Impact Investing for DeKalb County

Welcome to impact investing, where investing isn't just about making money; it's about making a difference. This is a transformative idea where financial returns meet positive social and environmental change, and every investment decision has the power to generate meaningful transformations in our local communities.

Impact investing differs from a grant program, where the dollars are given/awarded for a specific program or project. Instead, these investment dollars are repaid to the DeKalb County Community Foundation, which uses them repeatedly to benefit new projects throughout DeKalb County, IL.

Introducing the Invest DeKalb County Fund:

The Invest DeKalb County Fund is an innovative Fund that makes the most out of philanthropy while also seeking some financial returns. Instead of granting the money, this Fund invests it strategically in projects that make a real difference in our community. The invested dollars benefit local projects consistent with the Foundation's mission of enhancing the quality of life in DeKalb County.

Donate to the Invest DeKalb County Fund >

"Impact investing positively impacts our communities while generating income for future reinvestment opportunities. It's about working together to create a brighter future for all!"

How it Works:

  1.  Donors invest in the Invest DeKalb County Fund. As the assets grow, the impact investment will continue to grow. Donors are a vital part of this exciting idea! 
  2.  The Foundation identifies local projects focusing on education, boosting the economy, preserving the environment, or promoting equity.
  3.  Eligible organizations with promising ideas submit proposals. 
  4.  Proposals are carefully evaluated by Foundation staff to ensure they're viable and a good fit.
  5.  If a project is approved, the organization receives the needed funding.
  6.  As they use that money to create positive change, they pay it back, ensuring a cycle of ongoing impact for everyone involved.
  7.  The Foundation repeats the process with additional approved applications.

Due to our emphasis on creating positive social change, loans may carry below-market rates and be eligible to organizations that, due to size or experience, may not be a good fit for traditional lending institutions.

Impact Investing will:

  • Leverage a portion of investable assets to advance the Foundation's mission and create a positive impact—Invest locally to channel donor dollars directly into community-focused initiatives.
  • Advance the Foundation's proactive commitment to focus on education, economy, environment, and equity.
  • Scale the Foundation's impact in ways not possible with grantmaking alone—Create lasting change on a larger scale and make a difference that reverberates throughout our community.
  • Build partnerships for impact—The Foundation can collaborate with various partners to amplify efforts and cultivate a more inclusive and effective environment.

Impact Investing Next Steps:

Organizations interested in an impact investment are encouraged to review the impact investing program information and fill out an application. All projects must focus on positive impact throughout DeKalb County, IL.

For financial or application questions on impact investing, please contact Finance Director Kay Riley at 815-748-5383 or For project suitability, impact, and operational questions, please contact Executive Director Dan Templin at 815-748-5383 or