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Hands of the Carpenter, an SVP Denver Investee that offers affordable auto placement, repair and maintenance to working single mothers, recently celebrated the grand opening of its second location. Located at 10401 E. Idaho Place in Aurora, the new facility was financed in part through an innovative loan facilitated by SVP Denver.

“This is a unique model for financing social impact capital projects through donor advised funds and family foundation collaboration,” said Colleen Kazemi, SVP Denver executive director. “This model allows partner investors to come together to amplify their impact by offering low-interest loans directly to nonprofits and then reinvest the returns into future philanthropic initiatives.”

Through affordable vehicles and auto servicing, Hands of The Carpenter helps lower-income working single mothers overcome one of the biggest challenges to self-sufficiency—reliable transportation. The nonprofit estimates that roughly 30,000 single working women on limited incomes live within the service area of its new Aurora location. With auto shops now operating in Golden and Aurora, the nonprofit hopes to double the number of women it can serve in the metro area to 500 working single mothers annually. 

To help the nonprofit secure the remaining financing needed for the Aurora property, SVP Denver gathered six partner investors to work through Impact Charitable, an impact investing intermediary, to share due diligence, closing and legal costs for a $335,000 loan as part of the $1.375 million purchase. The investors included six individual and family foundation donors who will receive a below-market-rate 2.5 percent return over five years. 

“This was a better option for us than a traditional bank loan,” said Dan Georgopulos, founder and CEO of Hands of The Carpenter. “With a lower interest rate and more favorable terms, we can direct more money toward immediately serving working mothers and their children, particularly during this more competitive real estate market.”

The loan is the second Hands of The Carpenter has secured through SVP Denver partners. As an investee, Hands of The Carpenter has benefited from SVP Denver’s engaged philanthropy model, which includes connecting nonprofits with local professionals who contribute their time, talent and resources to help nonprofits increase their internal capacity and organizational effectiveness.

“We value being part of the SVP Denver network because we know that SVP Denver is supporting nonprofits beyond just financial support,” said Cindy Willard of the Kenneth King Foundation, one of the investors in the Hands of The Carpenter project. “SVP Denver helps us pool our resources and collaborate with each other through hands-on engagement. Together, we build solutions to support the needs our community identifies.”

Hands of The Carpenter has already demonstrated that it delivers social impact. A recent evaluation showed that women in the program increased their income by at least 28 percent. Given those strong results—and the huge unmet need—Hands of The Carpenter plans to operate three to four auto shops encircling Denver within the next five to seven years.