Program Related Investments

The Barberton Community Foundation strives to serve as a catalyst for community investments that contribute to the health and vitality of the Barberton economy and to those living and working in Barberton. The Foundation makes Program Related Investments (PRIs) in order to stretch our financial resources, enhance our philanthropic impact, and implement our Economic and Community Development goals.

Unlike grants, scholarships, and other foundation programs that help us invest in the future of Barberton, PRIs are generally made in the form of deposits, loans or equity investments and are expected to be repaid. Each investment requires professional due diligence with the goal of balancing risk, return, and mission impact. Once repaid, PRIs are reused for other charitable purposes.

Federal regulations list three characteristics that distinguish PRIs from traditional foundation investments:

  • The Foundation’s mission is the primary motivation.
  • Generating income is not a significant motivation.
  • PRIs cannot be made with intent to influence legislation or a political election.

The Foundation has the following PRI programs:

Barberton Community Development Corporation Program PRI Loan Fund
In partnership with the Barberton Community Development Corporation (BCDC), the BCDC PRI Loan program has invested over $14 million in economic development projects since its inception. These projects facilitated the creation or retention of over 700 jobs in the City of Barberton today with payrolls in excess of $12 million. This has leveraged more than $20 million in investments in plants, business parks, and equipment. According to an independent economic impact study by Impact Data Source the benefits to the schools and city exceed $1 million in combined annual city income and property tax revenues.

Over and above the mission-related benefits of job creation and improvements to the tax base of Barberton, the BCDC PRI investments have returned over $1.1 million in interest income to the Foundation.


Recent projects include a $1 million PRI for the 26 acre adaptive reuse project at the Sieberling Building on 15th Street NW, which will create over 50,000 square feet of offices and 300,000 square feet of industrial space for businesses to expand in Barberton.

A $1.55 million PRI to leverage other funding from the EDA for the $3.2 million Lakeside Business Park. This will create approximately 70 acres of develop-able property for modern business expansion projects.

A $300,000 loan to leverage construction of a new 30,000 square foot $1.4 million manufacturing facility with job creation potential of 100 jobs.

Neighborhood Conservation Services PRI Program
In partnership with the Barberton Neighborhood Conservation Services (NCS), the NCS PRI Program assists income qualified first-time homebuyers and assists with financing home improvements. Over $1 million in first time home buyer and home improvements loans have been provided by NCS with interest earnings returned to the Foundation in excess of $100,000.

NCS is a non-profit agency sponsoring programs that assists neighborhood-organizing self-help programs, housing rehabilitation, weatherization and affordable new housing.

For information about NCS or the NCS loan program, contact Tom Anders at 330-753-8500.

Foundation Innovation Growth Fund with Barberton Community Development Corporation
The Foundation’s Growth Fund offers payment-deferred, low interest loans of up to $50,000 to early-stage, emerging technology businesses setting up shop in Barberton. The program is managed by the Barberton Community Development Corporation (BCDC) in collaboration JumpStart, Inc. Jumpstart, located in Northeast Ohio, is a nationally recognized non-profit organization that strategically accelerates the success of diverse early stage entrepreneurial ventures and the ecosystems supporting them.

This program is in its early stages. Most recently the Fund invested in a business recommended by BCDC and Jumpstart that has a smart phone app under development that could have broad business demand. If successful, the business could create over 30 jobs in the City of Barberton. This funding opportunity lets others know that Barberton has the tools to attract cutting edge companies, and is willing to take limited risk to do so.

For more information on the Barberton Growth Fund, visit

Real Estate Investments
From time to time, the Foundation has invested in Real Estate in order to accomplish its mission, most recently with purchase and renovations of the National Guard Armory. The Armory is leased by Stark State College which hosts a full array of classes, providing easy access to students who may not be able to make it the main campus but want to attain a level of higher education.