An impact investor, ECGRA’s mission is to elevate Erie County by galvanizing nonprofits and small businesses toward economic and community development. Since February 2008, ECGRA has invested more than $40 million in Erie County.
A growing movement spearheaded by the Rockefeller, George Gund, and F.B. Heron foundations, impact investing takes into account the social, cultural, and environmental effects of investments, in addition to the financial return. ECGRA has been measuring returns in both dollars and impact since 2011 and, in 2014, ECGRA formally adopted an Impact Investing Policy to effect change in five specific areas:
IMPACT: Small Business
To catalyze our region’s private sector and develop Erie’s entrepreneurial ecosystem by spurring small business development, building collaborations for business acceleration, and offering a broader spectrum of financing products for starting, growing, and reinventing small business. Learn more about Ignite Erie™.
IMPACT: Youth & Education
To educate Erie’s workforce, strengthen schools and employers, and abate poverty. Initiatives include the School District Foundation Endowment Challenge, Summer Jobs and More pilot, and a $1 million joint Shaping Tomorrow investment with The Erie Community Foundation in four projects focused on education, healthcare, and character development for disconnected youth.
IMPACT: Quality of Place
To promote well-being, foster civic pride, drive
IMPACT: Neighborhoods & Local Communities