From IFF CEO Joe Neri: Celebrating 30 Years of Change April 16, 2018



This letter from IFF CEO Joe Neri and IFF Board Chair John Sassaris appears on the first page of our 2017 Annual Investor Report.






Dear Investors,

As we close the books on last year and look to the future, we have much to celebrate.

First, 2017 was a great year for IFF. Our team of finance and real estate professionals delivered on over 200 community development projects across the Midwest. Together, our core business group:

  • Closed 133 loans for $85.6 million, growing our managed loan portfolio to $485.6 million
  • Consulted on 113 real estate projects, helping nonprofits to plan and build essential facilities
  • Led the development of high-impact projects, such as an incubator for food businesses on Chicago’s West Side and dozens of affordable homes for persons with disabilities in Illinois
  • Provided or sourced new markets tax credits for critical nonprofit projects, such as a state-of-the-art early childhood education center for children affected by the Flint water crisis
  • Leveraged $262 million in total capital investment for communities

Our research and program staff had a big impact, too. Their studies and local engagement informed school improvement discussions in Detroit, Illinois, Indianapolis, and Kansas City, as well as efforts to increase quality early childhood education in both Grand Rapids and southeast Michigan. Good data and hands-on engagement are more important than ever to our work.

These results were made possible by the dedication of our core operations team, which set a high standard for IFF’s financial and operational performance — achieving a surplus of $1.8 million in 2017 and keeping delinquencies and net charge-offs to record low levels for the third year in a row.

Second, we embraced a bold new strategic vision for 2018-2022: Accelerating Social Impact. Under the plan, we will grow and deepen our impact by ensuring that the suite of tools we offer is calibrated to meet the needs of nonprofits in our individual markets and — through our Social Impact Accelerator — focused on system change and the long-term, equitable development of communities. Our formal partnership with the Foundation for Homan Square in Chicago represents the first such effort.

Third, as we turn 30, IFF’s model remains as powerful as ever. IFF was founded in 1988 on the simple but profound idea that, with the right type of capital and technical expertise, nonprofits providing essential health and human services could build well-designed facilities, become financially stronger, serve more people with the dignity they deserve, and anchor and revitalize communities. Thirty years later, this fundamental belief still guides everything we do — and, importantly, has led to $2.5 billion in overall community investment.

On behalf of all these nonprofits and the communities they serve, we thank you for making a generation of change a reality.


Joe Neri, IFF CEO

John Sassaris, IFF Board Chair