September 29 - October 1, 2020
Durham, NC

What is the Croatan Forum?

The Croatan Forum is a thought-provoking, multi-day convening where leaders working on the frontlines of finance, social equity, and ecological resilience will gather to discuss cutting-edge solutions to some of the 21st century's most urgent challenges. Hosted by Croatan Institute, the 2020 Forum will give special focus to collaborative opportunities to invest in climate justice, racial equity and women's empowerment, regenerative food and agriculture, and resilient community development.


Now in its second run, the 2020 Croatan Forum will prioritize conversations on cutting-edge initiatives such as:   

  • Regenerative agriculture and food system finance
  • Addressing income inequality and the racial wealth gap by investing in diversity, equity, and inclusion 
  • Investing in climate solutions and just transitions
  • Measuring and managing social and environmental risk and impact, using data science and new total portfolio tools and techniques
  • Financing resilient communities

The Croatan Forum provides a unique setting for senior level decision-makers -- from the fields of sustainable, responsible, and mission-related impact investment, fund management, institutional investment, community development finance, investment consulting, and investor engagement and financial activism -- to explore emerging opportunities for investing in solutions to some of the most urgent challenges of the 21st century. The Forum also showcases many of the leading collaborative initiatives that Croatan Institute and its partners have forged at the frontlines of finance, social good, and ecological resilience. 

Get your ticket

Get your ticket now to reserve your spot!  


Keynote Conversant, William J. Bynum

Chief Executive Officer, HOPE  

For more than three decades, Bill Bynum has worked to advance economic opportunity for disenfranchised populations. He began his career in North Carolina, organizing nationally-recognized programs at Self-Help and at the NC Rural Center. In 1994, he moved to Mississippi to launch Enterprise Corporation of the Delta, and in 1995, organized Hope Community Credit Union.   

Today, HOPE (Hope Enterprise Corporation, Hope Credit Union and Hope Policy Institute), provides financial services; aggregates resources; and engages in advocacy to mitigate the extent to which factors such as race, gender, birthplace and wealth limit one’s ability to prosper Since 1994, HOPE has generated more than $2.5 billion in financing that has benefitted more than one million people in Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Tennessee. 

Keynote Conversant, Jim King

President & CEO, Fahe

For thirty years, Jim King has worked to advance opportunity for the people and communities of Appalachia. In 1990 he moved to Appalachia to become one of the first staff members at Fahe. Since becoming President in 2000, Mr. King has led Fahe through a period of unprecedented growth in impact, lending, and territory. He pioneered a collaborative model, bringing scale and performance driven change to nonprofits serving rural and remote communities. He established Fahe’s reputation as a national authority on Appalachia, rural issues, persistent poverty and collaborative impact. Under Mr. King's leadership, Fahe received numerous awards, including the Wachovia Wells Fargo NEXT Award for Opportunity Finance, and has been highlighted in multiple books and publications including “Forces For Good”. Mr. King is a 2006 alumnus of the Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government’s Achieving Excellence program and 2014 alumnus of the Harvard Business School’s three-year owner/president management (OPM) program. He holds an MBA degree from Eastern University, and a BA from Bluffton University. Mr. King serves on many national boards of directors and is currently the board chair of the Opportunity Finance Network.



Durham, NC

  • The Rickhouse, 609 Foster Street
  • In Durham's vibrant Central Park District

Highlights from 2018

"What energetic, pertinent, and provocative discussions. I don’t say this lightly: it was one of the best conferences I’ve attended in some time."
CEO of a leading community development financial institution (CDFI)

Become a Sponsor

Become a sponsor of the 2020 Croatan Forum and put your organization in front of  over 100 leaders in the fields of impact investing, social finance, inclusive entrepreneurship, corporate sustainability, food and agriculture, and economic and community development.

2020 Sponsors and Partners