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Local Enterprise Assistance Fund Inc. (LEAF)

 1330 Beacon Street, Suite 355 #A
 Brookline, MA 02446
[P] (617) 232-1551
[F] --
Benjamin Selden
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 Printable Profile (Summary / Full)
EIN 04-2763724

LAST UPDATED: 08/17/2017
Organization DBA --
Former Names Industrial Cooperative Association Revolving Loan Fund, Inc. (1993)
Organization received a competitive grant from the Boston Foundation in the past five years No



Mission StatementMORE »

LEAF's mission is to promote human and economic development by providing financing and development assistance to cooperatives and social purpose ventures that create and save jobs for low-income people.

Mission Statement

LEAF's mission is to promote human and economic development by providing financing and development assistance to cooperatives and social purpose ventures that create and save jobs for low-income people.

FinancialsMORE »

Fiscal Year June 01, 2017 to May 31, 2018
Projected Income $1,041,940.00
Projected Expense $665,614.00

ProgramsMORE »

  • LEAF Technical Assistance Program (L-TAP)

Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2016 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2015 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2014 (%)

For more details regarding the organization's financial information, select the financial tab and review available comments.


Mission Statement

LEAF's mission is to promote human and economic development by providing financing and development assistance to cooperatives and social purpose ventures that create and save jobs for low-income people.

Background Statement

LEAF is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization whose mission is to promote human and economic development by providing financing and development assistance to cooperatives and social purpose ventures that create and save jobs for low-income people. Since its founding over 30 years ago, LEAF has invested and leveraged over $112 million, resulting in the creation or retention of more than 10,000 jobs.

LEAF is one of only three Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) in the country with a focus on cooperatives. We lend nationally, with a focus on community-owned natural food cooperatives that create high quality jobs and provide access to healthy food in urban and rural communities; low-income cooperative housing developments; and worker-owned firms and other community-based businesses and social enterprises, such as Alternative Staffing Organizations (ASOs). These ASOs have placed over 8,000 low-income people with barriers to employments into temporary or permanent positions.
Additionally, since 2015 LEAF has expanded its services to create a local program in the Boston Area. The LEAF Technical Assistance Program (L-TAP), provides free-of-charge business development services to disadvantaged microentrepreneurs in the Greater Boston Area. In its last fiscal year, LEAF provided over 30 diverse small businesses with high-quality technical assistance. In the current FY, LEAF has added a lending component to provide financing and leverage other sources of growth capital.
LEAF’s development services are provided through partnerships with a range of sector-specific organizations, including other CDFIs, The ICA Group, ROC USA (cooperatively-owned manufactured home parks), National Coop Grocers (NCG), The Food Co-op Initiative, and the Alternative Staffing Alliance. These partnerships allow LEAF to provide exemplary services to our borrowers, helping them to thrive and ensuring they can serve their communities for years to come.
Since 2001, the U.S. Treasury has certified LEAF as a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI). This certification assures investors that capital invested in LEAF helps the organization carry out its mission of job creation for the benefit of low and low-to-moderate income people.

Impact Statement

Top Three Accomplishments:
 - Held five workshops for the small business community on various key business development issues
 - Counseled over 30 diverse microentrepreneurs in the Greater Boston Area
 - Won institutional and federal grant awards to pilot, sustain, and grow our local initiatives in Boston
Top Three Goals:
- Make 15+ small business loans to diverse entrepreneurs in Boston
- Counsel 20+ diverse entrepreneurs in Boston
- Promote and advocate for employee ownership in the Greater Boston Area

Needs Statement

1. Raise additional $400,000 in funding to continue to grow our local TA and lending program
2. Raise ~$2.5m in investment capital to hit benchmark of $10m AUM
3. Continue to partner with financial institutions and asset managers to reach more in the impact investing community
4. Additional staff to provide and manage TA program as it scales
5. Additional staff to manage compliance

CEO Statement


Board Chair Statement


Geographic Area Served


Organization Categories

  1. Community Improvement, Capacity Building - Economic Development
  2. -
  3. -

Independent research has been conducted on this organization's theory of change or on the effectiveness of this organization's program(s)



LEAF Technical Assistance Program (L-TAP)

The program focuses on micro-entrepreneurs and small businesses in Boston. Our goal is to support businesses as they seek to increase their revenues, efficiency, and profitability; but also to assist in their acquisition of capital. As these goals are achieved, the greater goal of positively impacting the level of wealth accumulation for the least affluent groups is also achieved.

L-TAP has been designed to be inclusive to any and all business types. The most critical element of the program is 1-on-1 counseling. Not only does it foster a positive relationship between our staff and the businesses that we partner with, but it also allows business owners to ensure that their most pressing needs are met.
L-TAP also provides tools with which to analyze a business – along with the knowledge of how to use them. Lastly, workshops are a valuable complement to the business learning process—all L-TAP workshops are geared towards specific learning goals, relevant to running a business.
Budget  $400,000.00
Category  Community Development, General/Other Small & Minority Business Development Programs
Population Served Poor,Economically Disadvantaged,Indigent Minorities Adults
Program Short-Term Success 
In the short term, LEAF wants L-TAP to make 15 loans in FY18 to disadvantaged Boston-based small businesses and to counsel at least 20 such businesses.
In addition, we would like to reach at least 100 business-owners through surveys, one-time consults, and workshops.
Program Long-Term Success 
Long-term success of the program will mean influencing the 40k small businesses in Boston in a significant way, arming them with the tools and confidence needed to sustain and grow their business.
This achievement will create quality jobs for low-income people, generate wealth for low-income neighborhoods in Boston, and help the City flourish.
Program Success Monitored By 
We monitor program success through pre-and-post project surveys with clients, which help us monitor both quantitative and qualitative identifiers of program impact.
Our CRM and project management software allow us to use this survey data to report on impact metrics, outputs, and outcomes for our funders on an annual or quarterly basis.
Lastly, we plan to do more in-depth follow-up interviews after a period of time with past clients, to evaluate how their business is doing now and how much they can attribute their success to LEAF's help.
Examples of Program Success 
Cozinha All-Natural Foods, a Brazilian and woman-owned business that produces Pao de Queijo, or cheese rolls, needed equipment to increase volume and reduce costs. They had prior difficulty receiving funding.
The owner of Cozinha first met with LEAF in 2016 and sought guidance in strategies to fund the expansion of the business. LEAF reviewed Cozinha’s operations and developed a plan.
With LEAF's help, she started executing a targeted distribution strategy. Her first sales meeting resulted in a letter of intent to order a regular monthly quantity that was multiples of her production at the time.
By March, Cozinha was responding to letters of interest from national distributors seeking to place her premium product throughout the US and Canada.
The positive market response made Rita more confident about her business. Where before she felt overwhelmed and unsure, the recent successes have given her belief that with the proper game plan, she can grow and run a successful business.

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments



CEO/Executive Director Mr. Gerardo Espinoza
CEO Term Start July 2008
CEO Email
CEO Experience --
Co-CEO --
Co-CEO Term Start --
Co-CEO Email --
Co-CEO Experience --

Former CEOs and Terms

Name Start End
-- -- --

Senior Staff

Name Title Experience/Biography
-- -- --


Award Awarding Organization Year
-- -- --


Affiliation Year
-- --
Member of state association of nonprofits? No
Name of state association --

External Assessments and Accreditations

External Assessment or Accreditation Year
-- --



CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments


Foundation Comments


Staff Information

Number of Full Time Staff 4
Number of Part Time Staff 5
Number of Volunteers 0
Number of Contract Staff 0
Staff Retention Rate % --

Staff Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 3
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 1
Caucasian: 4
Hispanic/Latino: 1
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 0
Other (if specified): --
Gender Female: 2
Male: 7
Not Specified 0

Plans & Policies

Organization has Fundraising Plan? Under Development
Organization has Strategic Plan? Yes
Years Strategic Plan Considers --
Management Succession Plan --
Business Continuity of Operations Plan No
Organization Policies And Procedures No
Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Whistle Blower Policy No
Document Destruction Policy --
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy --
State Charitable Solicitations Permit --
State Registration --

Risk Management Provisions


Reporting and Evaluations

Management Reports to Board? Yes
CEO Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually
Senior Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency No N/A
Non Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency No N/A


Board Chair Mr. Rand Wilson
Board Chair Company Affiliation SEIU Local 888
Board Chair Term May 2013 -
Board Co-Chair --
Board Co-Chair Company Affiliation --
Board Co-Chair Term May 2013 -

Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
Christina A. Clamp Southern New Hampshire University Voting
Gerardo Espinoza Local Enterprise Assistance Fund Exofficio
David Hammer ICA Group Voting
Melissa Hoover Democracy at Work Institute Voting
Damilola Odetola National Cooperative Bank Voting
Alexander Pyle Sheehan, Phinney, Bass & Green PA Voting
José Luis Rojas Boston Private Voting
Janet Van Liere ICA Group Voting
Rand Wilson SEIU Local 888 Voting

Constituent Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Youth Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Advisory Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Board Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 1
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 0
Caucasian: 6
Hispanic/Latino: 2
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 0
Other (if specified): --
Gender Female: 3
Male: 6
Not Specified 0

Board Information

Board Term Lengths --
Board Term Limits --
Board Meeting Attendance % --
Written Board Selection Criteria No
Written Conflict Of Interest Policy Yes
Percentage of Monetary Contributions 33%
Percentage of In-Kind Contributions 33%
Constituency Includes Client Representation Yes

Standing Committees


CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments


Foundation Comments



Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2016 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2015 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2014 (%)

Fiscal Year June 01, 2017 to May 31, 2018
Projected Income $1,041,940.00
Projected Expense $665,614.00
Form 990s

2016 Form 990

2015 Form 990

2014 Form 990

Audit Documents

2016 Audit

2015 Audit

2014 Audit

IRS Letter of Exemption

IRS Letter of Determination

Prior Three Years Total Revenue and Expense Totals

Fiscal Year 2016 2015 2014
Total Revenue $972,362 $612,612 $737,854
Total Expenses $664,855 $488,439 $496,276

Prior Three Years Revenue Sources

Fiscal Year 2016 2015 2014
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
$44,754 $34,010 $10,818
Government Contributions $700,000 $400,000 $600,000
    Federal $700,000 $400,000 $600,000
    State -- -- --
    Local -- -- --
    Unspecified -- -- --
Individual Contributions -- -- --
Indirect Public Support -- -- --
Earned Revenue $225,988 $177,247 $121,555
Investment Income, Net of Losses $1,620 $1,355 $5,481
Membership Dues -- -- --
Special Events -- -- --
Revenue In-Kind -- -- --
Other -- -- --

Prior Three Years Expense Allocations

Fiscal Year 2016 2015 2014
Program Expense $588,724 $429,703 $437,246
Administration Expense $33,729 $25,518 $14,770
Fundraising Expense $42,402 $33,218 $44,260
Payments to Affiliates -- -- --
Total Revenue/Total Expenses 1.46 1.25 1.49
Program Expense/Total Expenses 89% 88% 88%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue 6% 8% 7%

Prior Three Years Assets and Liabilities

Fiscal Year 2016 2015 2014
Total Assets $5,965,039 $4,487,576 $3,592,605
Current Assets $2,441,668 $2,313,980 $1,664,209
Long-Term Liabilities $2,929,710 $1,679,163 $1,267,176
Current Liabilities $518,310 $598,901 $240,092
Total Net Assets $2,517,019 $2,209,512 $2,085,337

Prior Three Years Top Three Funding Sources

Fiscal Year 2016 2015 2014
1st (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --
2nd (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --
3rd (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --

Financial Planning

Endowment Value --
Spending Policy --
Percentage(If selected) --
Credit Line No
Reserve Fund Yes
How many months does reserve cover? --

Capital Campaign

Are you currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Capital Campaign Purpose --
Campaign Goal --
Capital Campaign Dates -
Capital Campaign Raised-to-Date Amount --
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years? --

Short Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2016 2015 2014
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities 4.71 3.86 6.93

Long Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2016 2015 2014
Long-term Liabilities/Total Assets 49% 37% 35%

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments


Foundation Comments

Financial summary data in charts and graphs are per the organization's IRS Form 990s.


Other Documents

No Other Documents currently available.


The Impact tab is a section on the Giving Common added in October 2013; as such the majority of nonprofits have not yet had the chance to complete this voluntary section. The purpose of the Impact section is to ask five deceptively simple questions that require reflection and promote communication about what really matters – results. The goal is to encourage strategic thinking about how a nonprofit will achieve its goals. The following Impact questions are being completed by nonprofits slowly, thoughtfully and at the right time for their respective organizations to ensure the most accurate information possible.

1. What is your organization aiming to accomplish?


2. What are your strategies for making this happen?


3. What are your organization’s capabilities for doing this?


4. How will your organization know if you are making progress?


5. What have and haven’t you accomplished so far?