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This resource directory provides a sampling of organizations that offer resources to banks interested in investing in community development financial institutions (CDFI) and community development (CD) banks. This resource directory also provides information to banks considering converting to a national CD bank or organizations considering forming a CD bank.
CDFIs are mission-driven financial institutions that create economic opportunity for individuals and small businesses, quality affordable housing, and essential community services in the United States. Four types of institutions are included in the definition of a CDFI: CD banks, CD credit unions, CD loan funds (most of which are nonprofit), and CD venture capital funds. CDFIs may be certified by the CDFI Fund. Certification is often necessary to receive CDFI Fund support.
CD banks are depository institutions with a mission to primarily benefit the underserved communities in which they are chartered to conduct business. CD banks pursue this mission by providing financial services to low-and moderate-income (LMI) individuals or communities or benefiting other areas targeted for redevelopment by local, state, tribal, or federal government. CD banks must meet the same safety and soundness, statutory, regulatory, business planning, and procedural requirements as all other national banks.
Resources are organized under the following categories:
Aeris has established risk management standards for private community loan funds (i.e., CDFI) and helps to strengthen development of impact measurement and management practices in the CDFI industry. Services include impact management assessment, data services, and CDFI performance ratings. The services are used by impact investors, including financial institutions, asset and wealth managers, foundations, insurers, and government.
Certified B Corporations are businesses that balance purpose and profit. They are legally required to consider the impact of their decisions on their workers, customers, suppliers, community, and the environment. The nonprofit B Lab certifies B Corporations to meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency. B Corporations use the B Impact Assessment to assess their performance.
CapNexus is a searchable database that matches money and borrowers with CD finance opportunities. CapNexus gives capital seekers the forum to offer participation in their development activities, and lenders the opportunity to locate deals that may meet their portfolio requirements.
Coalition of Community Development Financial Institutions
CDFI Coalition is a national network of member CDFIs and includes community development loan funds, CD banks, CD credit unions, microenterprise lenders, community development corporations and community development venture capital funds. The CDFI Coalition coordinates industry-wide initiatives to increase the availability of capital, credit, and financial services to low-income communities across the nation.
Community Development Bankers Association (CDBA)
CDBA is the national trade association of the CD bank industry. CDBA promotes growth by (1) identifying industry best practices and sharing information about CD banking and (2) providing training and educational opportunities for lawmakers, regulators, investors, and government agencies about issues facing the CD banking industry.
Community Reinvestment Fund (CRF)
CRF is a nonprofit organization that provides a secondary market for CD loans originated by CDFIs. CRF also provides technical solutions to enhance CDFI lending capacity. The Connect2Capital marketplace was developed by CRF to help small businesses connect to nonprofit community lenders that offer transparent and responsible financing options. SPARK, also developed by CRF to support CDFIs, is an end-to-end, cloud-based lending platform designed to help business lenders improve efficiency, generate revenue, and minimize risk.
Global Alliance for Banking on Values (GABV)
GABV is an independent network of banks using finance to deliver sustainable economic, social, and environmental development. Banks' chief executive officers in the network can collaborate on values-based banking. GABV provides learning and development opportunities for senior executives, experts, and banking professionals at member banks through the network's communities of practice.
National Community Investment Fund
NCIF is a national nonprofit organization supporting CDFIs. NCIF fulfills its mission through two primary business lines: Equities With Exits investments and the Community Development Banking Institutions Exchange Network. NCIF acts as a patient investor with individual CD banks. In addition, NCIF makes seed fund loans, extends debt to banks, and provides secondary capital to low-income credit unions. NCIF Social Performance Metrics provide key information about banks' community development missions.
Opportunity Finance Network (OFN)
OFN is a national membership organization of CDFIs. Its network of private financial intermediaries identifies and invests in opportunities to benefit low-income and low-wealth people in the United States. OFN's membership includes CD credit unions, CD venture capital funds, and microenterprise lenders. OFN offers a national CDFI coverage map.
Social Investment Forum (SIF)
SIF is a U.S. membership association for professionals, firms, institutions, and organizations engaged in socially responsible and sustainable investing. SIF advances investment practices that consider environmental, social, and corporate governance criteria to generate long-term competitive financial returns and positive societal impact. SIF's members include banks, investment management and advisory firms, mutual fund companies, research firms, financial planners and advisors, broker-dealers, credit unions, CD organizations, nonprofit organizations, pension funds, foundations, and other asset owners.
National Credit Union Administration (NCUA)
NCUA is an independent federal agency that supervises and insures over 6,500 federal credit unions and insures more than 4,000 state-chartered credit unions. Over 800 of these entities have been designated as “low-income” credit unions in that they serve primarily low-income members in distressed and financially underserved areas. NCUA manages a revolving loan fund and provides technical assistance grants to low-income-designated credit unions. Low-income credit unions can receive capital treatment for secondary capital loans. NCUA's website provides a search engine for low-income credit unions.
Inclusiv helps CD credit unions provide affordable loans, secure savings, basic financial education, and other vital services to low-income and minority consumers. Inclusiv serves as an intermediary for banks and savings associations interested in making deposits in CD credit unions.
Aspen Institute's Business Ownership Initiative
The Business Ownership Initiative works to build understanding and strengthen the role of business ownership as an economic opportunity strategy. The Business Ownership Initiative works closely with micro- and small business practitioners and the institutions that invest in them by exploring innovation, conducting research, evaluating new ideas, and supporting leaders.
Aspen Institute's MicroTracker
This searchable database, maintained by the Aspen Institute's Business Ownership Initiative, provides information on U.S. microenterprise programs in the United States, along with key facts on organizations' products, services, and scale as reported in the U.S. Microenterprise Census.
Association for Enterprise Opportunity (AEO)
AEO is promotes microenterprise in the United States. AEO provides its members with a forum, resources, and a collective voice to promote microenterprise for people and communities with limited access to economic resources.
Community Development Venture Capital Alliance (CDVCA)
CDVCA promotes the use of venture capital to create jobs, entrepreneurial capacity, and wealth. CDVCA accomplishes these goals through training programs, publications, networking opportunities, and direct consulting services. CDVCA's website contains a description of and links to CD venture capital funds throughout the country.
Bank Enterprise Award (BEA) Program
Through the BEA Program, the CDFI Fund supports financial institutions around the country dedicated to financing and supporting community and economic development activities. The BEA Program complements the CD activities of insured depository institutions (i.e., banks and savings associations) by providing financial incentives to expand investments in CDFIs and to increase lending, investment, and service activities in economically distressed communities.
Capacity Building Initiative
The Capacity Building Initiative offers training and technical assistance to CDFIs looking to strengthen their organizations and serves distressed communities in new and innovative ways. Training topics include affordable housing and business lending, portfolio management, risk assessment, foreclosure prevention, training in CDFI business processes, and assistance with liquidity and capitalization challenges. Recent initiatives include training and technical assistance for small and emerging CDFIs, financing community health centers, preserving and expanding CDFI minority depository institutions, and continuing native CDFI growth and excellence.
Capital Magnet Fund Program
Through the Capital Magnet Fund Program, the CDFI Fund provides competitively awarded grants to CDFIs and qualified nonprofit housing organizations. These grants can be used to finance affordable housing activities, as well as related economic development activities and community service facilities. Awardees can use the grants to create financing tools, such as loan loss reserves, revolving loan funds, risk-sharing loans, and loan guarantees. Organizations that receive these grants are required to produce housing and community development investments at least 10 times the size of the grant amount, generating a multiplier effect that means that more low-income people and low-income communities nationwide will have housing options within their financial reach.
CDFI Bond Guarantee Program
This program provides federal guarantees to bonds issued by CDFIs that make investments for eligible community or economic development purposes. The program is designed to provide a source of long-term (up to 30 years) capital to CDFIs to support their lending and investment activities.
To access funding for many CDFI Fund programs, a CDFI must be certified by the CDFI Fund. To be certified, a CDFI must be a legal entity; have a primary mission of promoting community development; be a financing entity; provide development services; principally serve one or more eligible target markets; be accountable to the target markets served; and not be either a government entity or be controlled by a government entity. CDFI Fund programs requiring certification include Financial Assistance, Technical Assistance, Bank Enterprise Award Program, Native American CDFI Assistance Programs, and New Markets Tax Credit Program. The CDFI Fund maintains a list of certified CDFIs on its website.
Community Development Financial Institutions Program
Through the Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Program, the fund uses federal resources to invest in and build the capacity of CDFIs to serve low-income people and communities lacking adequate access to affordable financial products and services. The fund provides monetary awards for financial assistance (FA) and technical assistance (TA) through the CDFI Program.
Native American Initiatives Program
The Native American Initiatives Program was created to increase access to credit, capital and financial services in Native communities through the creation and expansion of CDFIs primarily serving Native communities. The program has two principal components. Expanding Native Opportunities is a training initiative focused on increasing the number of Native CDFIs, strengthening the operation capacity of existing Native CDFIs, and guiding Native CDFIs in the creation of important financial education and asset building programs for their communities. Through the Native American CDFI Assistance Program, the CDFI Fund provides funding to build the community development capacity of Certified Native CDFIs, Emerging Native CDFIs, and Sponsoring Entities, and to increase access to capital in Native communities. Funding is offered for technical assistance and financial assistance.
New Markets Tax Credit
The New Markets Tax Credit Program was created to spur growth in distressed communities. The program uses private sector investments to help create jobs and enhance access to capital for small businesses and community development. The CDFI Fund allocates tax credit authority to community development entities that provide tax credits to investors. Community development entities use proceeds from investors' investments to finance business and real estate developments in low-income communities. A community development entity is any duly organized entity treated as a domestic corporation or partnership for federal income tax purposes that (1) has a primary mission of serving, or providing investment capital for, low-income communities or low-income persons; (2) maintains accountability to residents of the low-income community through their representation on any governing board of the entity or any advisory board to the entity; and (3) has been certified as a CDE by the CDFI Fund. Certified CDFIs and U.S. Small Business Administration-designated specialized small business investment corporations are automatically qualified as community development entities.
Community Advantage Program
Designed to expand the lenders that small business owners have for the Small Business Administration's (SBA) 7(a) loan program, Community Advantage is available to mission-focused financial institutions, including CDFIs, certified development companies, and nonprofit micro-lending intermediaries that were previously not able to access SBA loans. Community Advantage lenders are expected to maintain at least 60 percent of their SBA loan portfolios in underserved markets. CDFIs looking to apply to the program should contact their SBA district office. The SBA Participation Guide (PDF) outlines the application process.
FDIC Minority Depository Institutions Program
The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) offers numerous resources on minority depository and other mission-driven institutions. Resources include lists of minority-owned depository institutions, research, and collaboration guides.
12 CFR 24, Community and Economic Development Entities, Community Development Projects, and Other Public Welfare Investments
National banks and federal savings associations may make direct or indirect investments designed primarily to promote the public welfare. This includes investments in CDFIs and in connection with CDFI Fund programs.
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