Andy Posner is the executive director of the Capital Good Fund, a nonprofit agency in Providence that provides a variety of financial services to those in need. Their goal is to help those experiencing poverty by providing microloans, personal financial coaching and free tax preparation.
This year has been a banner one for CGF: the organization played a role in Pleasant View Elementary School, of Providence, receiving a $470,000 grant and has received an $81,273 Community Development Financial Institutions Technical Assistance grant from the U.S. Treasury.
In October, CGF was chosen by state Treasurer Gina M. Raimondo to assist in her push for financial literacy, called Empower RI.
PBN: How was the Capital Good Fund created?
POSNER: In my master’s program I was working on financing mechanisms for green energy and energy efficiency. In doing so I ran into “Banker to the Poor,” a book by Muhammad Yunus, the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize winner.
I saw a lot of parallels because this was financing to unlock the potential of the poor, whereas my study had been financing clean energy. Not long after I read it the economy collapsed and suddenly there was an urgency for providing people with financial services.
PBN: How did you transition from your master’s?
POSNER: I had been working with Alan Harlam, director of social entrepreneurship at the Swearer Center for Public Service at Brown. He introduced me to Mollie West, a senior, and we co-founded the organization. We incorporated Feb. 9, I graduated in May and I have been doing this ever since.
PBN: How does a brand new nonprofit get funding for microloans?