West Sacramento, Calif. — Rural Community Assistance Corporation (RCAC) recently formed the Vector Fund to house its game-changing $20 million MacKenzie Scott grant, awarded in late 2020. With the $20 million initial investment RCAC will create and implement initiatives that deepen and/or expand RCAC’s impact in Indigenous and rural communities, including increased access to safe drinking water, decent and affordable housing, financial resources and economic stability.
“We made the conscious decision to take our time and were deliberate about our strategies to deploy, invest and leverage this once-in-a-lifetime event,” said Suzanne Anarde, RCAC Chief Executive Officer. “The Scott grant and the Fund’s creation are a tribute to RCAC’s 40 plus year legacy and our deep-seated passion for the communities we serve. We will move forward with the first project by year’s end. It will be critical for us to sequence our priority projects to ensure success.”
RCAC recently completed a Strategic Framework to inform its work over the next 18 months. The Framework includes six directions that the Vector Fund was carefully aligned with: Core Competencies; Increased Investment; Indigenous Communities; Diversity, Equity and Inclusion; Capacity Building and Innovation; and Outcome and Impact Measurement.
Vector Fund implementation will balance RCAC’s commitment to Indigenous and rural communities, our team and organizational efficiencies and outcome/impact measurement. Vector Fund lending and programmatic investments are equally important in terms of impact. Given RCAC’s diverse work, it was imperative that RCAC leverage the Scott investment, and creating the fund gave us a vehicle to do so.
RCAC will hire a fund manager in the fall 2021 to coordinate the Vector Fund. Project and budget development has already begun.
Founded in 1978, RCAC provides training, technical and financial resources and advocacy so rural communities can achieve their goals and visions. RCAC serves rural communities in 13 western states and western Pacific islands. Services are available to communities with populations of fewer than 50,000, other nonprofit groups, Tribal organizations, farmworkers, colonias and other specific populations. RCAC staff provides direct services in collaboration with local and community partnerships in three program areas: affordable housing, environmental services, and lending. RCAC provides loans, including small business loans, technical and economic development assistance to rural communities and nonprofit organizations in its service region. About RCAC
Suzanne Anarde, RCAC CEO