Calvert Foundation Wins Fast Company Magazine’s ’Social Capitalist Award’ for 2006

Thursday, December 8, 2005

Bethesda-Based Organization Selected from 125 Award Finalists; Cited for Exceptional Model of Entrepreneurship in Not-for-Profit Service Sector

Calvert Foundation, which is devoted to ending poverty through investments in affordable housing, small businesses, microfinance, social enterprise, and other community-based initiatives, is a winner of the coveted Fast Company magazine “Social Capitalist Award” for 2006.

Selected from among 125 finalists, the Calvert Foundation was selected as an organization that best uses creativity, business smarts, and hard work to invent a brighter future. According to the magazine, the Social Capitalist Award is the only award program that measures a nonprofit group’s innovation and social impact, as well as the viability and sustainability of its business model. Winners will be featured in the January 2006 Fast Company issue, which will be on newsstands December 21st.

Calvert Foundation Executive Director Shari Berenbach said: “We are so pleased that Fast Company is recognizing Calvert Foundation’s important work and contributions to community investing. For 10 years now, Calvert Foundation has been working to make community investment a safe, logical, high-social impact option for all investors, removing critical barriers in order to make community investment accessible to wider audiences. Calvert Foundation uses investment capital to create a sustainable, scaleable model that enables non-profits and social enterprises to address critical social problems in the US and around the globe.”

Fast Company editor Mark Vamos said: “We applaud the efforts and business acumen of Calvert Foundation, which is not just a do-gooder dedicated to solving global poverty — it is a business-oriented organization of vision worthy of imitation in both the non-profit and for-profit sectors.”

“By approaching social capitalism in a rigorous, data-driven fashion, our evaluation process reveals the truly amazing nature of Calvert Foundation — and all of our winners,” Vamos said. “And while rating non-profits is controversial, Fast Company thinks it is a necessary step for the sector to grow and improve. Frankly, it’s a way to see that these excellent organizations get the recognition they deserve.”

Fast Company partners with the Monitor Group, a global strategy-consulting firm, to select the award winners. Monitor Group created the first methodology to compare non-profits of different sizes and ages across social sectors. The Monitor Group manages the evaluation process for the awards program and measures each organization’s work in five categories: social impact, entrepreneurship, innovation, aspiration and growth, and sustainability.

“Prior to the Social Capitalist Awards, no ranking process existed to directly compare these kinds or organizations,” said Mark Fuller, chairman and CEO of Monitor Group. “Our evaluation measures the impact and effectiveness of these non-profits, making the Social Capitalist Awards a robust source of guidance for performance-oriented leaders of such organizations, as well as a donor’s guide for those who want their charitable dollars to get the highest ’social’ return possible.”

Over the past 10 years, Calvert Foundation has recycled more than $250 million in investments that have helped to create more than 119,000 jobs for low income individuals, built or rehabilitated 6,600 affordable homes, and financed more than 6,900 non-profit facilities, including daycare centers, community health clinics, and schools.

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