Invest STL

In a Nutshell

Invest STL is a community economic development system  established with a focus on revitalization in distressed places and "middle market" neighborhoods.  The founders of the system are seeking to create: 1) a $5 million loan pool, 2) a $1.5 - 5.5 million philanthrop pool, and 3) a $1.25 million loan loss reserve fund.

Project Information


In January 2014, the Metropolitan St. Louis Community Resinvestment Act Association and the Commuity Builders Network came together with the common understanding that public investment in neighborhood improvement is shrinking and the region needs a comprehensive and sustainable system for investing in community development. The objective of the Task Force is for organizations who do this work and those who invest in communities to establish policies for how financial institutions and community economic development organizations can better foster sustained neighborhood improvement. Read the report here.


  • Three pools of funding will be created:
    • 1) a loan pool ($5 million in first year) for investing in community economic development projects and mortgage and home loans.
    • 2) a philanthropic pool ($1.5-5.5 million in first year) for grants to capacity building, project and initiative funding.
    • 3) a loan loss reserve fund ($1.25 million in first year) to cover losses in loans from the loan pool.
  • A self-sustaining philanthropic fund will be built alongside these three primary pools of dollars to ensure philanthropic support for the system in the future.
  • The Greater St. Louis Community Foundation will house pooled funds.
  • An Investment Collaborative will be formed representing all contributors to the pools of funding which will make all decisions about loans and grants. The Greater St. Louis Community Foundation, in partnership with other foundations, will hire a System Staff person to solicit funding commitments and staff the Investment Collaborative.
  • Funding to staff all aspects of the initiative should be raised by the System Staff person and the Investment Collaborative ($580,000-$640,000 per year).


  YR1$ YR2$ YR3$ YR4$ YR5$
System Infrastructure TBD TBD TBD TBD TBD

System Staff Person


Com. Econ. Dev. Support Manager


Real Estate Development Manager


Technical Assistance Provider


System Evaluator*


Individual Prof. Development & Org. Capacity Building

System Infrastructure Total          
Community Investment          
Philanthropic Pool**          

Organization Staff Capacity


Project Funding (community based planning, project implementation, gap funding, etc.)

Philanthropic Pool Total          
Loan Pool          

Project Financing, Mortgages, Home Repair Loans, etc.

Loan Pool Total          
Community Investment Total          

Loan Loss Reserve


* Costs to do the system analysis with local providers would be around $25,000 but if national researchers were used it could cost $50,000-$100,000
** A self-perpetuating fund for community development will also be built alongside raising the funds represented in this budget


Invest STL is proposed to:.

  • focus on two broad strategies for community revitalization: 1)Comprehensive community economic development in distressed places; and 2) Targeted community improvement, including grass roots marketing and below-market rate lending, in “middle-market” neighborhoods;
  • have three primary pathways that will support stronger community economic development practice and neighborhoods in the region: 1) community investment, 2) human capital improvement, and 3) system coordination and improvement;
  • allow multiple actors (local and national) to plug and play in building strong communities.

The Invest STL is tied very close to the Inclusive theme of OneSTL.

Goal 1: Embrace the region’s civic and cultural diversity.
     Objective: Recognize and embrace diverse cultures and neighborhoods.
Goal 2: Eliminate areas of concentrated poverty.
     Objective: Spur redevelopment in areas of concentrated poverty through public investments.
     Objective: Increase private investment in concentrated areas of poverty.
     Objective: Increase availability of affordable and workforce housing in areas of opportunity, where poverty is not pervasive.
     Objective: Increase protection for source of income discrimination by including protections for housing financial assistance such as Section 8 vouchers.
Goal 3: Encourage integrated communities.
     Objective: Increase racially, ethnically and economically integrated communities throughout the region.
     Objective: Increase regional fair housing enforcement.
Goal 4: Improve access to opportunities.
     Objective: Provide equitable access to jobs, housing, education, health care, financial services and other services.
     Objective: Increase the opportunities for all youth to have high quality, meaningful, safe access to education, job training, art, physical activity, and social interactions.
Goal 5: Improve quality of life in low-income neighborhoods.
     Objective: Increase the safety and quality of housing.
     Objective: Increase civic engagement of typically underrepresented populations.


Karl Guenther
Community Development Specialist
UMSL-Public Policy Research Center
Community Builders Network of Metro St. Louis
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Mary McMurtrey
Director of Community Engagement
Greater Saint Louis Community Foundation
319 North Fourth Street, Suite 300
St. Louis, MO 63102
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

More InformationMore Information

Community Builders Network of Metro St. Louis -
Metropolitan St. Louis Community Reinvestment Act Association -
Invest STL --
Greater Saint Louis Community Foundation -
United Way of Greater St. Louis -
Midland States Bank -
US Bank -
Rise -
DeSales Community Housing Corporation -
Lemay Housing Partnership -
Commerce Bank -
Beyond Housing -
Community Renewal and Development Inc. -
University of Missouri St. Louis -