Historically, nonprofits have had two main challenges that prevented their ability to finance solar projects.  First, nonprofits are excluded from utilizing tax benefits because they have no tax liability due to their 501c3 status. Second, nonprofits don’t always have reserves robust enough to pay for capital investments. BAM and CollectiveSun solve these with:

non profit solutions

non profit solutions

1) an innovative financing model that allows a portion of the tax benefits to be utilized, thereby reducing the overall cost of the project by 10%,

2) a proprietary crowdlending campaign methodology and online platform that facilitates loans from community members who are repaid with annual principal and interest payments using the savings from the solar project.

Additionally, our unique crowdlending campaign differs from donations because it doesn’t require the pastor or nonprofit leader to go to his or her supporters with their hands out asking yet again for another donation. Instead they are able to offer an investment opportunity that facilitates financial and environmental benefits for all involved. With donations a person gives and only receives a write-off, but with a crowdlending investment there’s an ancillary or intrinsic benefit because supporters feel a sense of ownership and pride each and every time they see the solar panels on the roof of the nonprofit they love and support.

  • a 10% discount off the installers bid for projects over 20kW.
  • solar as a service with a prefunded Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with a 20 year term.
  • prefunded PPA’s are funded using a unique proprietary method called crowdlending which is basically a direct loan from the supporters of the nonprofit to the nonprofit. This loan is paid back over 10 years with interest. The interest can be determined by the nonprofit, however, we’ve found 4%-5% to be an optimal rate for both the nonprofit and the investor.
  • The nonprofit owns the solar system outright at the end of 6 years. The 10-year warranty from the installer and the 20 year warranty from the inverter manufacturer and the 25 year warranty from the panel manufacturer all transfer to the nonprofit after they become owners of the system at the end of year 6.


Under traditional PPAs, a large Bank, a Wall Street investor or another unaffiliated entity is profiting from the financing of your nonprofit’s solar project.  BAM and CollectiveSun’s crowdlending campaign is different because it allows community members to participate and keeps dollars in the community. In short, a small group of supporters from the nonprofit provide a loan (an unsecured note) to the nonprofit. The nonprofit uses the loan to pay the prefunded PPA amount (90% of the installer cost). Whether you choose to fund your solar project with CollectiveSun or with someone else, there will always be someone making money on the transaction.  We believe the community investors should be that “someone” because;

  • The community will evaluate the default risk of their nonprofit lower than a bank or a traditional financing company and will accept a lower interest rate.
  • Keeping dollars local and having supporters of the nonprofit benefit is better than sending profits to a large bank or a Wall Street investor.

Another way of looking at it: getting financing from a large Bank or traditional solar financing company means your nonprofit is going to be paying a lot more in the long run because banks categorize nonprofits as “risky” investments and to mitigate the perceived risk, they attach exceptionally high interest rates to the transaction. Going to your community and using the BAM and CollectiveSun crowdlending platform means your nonprofit will pay substantially less and your community members are the ones that will benefit.

BAM and CollectiveSun believes the time to ask for DONATIONS is when your investors are receiving their loan repayments. During the CollectiveSun annual loan repayment notification process, when we let community members know their loan repayment is arriving and how much principal and interest they’ve earned, we give them an opportunity to donate all or a portion back to the nonprofit they love and support. This provides an option to receive a charitable deduction and recycle funds back to the nonprofit.

  • We believe in nonprofits and we believe in community service.
  • We founded nonprofits ourselves and serve on numerous nonprofit boards.
  • Robust and effective nonprofits that can lock in a low cost of energy for 25+ years are more fiscally responsible and less likely to become insolvent.
  • We believe nonprofits are the backbone of any community and strong nonprofits create strong, vibrant and resilient communities.

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