Encore.org announced today that Michael Sotire will begin an Encore Fellowship with the Center for Social Change, a nonprofit shared space located in Miami, Florida on May 26, 2020.

Sotire’s virtual fellowship will focus on Opportunity Zones and work to demonstrate how nonprofit shared spaces can help to advance intentional and measurable place-based impact investments. “Shared space organizations and their members are achieving diverse social impact goals and objectives in opportunity zones,” he says. “We want to make that clear to impact investors and, in the process, access and leverage new funding and investments to help these nonprofits grow.”

Opportunity Zones, created by the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, are designed to spur economic development and jobs creation in distressed communities by providing tax benefits to investors. The Center for Social Change is part of an association of more than 100 shared space locations across the country, providing affordable space to nonprofits doing exemplary community-based work and serving low-and-moderate-income individuals and communities.

“My purpose in the fellowship is to demonstrate the socioeconomic value of nonprofit shared spaces,” Sotire says, “and replicate the Miami model, which is supported by FDIC-insured large bank deposits, in opportunity zones and other distressed areas across the United States.”

Sotire, 74, sees each Opportunity Zone as an ideal environment for business and social entrepreneurs to collaborate and align money with purpose. Part of his work will be breaking down the silos that challenge social change and help transform the national Opportunity Zone enterprise into a fertile landscape for place-based impact investing.

Helping Communities Work, a social purpose collaborative led by a banking industry coalition, will support the fellowship. Focus areas include: jobs creation, community economic development, nonprofit growth and sustainability, climate change, social purpose real estate and technology-assisted affordable housing. The affordable housing initiative includes 3D printing and robotics technology and apprenticeship training stipends for employers and job-seekers.

Michael Sotire’s career spans 55 years, primarily as a small business owner focused on human capital and workforce development in the healthcare industry and as a funding development and earned-income consultant to nonprofit industry and trade associations.

A former Marine and Vietnam veteran, Sotire’s work is inspired by the words of an old Greek proverb. “A society grows great when old people plant trees under whose shade they will never sit.”

Encore.org’s Encore Fellowship program matches skilled professionals who are approaching retirement with social sector organizations searching for capacity-building expertise in high-impact engagements. Learn more or contact Jim Emerman at [email protected]  

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