Sorenson Impact Foundation 2024 RFP

In 2023, the Sorenson Impact Foundation (SIF) focused on systems change by zeroing in on the need to push the field of impact investing beyond sustainability and towards embracing a “regenerative” paradigm. As we move forward in 2024, we are broadening our focus to the rapidly growing and deeply expanding wealth gap crisis granting to/investing in solutions that promote upward mobility through ownership. Our funding this year seeks to fuel learning and market development to solutions that advance economic empowerment and equity through ownership opportunities.

We are seeking to support organizations through grants or Program Related Investments (PRIs) that equip the investor community with the knowledge and tools and catalytic capital required to deploy greater and more effective investments of catalytic capital in the ownership economy. We seek to reshape the arc of opportunity by promoting ownership strategies in home ownership, community real estate, stakeholder trusts, employee ownership, and broad-based entrepreneurship.

The objective of the Empowering Ownership Grant Program is to catalyze initiatives that advance economic empowerment and equity through ownership opportunities by leveraging catalytic philanthropic capital and innovative ownership models rooted in the free enterprise principles of impact investing, we aim to address systemic barriers, reduce wealth disparities, and promote inclusive growth.

SIF’s grant program has historically provided non-dilutive philanthropic capital to non-profits; however, we are expanding to include for-profits through innovative PRI blended capital deal structuring as we seek to address the ownership crisis at scale. While SIF will continue sourcing PRIs across a broad array of impact areas, we have earmarked a portion of our 2024 budget to align with our grantmaking program and focus thematically on alternative ownership. SIF is seeking proposals for projects addressing the following areas, with the intention to release between 5-8 grants or PRIs, totaling up to $2M. PRIs could be in the form of concessionary debt, loan guarantees, or first loss equity. We are seeking proposals in the following focus areas:

Employee Ownership: We are seeking proposals that promote broad-based employee ownership as a pathway to address income inequality and empower workers, with a focus on leveraging capital to catalyze market-driven solutions. Example initiatives may include:


  • Support for evidence-based practices and facilities that support transitioning to employee-owned models.
  • Supporting research, best practices or opportunities that seek to fuel the implementation of best governance practices to ensure worker participation and engagement.


Home Ownership: We seek proposals that increase access to home ownership, particularly among lower- and middle-income families, leveraging capital to facilitate market-driven solutions. Example initiatives may include:


  • Innovative approaches and research in best practices aimed at broadening pathways and opportunities to homeownership, particularly focusing on assisting first-time homebuyers in overcoming financial barriers. First-loss, concessionary PRI’s in blended capital investment opportunities in funds and capital tools that facilitate home ownership.
  • This could include the following strategies: down payment assistance and loan programs to help first-time homebuyers overcome financial barriers, matched saving programs, technology-driven solutions and developer incentives.
  • Community land trusts that provide affordable housing options and pathways to appreciating ownership.
  • Investment in innovative fintech platforms that streamline the home buying process and expand access to mortgage financing.

Community Ownership: We support initiatives that foster collective ownership and control in communities, preserving affordability and building wealth at the neighborhood level, with a focus on leveraging capital to catalyze market-driven solutions. Example initiatives may include:

  • Innovative approaches that offer renters a share of upside in multi-family properties, with an emphasis on leveraging philanthropic capital to drive market-based solutions. Example initiatives may include:
  • Tenant equity programs that enable renters to accumulate wealth through shared ownership arrangements.
  • Investment in initiatives that support renters’ path to financial well-being and homeownership.
  • Solutions and innovations that seek to advance neighborhood real estate investment trusts and community investment trusts.
  • Models that reinvest income into community programs and support anti-gentrification efforts.

Evaluation Process
The RFP submission period will open on May 13, 2024 and close on July 12, 2024 at 11:59pm Eastern Time. To be considered, submissions must be uploaded through the online submission form.

Phase I Application
This application is designed to provide Sorenson Impact Foundation staff the information they need to determine general alignment to the funding goals of this RFP, as well as the viability of the organization requesting support for grant funding.Phase II Applications
Successful applicants will be invited to submit a Phase II Application, which will consist of a slide deck based upon the information requested in this Phase I Application. This Phase I Application is designed to provide a recommended order of slides for requested slide decks.

Semi Finalists
10-15 Selected semi-finalists will conduct a brief interview with Foundation staff, who may request edits to submitted decks in preparation for final consideration.

5-8 Finalists will be invited to present to the Foundation staff and Board for final consideration.



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