Trustee: San Francisco Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender (LGBT) Community Center

San Francisco, CA

Why are you interested in becoming a Trustee?
Using an integrated approach to providing economic supports through financial, employment and small business services, we continually explore innovative partnerships that address the needs of our clients. Through Kiva Zip, we are able to provide more opportunities for low-to-moderate income LGBT entrepreneurs to create community and access capital to start or grow their businesses.
What is the mission of your organization?
Our mission is to connect people and opportunities so together we can build a strong and healthy LGBT community, and a more welcoming and equitable world. Underscoring this is our economic development programs, which work to expand economic opportunities for LGBT people, businesses, communities in need and our allies.
What indicators/metrics do you use to evaluate and monitor your impact?
We measure the impact of our work by assessing the overall economic health of our clients at different intervals to determine if they've achieved a major economic outcome such as a sense of empowerment, an increase in financial health, career advancement, skills development, self-employment or business expansion. For business clients, we also tailor growth benchmarks for each client that are based on outcomes achieved, such as staffing levels or company revenue, through their participation in our technical assistance, mentorship or other supports. In addition, we measure the number of clients served, businesses started and expanded, credit scores increased, jobs created and loans funded.
How have you performed in the past, according to these indicators/metrics?
Our economic development programs are the first in the nation to comprehensively address the economic barriers faced by the LGBT community and have performed well since their inception in 2004. In this last year, we have implemented a more asset-based approach by bundling services so clients are more likely to achieve a significant economic outcome. Based on this approach, we have developed new metrics to evaluate our work that reflect the clients’ progress in reaching different benchmarks of success. In 2011, the Small Business Services program helped: 50 clients develop and refine their business plans; 23 entrepreneurs establish new businesses; 39 existing businesses improve their operations, marketing and/or financial management; 12 businesses grow their revenue or hire additional employees; nine businesses prepare to apply for financing; eight entrepreneurs build their credit; and three businesses find and negotiate leases for retail space.
How will you determine whether or not the business plans of the Borrower(s) you endorse are sound?
We provide clients assistance in preparing their financials and review them to ensure that they are feasible and in-line with industry standards. Many of our borrowers will present their business plans to a mock loan committee comprised of business experts, microlenders, business banking specialists and angel investors as a final step of due diligence to provide them with constructive criticism and insight.
How will you know whether the Borrower(s) you endorse will have the character to repay a loan?
In working with our clients, we build a strong rapport through utilizing coaching techniques, providing mentorship and guiding them through a process of goal-setting. Through this process, we identify tasks and responsibilities for clients to complete and will gauge their character by their follow-through and communication with staff.
Please describe what type of business, financial, technical or other support you plan on providing to the Borrower(s) you endorse:
We support entrepreneurs and small business owners by providing one-on-one technical assistance, credit repair, strategic advising round tables, mentorship and classes, with a focus on business financing, business modeling, business plan writing and marketing. We also provide our business clients with access to our financial services including credit counseling, financial workshops, a credit-building peer-to-peer community loan program and a free tax preparation service. Through our employment services, we also connect businesses with job-seekers and educate them on best practices in HR policy.
How will you establish whether the Borrower(s) you endorse are in debt, or have a history of debt? How will what you find affect your endorsement of their loan application?
Our borrowers will undergo a financial review and be endorsed on a case by case basis. Clients who are in debt or have a history of debt will be encouraged to receive credit counseling and participate in financial workshops. Clients who have a low credit score will be encouraged to participate in our Lending Circles program which is a credit-building peer-to-peer community loan, which increases credit scores, on average, 49 points over 6 months.
Why can't the Borrower(s) you endorse access traditional loans?
Many of our clients are low-to-moderate income, lack credit history and/or collateral and have not been in business long enough to meet a banks requirements. For some clients, their loan requests are too small, they may lack industry experience or their businesses may be in a more volatile industry.
Please describe how you could help us to ensure that the loans you endorse on Kiva Zip have a significant and positive social impact:
The borrowers that we will endorse are located in our community and, by providing them with an array of business development services, we are helping them add value to their community and scale their businesses to hire from within the community. Also, by providing low-to-moderate income clients with economic supports, we act as a gateway for clients to access a variety of relevant services that can support their overall economic health. This results in the building of assets and passed on knowledge for future generations.

About San Francisco Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender (LGBT) Community Center

Trustee Type:
501(c)(3) Non-profit Organization
Third Tier trustee
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On Zip Since:
Mar 9, 2012
(53 months)
Loans Endorsed:
Total Value:
Paying on Time:
Not enough data
Paying Back Late:
Not enough data
Repaid in Full:
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