Two Texas micro-lending organizations with extensive track records of success, PeopleFund of Austin, Texas, and PLAN Fund of Dallas, Texas, are pleased to announce their merger effective March 31, 2012. This combination significantly increases available resources and strengthens their ability to serve and help undercapitalized communities in Austin and Dallas. PeopleFund and PLAN Fund’s clients are business owners who face challenges in obtaining traditional lending. They are the true beneficiaries of the merger.
The Boards of both non-profit organizations unanimously agreed that PLAN Fund would merge into PeopleFund, becoming People Fund’s Dallas branch. Existing PLAN Fund staff members will remain at the organization’s 2801 Swiss Avenue location, which is now PeopleFund’s Dallas office.
PLAN Fund’s Board Chair, Barrett Howell, and Vice Chair, Irv Ashford Jr. will become Board members of PeopleFund. Mr. Howell lauded the transaction, “With this merger, PLAN Fund will create greater capacity for social and economic impact on traditionally underserved communities in Dallas. This is a great day for Dallas.”
PLAN Fund Founder, Gwen Moore, said, “We could not be more excited about the opportunity to expand our reach and help improve our communities while giving people a chance to achieve their entrepreneurial dreams.”
Jack McDonald, PeopleFund’s Board Chair, is equally as enthusiastic about the combination. “This transaction comes at the right time and to the right place,” McDonald said. “It aligns perfectly with our statewide expansion plans. Together, we can better serve the Dallas area small businesses owners in need of capital and business assistance.”
PeopleFund has strong Dallas ties, making it a natural fit for expansion. Its Board Vice Chair, Adrian Neely, is a Dallas native who grew up in Oak Cliff, and the organization’s CFO, Will Kelly, is a graduate of SMU. Additionally, Gary Lindner, President & CEO of PeopleFund, has collaborated with PLAN Fund for several years. He played a key role in the merger discussions. “Our organizations are culturally aligned. We both have a strong commitment to social and economic justice.” Lindner added, “To consolidate with an organization that has so many existing partners and dynamic board members is an enormous benefit.”
About PLAN Fund
PLAN Fund originated in 1997 in partnership with the Grameen Foundation and subsequently became an independent, tax-exempt, non-profit corporation and a CDFI in 2009. Since inception, PLAN Fund has made over 600 loans to Dallas’ low to moderate income entrepreneurs, totaling over $945,000.