Communities across the US need new investment to rectify a history of inequitable access to capital and to ensure all residents have access to economic mobility and opportunities. But more investment on its own does not guarantee community benefits.
The Capital for Communities Scorecard assesses the potential social, economic, and environmental impacts of a proposed real estate development or operating business investment. The tool’s results can support projects that strengthen communities, benefit residents, and redress racial and geographic inequities in access to opportunity.
Project sponsors, investors, policymakers, and community organizations can use the Capital for Communities Scorecard for several purposes:
- Project sponsors can use the process of completing the tool to solicit input from residents and community-based organizations and make improvements that respond to community needs.
- Mission-driven investors can request a completed scorecard from project sponsors to evaluate the potential social impact of their investments or to seek out new investments with the potential to deliver strong social impacts.
- Local policymakers and public officials can request a completed scorecard to decide how to direct public financing and incentives to projects that are likely to advance community priorities and deliver positive social impact.
- Community-based organizations can request a completed scorecard as a condition of providing community support for a project, use the tool to negotiate a community benefits agreement, or call on local officials and potential project investors to require project sponsors to complete the tool.
Before beginning to fill out the tool, we recommend users review the tool’s questions and gather any documents that could help with responses, such as site or project plans, business prospectuses, community or neighborhood plans, or environmental impact statements.
After completing the tool, you will receive a scorecard that provides you with a project score, guidance on interpreting that score, and a full list of your responses. The Urban Institute will not publish any scorecards; these are for you to review and share as you see fit. See a sample scorecard based on a hypothetical project here.
When you receive your scorecard, the overall project score will be in one of four tiers, ranging from “low” to “very high” community impact. The score is designed to indicate the potential social impact a project could achieve based on your answers to the tool questions, including community priorities and anticipated project impacts. Your score should serve as just one input when considering whether a project is likely to yield social benefits.
- Limitation of liability: The Urban Institute will not be liable for any damages of any kind arising out of or relating to the use of your data. The Urban Institute shall not have any liability or responsibility for your acts, omissions, or conduct, or for the conduct of any user or other third party.
- Indemnity: You agree to indemnify and hold harmless the Urban Institute and its Board members, directors, officers, employees, agents, and contractors from and against any and all claims, damages, losses, costs (including without limitation reasonable attorneys’ fees), or other expenses that arise directly or indirectly out of or from (a) your breach of any provision of our Terms of Service; (b) your activities in connection with the website; or (c) unsolicited information you provide to the Urban Institute through the website.
To get in contact with someone from the project team to ask questions about the Scorecard or to request a demonstration for your organization, please email the Capital for Communities Scorecard team at [email protected].
- Research: Martha Fedorowicz, Solomon Greene, Brett Theodos, Elizabeth Burton, and Kathryn Reynolds
- Project management: Martha Fedorowicz and Deena Tamaroff
- Tech and data: Rob Pitingolo, Silke Taylor, Deena Tamaroff, and Jessica Kelly
- Communications support: Emily Peiffer, Patrick Walsh, Jerry Ta, Jimena Vallejo, Hailey Roemer, Dan Fowler, Nicole Levins, Sam Cressman, and Alana Morro
- Editing: Michael Marazzi
The Capital for Communities Scorecard was developed with support from the Kresge Foundation. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation supported the development of the Opportunity Zone Community Impact Assessment Tool beta test, and the Kresge Foundation supported piloting and testing of the original tool in Cleveland and Cuyahoga County, Ohio. We are grateful to them and to all our funders, who make it possible for Urban to advance its mission. The views expressed are those of the authors and should not be attributed to the Urban Institute, its trustees, or its funders. Funders do not determine research findings or the insights and recommendations of our experts.