Marc Rand, Marin Community Foundation

TITLE: Program Director

FUNDING AREAS: Loans and affordable housing

CONTACT: mrand@marincf.org, (415) 464-2519

IP TAKE: Rand is a finance professional with a passion for volunteering. He manages Marin Community Foundation's loan program, and is looking for programs that have an immediate need and a reasonable price tag. Marin Community Foundation loans have a 0 percent default rate.

PROFILE: Affordable housing can be hard to come by in Marin County. Marc Rand is the man providing financing to housing developers, nonprofit agencies, and community facilities to reverse the statistics once and for all. He's been working on the Marin Community Foundation's loan fund program since 2003, and he's facilitated funding for dozens of developments since that time. (Read Marin Community Foundation: Bay Area Grants).

The Marin Community Foundation (MCF) created its loan program as a complement to its grant programs in 1989. It provides capital to borrowers that don't find support from commercial banks because of the perceived risk of the nonprofit sector. Borrowers include important local endeavors like affordable housing, environmental protection, human needs, and education. According to Rand, “The loan fund’s low interest rate helps bring their projects and programs to fruition—something that the market rate would not allow.” Since 1989, the loan fund has made over $25 million in loans and has a 0% default rate.

Before joining MCF, Rand volunteered in Romania with the Peace Corps for two years. While in Timisoara, Rand was a project manger for a program that developed five credit unions. Prior to his stint overseas, he was a financial analyst in international corporate banking at First Union National Bank in Philadelphia. He was educated at the University of Delaware, earning a Bachelor of Science in finance and marketing and a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish language and literature.

After serving as a MCF loan officer for several years, Rand was promoted to the role of Loan Director in 2011 and Program Director for Loans & Affordable Housing in 2013. Today, he is responsible for each state of the loan cycle, risk rating system, and loan evaluation processes. He also wrote the foundation's lending manual.

For several years now, Rand has been an active board member of the Opportunity Fund, which is a community development financial institution based in San Jose. He's also been on the advisory committees of the Marin Workforce Housing Trust Fund and Lending Committee, the Northern California Grantmaker's Emergency Loan Fund, the Marin Housing Council, and Marin's 10-Year Homelessness Initiative. Rand stays active in the nonprofit community by speaking at national conferences about nonprofit lending, contributing to foundation webinars, and lecturing at the Haas School of Business.

Rand suggests that foundations should be impact investors by offering low-cost financing to nonprofits that are experiencing growth or facing financial changes. He also suggests that nonprofits should consider merging with other nonprofits to overcome financial struggles and become more effective.

He prefers to keep these loans separate from the foundation's traditional grantmaking because if the loans are structured properly, these funds are eventually return to the foundation. These returns allow MCF to make further investments in the community. this recycling of funds is a powerful tool. “Funds have recycled several times and helped create more than 400 units of affordable housing, financed health care clinics, and provided space for a domestic violence organization,” Rand shared.

MCF's loan fund provides one-on-one technical assistance, collaborative workshops, and outside speakers to offer insights and advice. Here's the rundown on how to apply for one of Rand's MCF loans:

  • Complete a loan fund letter of intent
  • A loan officer will set up a meeting to discuss the project in detail
  • You will be asked to complete a full proposal and application to apply for a loan
  • Rand and his department will review your application and the Board of Trustees makes final approval
  • If approved, MCF staff will work with you to close and fund the loan

A good example of a recent MCF loan is the $165,000 loan to Whistlestop, a nonprofit agency that provides rides to the county's elderly adults and people with disabilities. This loan helped Whistlestop remodel its maintenance facility and make the administration more efficient, which translated into faster and more reliable service to its riders. Rand commented that this is exactly the kind of project MCF's loan fund was designed for. “They had an immediate need for cash in order to take advantage of a building that became available. The results are felt by the dedicated staff at Whistlestop as well as by the thousands of riders they help. It’s exciting to see what a big impact a loan can make,” he said.

To learn more about the program, check out the foundation's MCF Loan Fund page.