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Do a Major Mitzvah with Negligible Risk!

Atlanta Jewish Foundation is helping the Jewish Interest-Free Loan of Atlanta (JIFLA) expand its pool of guarantors for interest-free loans by sharing an Impact Investing opportunity with its donor-advised fund (DAF) holders. Impact Investing is the term financial advisors and philanthropists use to describe investments made with an intention to generate social and environmental change alongside financial return. 

Atlanta Jewish Foundation currently offers its donor-advised fundholders an ESG Portfolio (Environmental, Social, and Governance), with a focus on companies and sectors that have positive environmental, social, and governance characteristics. Now, Atlanta Jewish Foundation is putting Impact Investing principles to work in a new partnership with JIFLA, the Jewish Interest-Free Loan Association of Atlanta. JIFLA upholds the biblical principle of interest-free lending primarily, but not exclusively, to other Jews.   

JIFLA loans are funded entirely through community donations which continually recycle to others in need, generating many times the original value to help maintain fellow Jews in challenging times. Most JIFLA loans are small, in the $4-5K range. Because JIFLA uses a ratio of 4:1, an Atlanta Jewish Foundation donor committing $10K as a guarantor makes it possible for JIFLA to loan out $40K in small loans.

A JIFLA borrower shares her story: “I was completely at a loss, with no money and little hope, and I was close to being on the street. The biggest challenge with my JIFLA application was that I didn’t have a guarantor. An anonymous guarantor was identified, and I got the loan. The generosity and faith of that guarantor…bought me the time I needed to try to land on my feet.” 

JIFLA boasts a very low default rate, so this partnership allows Foundation fundholders to become guarantors with negligible risk. It also greatly simplifies financial disclosure requirements because Atlanta Jewish Foundation acts as the DAF-holder’s reference. Guarantors can also remain anonymous. The best part is, the fundholder can keep their funds in their DAF, growing their investment, while helping those in need.  

Contact Jori Mendel to learn more about using your donor-advised fund to become an interest-free loan guarantor.   

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