Just in time for the gift-giving season, Calvert Foundation announced on November 30 that it has inked a deal with Incapital to broaden the availability of its Calvert Foundation Community Investing (CI) Notes to brokerage firms in the United States. Calvert’s CI Notes are designed to reduce poverty in eight U.S. regions and internationally through community-based programs like affordable housing, small business job creation, microcredit, and community development.

As of December 1, individual investors can access CI Notes through Incapital’s network of 400 brokerage firms, which combined have 30,000 brokers. Chicago-based Incapital is an investment banking firm that sells original issue corporate bonds. Bethesda, Maryland-based Calvert said in a release that expanding the reach of CI Notes through Incapital’s network could “triple [Calvert's] portfolio size in the next five years.” Three-year CI Notes earn 2%, five-year notes yield 3%, and investors get their money back at the bond’s maturity.

Meanwhile, the Senate recently passed a tax bill that includes provisions designed to encourage charitable giving. The bill, the Tax Relief Act of 2005 (S. 2020), allows for charitable tax-free gifts from individual retirement accounts like 401(k)s, and a new deduction for taxpayers who can’t deduct their contributions because they don’t itemize their tax returns.