Facility Fund

We ensure your next school has a great home.

How We Can Help

80% percent of CSGF portfolio school leaders tell us that securing and financing school buildings is a significant problem. We’re here to help you develop your strategy, select the right team, and get the best deal.

DEVELOP SCHOOL FACILITY STRATEGY

We help you develop financially-sound strategies for facility expansion, and we advise you in selecting outside experts and partners. Together we can:

  • Help determine what you can afford to pay for a facility
  • Evaluate your real estate options, including incubation, rental, new build, and renovation
  • Make introductions to reputable real estate and financial partners

PROVIDE AND SECURE FACILITY FINANCING

We work with you to attract low-interest financing from the private and public sectors, and periodically provide low-cost, short-term loans direct from CSGF. Our goal is to:

  • Help you understand what financing options are best for your project
  • Make introductions to and assist in negotiations with lenders
  • Provide short-term loans from the CSGF Facility Fund to help solve facilities financing challenges

CSGF Facility Financing

We support nonprofit organizations that run some of the top charter schools in their communities and are redefining what is possible in America’s public schools. Our portfolio members typically share the following traits:

KEY BENEFITS OF OUR PROCESS

  • Our loans are highly flexible and based on what your school can afford.
  • We approve your loan faster than commercial lenders because we already know you.
  • We vouch for you so you’re able to attract outside lenders and secure better terms from them.
  • As a philanthropic nonprofit organization, we’re often able to loan you money when commercial lenders cannot.

KEY TERMS OF OUR LOANS

  • 3% or less – Average Interest Rate
  • ~1-3 Years – Term Length (5 years max)
  • Up to $5M – Amount Loaned
  • Flexible Structure

 

FOR MORE INFORMATION, READ OUR FAQ

Our Track Record

Since 2010, we have worked with more than 20 CSGF portfolio members to identify and finance their school facilities at the right cost.

CSGF Facility Fund Case Study

Henderson Collegiate
Schools: 3
Students: 800+

What We Did:

Partnered with Henderson to arrange a complex $11M long-term financing arrangement in partnership with three other lenders. Filled a crucial appraisal & loan-to-value gap by contributing $1M in subordinated debt from the CSGF Facility Fund.

Outcome:

Received a total interest rate of ~3% for 30 years, saving the school significant fund to redirect to academics.

“Throughout our facilities process, CSGF has kept us informed about our options, provided expert opinions,and supported us as we’ve evaluated proposals. They are making it possible for us to serve more kids in rural North Carolina.”
Eric Sanchez, CEO, Henderson Collegiate Charter Schools

Connect

To connect with a member of our team, please email us at: facilities@chartergrowthfund.org

RICH BILLINGS
Partner

REID PHILLIPS
Operator in Residence

ALEX SILVERMAN
Investment Associate, Memphis Facility Fund

 

FAQs

GENERAL FAQ

1. WHAT IS THE CSGF FACILITY FUND?

We are a team that is dedicated to solving the facility challenges faced by our portfolio members. Our services are free, and we support charter school networks at every stage­ of growth–ranging in size from one or two schools to as many as 40. We help develop your facility strategy, navigate the real estate landscape in your community, and negotiate and secure financing from external lenders. We consider ourselves a member of your team, and we’re here to help you starting on day one.

2. WHO IS ELIGIBLE TO RECEIVE HELP FROM THE CSGF FACILITY FUND?

Our advisory services are only available to charter networks in the CSGF portfolio. These organizations have received an investment through our National Fund, Emerging CMO Fund, or regional funds in Tennessee, Florida, and New Orleans. To learn more about joining our portfolio, please visit http://chartergrowthfund.org/apply.

3. WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO START THE PROCESS OF BUILDING OR RENOVATING A FACILITY?

The earlier the better! The facility process typically requires two to three years. Please see our school facility timeline for more information.

4. WHAT IS THE TYPICAL GROWTH PLAN FOR SCHOOLS THAT PARTNER WITH THE CSGF FACILITY FUND?

There is no typical plan. We help schools of all sizes build their first facility and their tenth facility, and we advise schools on when it’s best to expand or renovate rather than build new.

5. WHAT ENSURES A SUCCESSFUL PROCESS?

You don’t have to be an expert, but there are two critical questions to ask yourself before starting the process:

  • Can we afford the facility in the short-term and the long-term?
  • Does our team have the capacity to get the project done?

CSGF FACILITY FUND FAQ

1. WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF THE CSGF FACILITY FUND?

Our Facility Fund provides affordable and timely loans to help our portfolio members purchase, build, expand, and renovate school facilities. We’ve raised this money from national philanthropists who want to support the growth of the nation’s best charter school networks. Our goal is for these Facility Fund dollars to attract outside lenders who can provide capital at advantageous terms for school building projects.

2. WHAT MAKES THE FACILITY FUND DIFFERENT FROM OTHER REAL ESTATE FINANCING OPTIONS AVAILABLE TO CHARTER SCHOOLS?

Charter schools can choose from a number of financing options, which include bank lenders, community lenders, and the bond market. We help you to navigate these options, and deploy our funds only when outside lenders either cannot fund your entire project or are too costly.

As we work with you, we are partners at every stage in the process. If we lend you money, we do not impose unnecessary restrictions that may interfere with your school’s budget. Neither do we require you to pledge your school property as collateral. We work with you to set a flexible loan repayment structure.

3. WHAT ARE THE TYPICAL PROBLEMS SOLVED BY A FACILITY FUND LOAN?

Our loans typically do not cover the entire cost of a new school; they are provided to bridge a market gap in financing. (These include the appraisal, loan-to-cost, and timing gaps.)

The diagram to the right depicts the typical “loan-to-cost gap” that occur when a lender provides a portion of a project’s total cost, but requires a charter network to make an equity contribution. In this scenario, money from the CSGF Facility Fund can be used to make the required down payment.

4. WHAT IS THE TYPICAL INTEREST RATE?

Facility Fund loans have low annual interest rates of 2.5–3.0%. These rates are significantly lower than those provided by commercial lenders, especially for unsecured debt.

5. HOW DOES THE FACILITY FUND ATTRACT OUTSIDE LENDERS TO PARTICIPATE IN A REAL ESTATE DEAL?

We attract lenders in two primary ways:

  • We contribute the “first loss capital” in your real estate deal. This means that we are the first to lose our money in the unlikely event that lenders are not repaid. As a result, we can galvanize lenders to participate in charter school facility deals for which they might not otherwise have the appetite.
  • We vouch for you. We use our track record and existing relationships to encourage lenders to work with you.
6. WHAT IS THE TYPICAL LENGTH OF A CSGF FACILITY FUND LOAN?

We customize each loan according to what our portfolio members can afford. Our typical Facility Fund loan term is between two and three years, but can be as long as five years. We do not charge prepayment penalties, and we encourage schools to repay loans as soon as they can.

7. HOW LONG DOES THE PROCESS OF RECEIVING A LOAN TAKE?

Completing your project on time and on budget is our top priority. While we have approved deals in as little as three weeks, our process normally takes two months, from the time we receive your documents to the date of approval of your loan.

8. DOES THE FACILITY FUND NEED TO BE INVOLVED IN THE PROCESS BEFORE PROVIDING A LOAN?

Our team can begin working with you at any point in the facility loan process, but we’re able to be most helpful when we can start our partnership with you at least 18 months before the planned opening of your school.

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