PRESS RELEASE: $4M in Solar Project Funding Directly Benefitting Faith-Based Organizations Available

The groundbreaking fund, established in partnership with Interfaith Solar Campaign, will be piloted with projects in Oregon and Washington and then expanded across the U.S.


SAN DIEGO, CA — [December 12, 2023] — CollectiveSun Foundation, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization and philanthropic arm of CollectiveSun dedicated to advancing climate-friendly projects, announced today that it has established a credit facility to fund $4 million of solar projects for faith-based organizations. The credit facility was created in partnership with the Interfaith Solar Campaign, whose mission is to promote solar energy adoption within faith-based organizations and their surrounding communities. 

With support from BQuest Foundation, an impact investing based private family foundation, and Cornerstone Fund, a nonprofit financial institution that finances faith-based impact projects, the credit facility will be guaranteed by the Community Investment Guarantee Pool (CIGP). It is intended to expand access to solar project financing specifically for faith-based organizations. 

The Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) has greatly increased opportunities for faith-based organizations and other nonprofits to benefit from solar energy. But it’s still challenging for nonprofits and especially houses of worship to access funding. These faith-based organizations are often excluded from traditional financing options or have limitations on the amount of funding they can obtain. This new credit facility, the first ever to be dedicated to faith-based organizations, addresses this issue. 

CollectiveSun Foundation will manage construction, own, and operate the solar systems. Funding will be provided via the credit facility’s landmark three-party funding structure, which includes capital from two nonprofit foundations and a loan guarantee from a third nonprofit foundation. When a project is placed in service, CollectiveSun Foundation will manage all of the required tax credit filings and integrate tax credit gap financing into the structure. This approach allows for financing the tax credit gaps that would otherwise present a burden for a nonprofit. 

“Faith-based organizations have historically been locked out of traditional financing options due to a lack of understanding and appreciation for the special connection and role they play in providing spiritual and critical social services in their communities. Where most lenders see risk, we see vibrancy and strength,” said Lee Barken, Chief Community Officer of CollectiveSun. “With this new credit facility and thanks to our values-aligned partners, we can now support numerous faith-based organizations in achieving their renewable energy goals.”

The solar projects that can be funded by the credit facility go beyond houses of worship. They include other kinds of facilities operated by faith-based organizations, such as food banks, affordable housing, retirement communities, and more.

Interfaith Solar Campaign has already helped several churches go solar, and the organization is currently in discussions with about 40 congregations of diverse faiths in Oregon and Washington. They have identified 30 other potential churches in lower-income communities that can benefit from the IRA’s low-income communities bonus adder. The campaign’s vision is to extend their reach to all qualified faith-based communities in the region and across the country.

“This innovative credit facility will help us build momentum for faith-based communities to lead the transition to renewable energy,” said John Pitney, retired United Methodist minister and Director of Outreach at Interfaith Solar Campaign. “While some houses of worship around the country have already installed solar, they’ve mostly done that in isolation. Collectively, we can have a much greater impact. We’re creating a movement of faith communities that, by putting solar on their buildings, are inspiring and motivating their congregants to take climate action as well.”

The credit facility is expected to fund 25–30 projects in Oregon and Washington, providing a model for expansion to faith-based communities nationwide. These projects will add to CollectiveSun’s growing pipeline of solar projects, which includes over 200 completed projects for nonprofits across the U.S., over half of which are for houses of worship. 


About CollectiveSun Foundation

CollectiveSun Foundation, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization and philanthropic arm of CollectiveSun, engages values-aligned capital to solve social and environmental challenges. We are dedicated to advancing climate-friendly projects with a diverse portfolio of financing solutions including grants, recoverable grants, loans, leases, and other tools that help bring capital to communities where the sun shines brightly, but the dollars often do not flow.

About Interfaith Solar Campaign

The Interfaith Solar Campaign represents a movement of faith-based congregations from a variety of faith traditions, working to save the planet by adopting renewable energy sources to power their congregations. Together, this coalition of faith communities is influencing the behavior of their communities and congregations by demonstrating the impact of taking personal climate action and how it can mitigate the worst effects of climate change. As a volunteer-run campaign, we encourage people interested in bringing their talents to the effort to reach out to the campaign by contacting us at or emailing Lou Stagnitto at [email protected]

About BQuest Foundation

BQuest Foundation is a private family foundation with a mission of fighting the climate crisis by funding projects and partnering with organizations that reduce carbon emissions, expand the use of renewable energy, and advocate for the policy changes we need to transition to a zero carbon future. The organization focuses on multiple layers of impact, particularly with an emphasis on environmental equity, in order to make a bigger impact per dollar granted or invested.

About Cornerstone Fund

Founded in 1993, the United Church of Christ Cornerstone Fund (Cornerstone Fund) is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization and leading financial organization that provides transformative financial solutions to support and empower faith-based communities. Through strategic, financial investments and partnerships, Cornerstone Fund helps churches and faith-based non-profits achieve their financial goals while fostering community development and economic justice.

About CIGP

The Community Investment Guarantee Pool (CIGP), managed by Locus Impact Fund, aggregates unfunded philanthropic financial guarantees to accelerate equitable lending and investing in affordable housing, small business, and climate. By helping philanthropic organizations leverage their balance sheets for impact, CIGP makes more and new types of community development transactions feasible. The guarantors that make CIGP possible include: The Kresge Foundation, The Annie E. Casey Foundation, The California Endowment, California Community Foundation, Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, California Wellness Foundation, CommonSpirit (formerly Dignity Health), Gary Community Investments, Jessie Ball duPont Fund, Phillips Foundation, Laura & John Arnold Foundation, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Seattle Foundation, Sierra Club Foundation, Locus, Weingart Foundation and the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation.



Rosana Francescato

[email protected]

(619) 723-4583