Back in June, the Kresge Foundation and the Rockefeller Foundation jointly announced a request for letters of inquiry from fund managers who had plans to establish opportunity funds.
Of the 141 responses received, last month the foundations identified 20 potential fund managers that were eligible to receive grants and support.
The foundations have committed up to $25 million in grants and guarantees to support the program, but the names of the organizations under consideration were not released.
Yesterday, Kresge Foundation CEO and president Rip Rapson revealed some additional information about the data they gleaned from those 141 applications in an article he wrote for ImpactAlpha. The findings offer an early window into the level and type of activity spurred by the opportunity zones benefit.
Some findings include:
- Funds will be managed by a variety of players, including large corporate banks, small rural communities, and “everything in-between.”
- Fund managers are uncertain about who will invest. They are not sure at this time who their target investors are.
- Fund managers are uncertain about the level of return that they will expect.
- While applications were received from all over the country, there was clumping in coastal cities and urban centers, including a “high level of interest from the Southwest,” while few applications came from the Deep South or Appalachia regions.
- Most fund managers are focused on real estate investments.
- There is very little in the way of impact analysis offered by fund managers.
- Not a single fund manager could offer insight into how or when they expect investors to exit the opportunity funds.