Deals are the building blocks of community investment: they build the homes, create the jobs, open the supermarkets, extend the transportation options, and carve out the green spaces that enable communities to accomplish their shared priorities. Because community investment is designed to do the hard things conventional markets don’t do, its deals tend to be more complex than those in conventional finance. As a critical step toward making such deals more efficient and effective, the Center for Community Investment’s newest resource, Deals as System Events, introduces the process of deal review.
If we think about deals systemically, we can use them not only to organize financing and accomplish specific goals, but also as windows into and levers for strengthening our community investment systems so that we can achieve big picture success. In other words, we can use deals themselves to create a system that is able to generate more and better deals. A first step toward creating better community investment systems is to review deals as system events. We can look back at past deals to examine how the local system functions and find ways we might strengthen it. We can look at deals in progress to identify pinch points and obstacles that changes to the system might overcome. We can also look forward and design new deals so that they both accomplish specific goals and advance the entire system.
Deals as System Events provides everything you will need to organize a deal review, from an explanation of the relationship between deals and community investment systems to the who, what, when, why, and how of the deal review itself. This resource will be helpful for anybody who wants their local community investment system to function better, whether they work in local government, a community organization, philanthropy, or finance. We invite you to explore this resource and incorporate it into your work.