What’s Up with Community Bonds?

This past spring Terrapin with friends at Good Roots Consulting and 10C Shared Space, scanned all of the community bonds we could find in Canada. We wanted to know more about community bonds (the good, bad and ugly) and, after looking around it was clear – there is no single source or listing of community bonds in Canada for anyone contemplating this approach to raising capital. We thought to ourselves “this might be a good idea!”.

We were fortunate to be working with 10C as they are in the final stages of their own community bond which provided good context for our inquiry. We were particularly interested in how organizations shift gears from bond-based capital raising to focus on mission-related program activities. Important questions were raised e.g. what is the impact of bond raising on other revenue streams such as charitable fund raising? What’s the best way to engage bond holders in social mission?

The report titled: The Bond and Beyond  highlights findings from ten community bond issuing organizations and six social finance intermediaries with community bond experience. In total we identified just 13 community bond issues (all located in Ontario and Quebec — what’s up with that?). And, because there is no existing directory, we expect there are bonds missing from the list contained in this report.

We hope this report serves as a starting point for a directory of Community Bonds in Canada and can be maintained over time, in order to continually build a knowledge base related to this emerging form of social finance.

As always we welcome your feedback – especially if you see something glaring or a bond that was missed, please let us know and we’ll add it to the report.

Happy August! sw