First $1.5M deployed to San Diego County nonprofits hit by COVID-19

Rise Up Industries
Rise Up Industries was among eight nonprofits to receive funding from the San Diego County COVID-19 Small Businesses & Nonprofit Loan Program.


San Diego-based impact investment fund manager Mission Driven Finance has deployed $1.5 million in loans to local nonprofits that have been impacted by COVID-19, thanks to $5 million in seed funding from The San Diego Foundation as part of the San Diego County COVID-19 Small Businesses & Nonprofit Loan Program.

Launched by San Diego County Supervisor Nathan Fletcher in collaboration with regional organizations, the loan program is designed to help the small businesses and nonprofits at the heart of the community weather the pandemic downturn.

The first two rounds of funding went to eight organizations: Angels Foster Family Network, Bayside Community Center, National Foundation for Autism Research, The New Children’s Museum, Rise Up Industries, the San Diego Habitat for Humanity, San Diego Health Connect, and Somali Family Service of San Diego.

“The executives leading the nonprofits are top-notch and the work they do for our community is amazing. It is truly gratifying for the Mission Driven Finance team to be supporting them,” said Louie Nguyen, a Carmel Valley resident and chief investment officer of Mission Driven Finance.

The group of loan recipients represent a diverse range of services. Angels Foster Family Network connects children in foster care with loving families and the National Foundation for Autism Research prepares young adults with autism for the workforce. Somali Family Service offers services to refugees and immigrants who live in City Heights and East County.

Rise Up Industries offers job training and professional development to people who used to be involved with gangs.

“As our Machine Shop Social Enterprise customer base grows, we wanted capital to be ready to purchase equipment so that we can take on more customers and more types of projects,” said Jonathan Yackley, deputy executive director of Rise Up Industries. “The loan also added stability so that we can keep moving forward and enrolling more formerly incarcerated members in our Reentry Program in spite of COVID-19.”

The loan program will enable The New Children’s Museum to continue serving the San Diego region with outreach programs providing over 17,000 “Think Play Create” learning kits to Title I schools and community partners.

“While the museum is temporarily closed, we are happy to be able to keep supporting thousands of families throughout the region with our focus on art, creativity, resilience, and hope,” said Reed Vickerman, COO/CFO of The New Children’s Museum.

The loan amounts range from $150,000 to $300,000, with loan terms ranging from 18 to 30 months. The nonprofits were selected based on a variety of factors: 501(c)3 status, an earned revenue stream aside from donations, and a clear need and use of funds due to COVID-19-induced setbacks.

The program is still accepting applications. Interested organizations can visit to learn more and apply.