the Jim Crow Era. Additionally, the growing American backlash toward efforts to uplift people of color and the general ineffectiveness of traditional (and/or outdated) social justice efforts require African Americans to galvanize its resources to spur economic growth. Economic empowerment is the main tool that will “move the needle” forward for the Black community and bring the desired change we seek.

CURRENT & POTENTIAL DONORS

Determine Your Amount

One-year commitment required, minimum of $1,000 annually (one-time or monthly)

Monitor Your Loan

We will send you a detailed annual report covering fund performance

Realize Benefits

Receive a full tax credit for your contribution, 100% of your donation is tax deductible

  • One-year commitment required
  • Minimum of $1,000 annually
  •          --Can be a one-time annual gift; or monthly contributions for 12 months

  • Automatic bank account deductions required for monthly giving plan
  • Tax credit for 100 percent of financial gift




Member Testimonials

  • "I believe recycling our dollar within our community is essential for economic, social, and political progress. When I say community, I am speaking of all people of African descent whether we live in the same neighborhood, city, or state. We are all intertwined because we not only share a common history, but a common destiny. It was an obvious decision to become a donor with BCIF given its focus on unifying and uplifting our community through economic empowerment."

    ~ BCIF Member T.C.

  • "I became a BCIF member because I care about what's going on with Black people as a whole in this country. I know as long as we lag behind others economically, our efforts for change are going to be longer, harder, and slower. I decided to put my money where my mouth is and become involved in an effort that will produce real change for people in communities I care about. It's always time for those who are passionate about Black progress to do the same; put some 'skin in the game'! It's all about action and I choose to do that through the power of my dollar."

    ~ BCIF Member A.P.

  • "Empowering the Black community through economic development is not a Black issue. This is a matter of justice. As a white philanthropist, I can't imagine anything better than investing in justice through BCIF."

    ~ BCIF Donor K.G.

  • "Becoming a BCIF member was a 'no brainer' for me. Marcus Garvey said: 'A race that is solely dependent upon another for its economic existence sooner or later dies … so we will in the future suffer if an effort is not made now to adjust our own affairs.' We don't think twice about giving our money to institutions that have no interest in our well-being. We must return to our rich tradition of supporting one another. I was eager to join a movement that is intentional about economic empowerment for the Black community."

    ~ BCIF Member S.T.

  • "People might wonder why as a non-Black person I became a BCIF member. It's simple: I believe in the right of all Americans to experience the American Dream. Rather than give to organizations that keep people 'in their place,' I'd rather be part of an effort that helps people leverage dollars to pick themselves up by their bootstraps … or in some cases, give themselves the boots. When you have the financial capacity, you can live where you want, send your children to the schools you want, and enjoy all the social mobility that all of us aspire to have. If I'm not willing to involve myself in helping people succeed, then I'm part of the problem."

    ~ Anonymous BCIF Member #2

  • "If your community is important to you, then sustaining it should be as well. We must push through one of the most gentrified times in our history in this country but we can do it together. We must find different means of doing for ourselves. BCIF is a way to do that. For my community, it shows I put my money where my mouth is. The symbolic aspect is others get to see that we have unity and collectively can pool our money together for the betterment of our community as a whole."

    ~ BCIF Member R.W.

  • "I am a firm believer that a community's health - be it political, social, physical or mental - is closely linked to its economic health. Few communities more clearly demonstrate this than the African American Community. Our anemic economic health has ripple effects that can be seen in virtually every aspect of Black life. My desire to help shift that paradigm in my community was the impetus for my investment in BCIF. Collectively, we must begin to be more intentional and strategic with the use of our dollars and make decisions with them that grow and better our community. Participation in BCIF is one avenue to do that."

    ~ BCIF Member V.H.

  • "Cooperative economics is one of the truest forms of solidarity that allows us to pool individual resources for the service of common goals. Therefore, my commitment to BCIF reflects my commitment to the betterment and evolution of myself and my community. BCIF is essential to furthering our common goals because it provides an accessible platform, responsible oversight, and leverages the network effect. I am proud to be a member of network of change agents dedicated to reversing the trend of racial inequality."

    ~ BCIF Member A.W.

  • "Becoming a member of BCIF is a good investment and a way to fix the imbalance in how much investor dollars circulate in the African American community. We must stop complaining and just make a conscious effort to do our part. Even a dollar a month from one million people is one million dollars and twelve million a year of funds we can circulate through our community to create jobs. Those jobs aren't just minimum wage opportunities. Our investment can create management and executive level careers for African Americans as well."

    ~ BCIF Member A.M.W.

  • "I have always believed that everyone deserves an equal opportunity and wanted to help those in the community that didn't have that for whatever reason. BCIF is allowing people to improve their lives and take advantage of opportunities that they would normally never have. I truly believe everyone should payback the chance that was given to them. This is not charity, this is simply leveling the playing field. Unfortunately in America, opportunity does not come evenly to all, so if you want to help, do it where you will have the most impact, for good people who just need a small helping hand."

    ~ BCIF Member A.S.

  • "I became a member because BCIF was an innovative organization that infused capital into small businesses in key parts of the Los Angeles community. I wanted to be part of an organization that provides opportunities to individuals that are not able to get commercial loans and are stymied in their ability to grow and prosper. I want my money to go directly to entrepreneurs with a plan but no access to capital. I want to make a difference, and not ignore the institutional racism which hinders many in their ability to get ahead and prosper."

    ~ BCIF Member M.G.

  • "I became a member of BCIF because I recognized the critical need for this in the black community. Given the poor access to capital for those who want to start small businesses, BCIF is critical to fulfilling that need. I'm happy to support that work as a member. Others who understand the unique need of the black community to be empowered with access to business opportunities is why others should join. Becoming involved with BCIF says to others that our community is ready to control its own destiny and economic power."

    ~ BCIF Member S.D.

  • "I became a member of BCIF to support the economic growth and prosperity of the Black community. I believe my gift to BCIF has a profound impact on the income mobility of the Black community. For those who want to shape economic, social and political change for our community, partner with BCIF!"

    ~ BCIF Member A.G.

  • "When I learned about the vision and mission of BCIF, I immediately saw the need and purpose of contributing and investing in small businesses. I know too well the challenges of starting or taking a business to the next level and believe that the funds provided by BCIF can make an impact for some good, deserving, hard-working people. These funds are not a hand-out but instead a hand-up. If we don't help those right here in our community... who will?"

    ~ BCIF Member M.S.

  • "The African American small business community has been hampered historically by lack of access to traditional capital sources that tend to be accessible to other groups. Given this, it then becomes incumbent upon all of us to either be a part of the solution or acknowledge that we don't really care about the disparities. I became a BCIF member because it is an organization led by people that see injustice and instead of waiting for others to propose a remedy, it is insisting on jumping in and leading the charge for solutions. Those type of organizations are rare so supporting BCIF is very important to me."

    ~ BCIF Member T.S.

Current & Potential Borrowers

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Loan Details

  • Amount: between $5,000 - $20,000
  • Monthly Repayment Schedule
  • Fixed Interest Rate
          --10.0% based on two-year amortization
          --12.0% based on three-year amortization
  • Applicable Loan Processing Fees


Apply Now

Current Loan Recipients

Receive a 10% discount on all goods, products, and services offered by BCIF loan recipients.

CHNO

Loan Amount: $15,000


www.chnostore.com

Ride On Bike

Loan Amount: $5,000


www.rideonbikeshop.com

RCO Tires

Loan Amount: $10,000


www.rcotires.com

How to Apply

Determine Eligibility

Determine if you are eligible for any of our loan programs

Apply for Loan

Apply for downloading application or applying online

Application Review

Our team reviews all applications and determines who gets a loan

Eligibility Criteria

  • Primary target population: African American residents or business owners in Los Angeles County and Riverside County
  • Strong potential for positive impact on the economic trajectory of the African American community
  • Evidence substantiating that a microloan will help yield a financial return and future asset building
  • Must demonstrate the need and a capacity to repay; Stellar credit history is NOT required
  • Annual gross household income of less than $200,000 for individuals and less than $500,000 in annual gross revenues for businesses
  • Experienced, entrepreneurial, and/or innovative leadership
  • First-time home buyers and/or home buyers targeting property in communities with high concentrations of African American residents
  • African-American owned businesses, preferably with the capacity to create jobs for other African Americans


The Review Process

Applicants submit loan applications online through the BCIF website. BCIF leadership and the fund manager will review application materials and conduct due diligence (review business concepts, viability of request, financials, etc.). If applicants move beyond preliminary screening, leadership and fund manager will conduct individual interviews with the applicant, conduct a comprehensive review of financials, and assess borrowers’ ability to repay. Recommended loans will be reviewed for final approval by a loan review committee comprised of selected BCIF donors. Borrowers are notified of application approval and loan amounts. Funding is processed and disbursed two weeks from formal loan approval.

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Frequently Asked Questions

 

General Questions

How is BCIF different from other local alternative lending institutions?

BCIF is not intended to compete with other financial institutions already providing microloans. BCIF intends to supplement existing financial resources and in some cases, fill the gaps in access to capital for the African-American community. BCIF’s unique characteristics include:

Check mark symbol A specific focus on the Black community;

Check mark symbol The interest rate for borrowers is lower than many of the other alternative lending institutions;

Check mark symbol The fund is a community-based effort that will have much more visibility and appeal to community-at- large (not just for those “in the know”); and

Check mark symbol The lending criteria for borrowers will not be as restrictive as they are for many other alternative lending institutions.

Why does BCIF focus on real estate and start businesses?

In America and in a capitalist society, its widely acknowledged that ownership, especially of real property and business, is the primary vehicle for asset and wealth building. With assets and wealth come influence and power to achieve the type of substantive sociopolitical change we seek. Helping to grow financial assets provides the Black community with the “financial muscle” to equip itself with the capacity to create the change it seeks.

How does BCIF manage potential borrower default?

Because borrower default is a common risk associated with loan programs, BCIF has created a financial model that allows it to mitigate a specific cap on the number/percentage of loans that could potentially experience defaulted payment. Of course, loan requests are vigorously screened to assess for repayment capacity and thus minimize risks for borrower defaults.

Is BCIF a loan fund run by OneUnited Bank?

No. BCIF is a transparent, independently operated, 501c3 nonprofit organization that is managed by direct staff, a loan review committee, and a board of directors. BCIF is housed at OneUnited. Therefore, BCIF funds and transactions are fully insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC).

Is it only for African Americans?

Due to the disparities in financial assets and wealth for the Black community, BCIF microloans are exclusively directed toward African American borrowers. BCIF actively seeks and welcomes donors/activators from diverse backgrounds who are concerned about the economic state of the Black community and view economic empowerment as a primary vehicle for social and political change.

What percentage of the fund’s dollars are distributed in microloans to the community?

Approximately 75% of all dollars are distributed directly to the community through microloans. The other 25% covers necessary administrative costs of the fund. These costs include but are not limited to: staffing, business development activities, marketing/advertising, supplies, etc.

 

For Donors

Who will manage the funds? Back office support?

The President/CEO is primarily responsible for monitoring and managing funds. Governance of funds and BCI-repeated activities is conducted by the board of directors.

Can a donor make a financial gift of less than the $1,000 minimum?

Yes, BCIF welcomes financial gifts of any amount. Every dollar helps to build the financial muscle of the community.

What is the typical profile of a BCIF donor?

BCIF donors come from all walks of life and represent various professional, political, racial/ethnic, geographic, and cultural backgrounds. There is one common characteristic between them: they all are passionate and/or concerned about the economic condition of the Black community and view it as a means to create sociopolitical change.

 

For Borrowers

Are there loan distribution cycles? Are loans given at a certain time of year?

There is no set loan distribution cycle. Loans are given on an ongoing basis throughout the year. Loan applications are welcome at any time. Preliminary screening of application materials is completed four to six weeks from the date of receipt of the application. Once approved, funding is processed and disbursed within two weeks from approval date.

Can we apply for more than one loan at a time?

No. Individuals/businesses can only apply for one loan at any given time.

Can I apply if I don't live in Southern California?

Exceptions may be allowed in special circumstances to provide loans to individuals/businesses outside of Southern California. However, such loans must have a substantive impact on the Black community in BCIF’s target geographic area (Los Angeles and Riverside Counties). Individuals/businesses residing outside of the target geographic area should seek BCIF consultation before applying for a loan.

If denied a loan, how soon can I apply again?

Declined applicants must wait at least six months before applying again for a BCIF loan.

Follow the Conversation on Social Media

Search or use these hashtags to follow the black empowerment conversation

#WeaponizeYourDollars #ChangeNotCharity #NoTalkAllAction





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Our Leadership

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What are YOU waiting for?

Do your part to impact the Black community today!

Contact Info

(310) 904-6336

info@bcifund.org

5792 West Jefferson Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90016

Contact Us!

For more information about how to donate to or partner with BCIF, please send us a message below or email us at info@bcifund.org.

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