Published 1 year ago.
About a 3 minute read.
Image: Ketut Subiyanto/Pexels
Apple, Netflix, Xylem and others are putting corporate cash to work in financially underserved communities by moving money to CDFIs, LID credit unions and MDIs throughout the US.
This week, CNote — a women-led impact platform on a
mission to close the wealth gap through financial innovation — announced that
recent commitments from Apple, Netflix and Xylem have pushed the
total funding being deployed to underserved communities via its investment
platform to nearly $300 million. The milestone reflects accelerated momentum
for the fintech firm’s work to leverage corporate balance sheets to improve
racial and gender equity.
The announcement comes just days after JUST Capital released its 2022 Corporate
— which found signs of progress in key areas of the corporate world’s sweeping
commitments to use their power to help advance racial equity in the US, but
miles to go toward implementing truly meaningful and impactful action. CNote’s
$300 million milestone is a heartening sign that progress is building.
“We’re seeing continued interest from large corporations in balance sheet
It’s a movement, not a moment,” said CNote CEO Catherine Berman, adding that
“this interest runs across industries, as our newest clients illustrate. They’re
looking at the corporate treasury as a tool to deepen their DEI, ESG
racial justice goals.”
Apple’s recent $25 million
to CNote is part of its broader Racial Equity and Justice
an effort to address systemic racism in the US and expand opportunities for
communities of color. According to Lisa Jackson, Apple’s VP of Environment,
Policy and Social Initiatives, “By working with CNote to get funds directly to
historically under-resourced communities through their local financial
institutions, we can support equity, entrepreneurship and access.”
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As global water technology company Xylem explained while
its initial $5 million commitment to CNote, diversity, equity and inclusion are
critical elements of its sustainability strategy. The company noted that CNote’s
platform “provides an easy-to-use and measurable tool for streamlining Xylem’s
investment with one interface while maximizing the impact created for
underserved communities of color across the US.”
CNote’s platform enables corporations and other institutional investors to
contribute to racial and gender equity while generating returns on fixed income
and cash allocations. It places money in community development financial
institution (CDFI) loan
and in depository products — such as money market accounts and CDs — from vetted
FDIC- and NCUA-insured CDFIs, low-income designation (LID) credit unions
and minority depository
(MDIs). Platform users can track their impact via CNote’s quarterly reporting on
the social benefits of their deposits and investments.
Funds deployed through CNote’s platform grow the deposit base of mission-driven
banks and credit unions that serve low- and moderate-income people as well as
Black, Indigenous and people of color (BIPOC) communities, allowing those
institutions to improve their reach and service. CDFIs fund women- and
affordable housing and economic development. LID credit unions serve communities
where most people have household incomes well below the national median. And
MDIs are financial lifelines for communities of color.
Apple, Netflix, Xylem and others using CNote’s platform — including
— receive quarterly impact reports showing how their dollars were deployed and
how communities benefited. That is a significant advantage given the heightened
attention to ESG reporting, Berman noted: “When companies activate their balance
sheet to expand access and opportunities for communities of color and other
underserved communities, they are authentically addressing the social dimension
Find out more about CNote’s platform and see illustrative beneficiaries
Published Jun 3, 2022 8am EDT / 5am PDT / 1pm BST / 2pm CEST