Renegade Capital

When Investing for Impact in Rural America Turns Into “Extractive Capital”: Stephanie Randolph, Deputy Director of Cassiopeia Foundation and Sara Morgan, Executive VP and CIO at Fahe

August 23, 2022 Stephanie Randolph, Deputy Director of the Cassiopeia Foundation and Sara Morgan, Executive Vice President and Chief Investment Officer at Fahe Season 2 Episode 8
Renegade Capital
When Investing for Impact in Rural America Turns Into “Extractive Capital”: Stephanie Randolph, Deputy Director of Cassiopeia Foundation and Sara Morgan, Executive VP and CIO at Fahe
Show Notes

S2 Ep9
When investors turn to rural America, they often bring assumptions about life and communities there, both positive and negative. These assumptions, no matter how well intentioned, can sometimes result in the wrong type of investment for that community, or even no investment at all. In this episode Renegade Capital is joined by two experienced Appalachian investors,  Stephanie Randolph, Deputy Director of the Cassiopeia Foundation and Sara Morgan, Executive Vice President and Chief Investment Officer at Fahe. Stephanie and Sara share why successfully investing in rural America means listening to the people who live there and determining solutions grounded in their existing strengths and needs.

About Sara.
Sara Morgan has worked for nearly thirty years to improve the economic strength of Appalachia. She is an expert in financing housing, infrastructure, community facilities, nonprofits, and community development. Ms. Morgan has been with Fahe for 20 years and recently led two successful applications to the CDFI Bond Guarantee program, resulting in $60M coming to Appalachia and raising $50M from the USDA Community Facilities Relending Program for communities of persistent poverty.  She serves on the Boards of Invest Appalachia, Homeownership Council of America, as well as the Freddie Mac Affordable Housing Advisory Council, the Fannie Mae Rural Duty To Serve Advisory Council, and the Steering Committee of Homeownership Alliance.

About Stephanie.
Stephanie Randolph is Deputy Director of the Cassiopeia Foundation, formerly Blue Moon Fund, an innovative philanthropic investment vehicle that seeks to achieve its programmatic priorities solely through impact investing vehicles. In her role at Cassiopeia, Stephanie works to strategically identify investment opportunities that will advance the environmental and social impacts, as defined by the founding family, while producing non-extractive financial returns.  Stephanie is also the President of Invest Appalachia and currently serves on the Steering Committee for the Appalachia Funders Network. 

Renegade Tools and Tips.
A renegade not only listens but acts. We've consolidated a few tips from this episode to support impactful, sustainable investment in rural America. 

  • Support CDFIs: Find a CDFI in your area, or a national community loan fund, and ask how you can help. Whether with donations, investments, or time, your gifts can support rural communities. 
  • Work with Community Foundations: Local community foundations are excellent partners for rural investment. Embedded in the places they serve, community foundations can usually articulate the most helpful ways to contribute. 
  • Get Proximate: Challenge your personal assumptions about rural America by learning more about the communities and people who live there. We’ve included some great places to start from our guests:

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