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Advocacy Organizations and National Intermediaries

Advocacy Organizations and Financial Intermediaries for CDFIs. 

Opportunity Finance Network (OFN) is a national membership organization of CDFIs. It is the leading network of private financial intermediaries identifying and investing in opportunities to benefit low-income and low-wealth people in the U.S. OFN's membership includes community development credit unions, community development venture capital funds, and micro-enterprise lenders. OFN offers a national CDFI coverage map

National Community Investment Fund (NCIF) is a nonprofit supporting Community Development Banking Institutions.  NCIF fulfills its mission through two primary business lines: “Equities with Exits” investments and the CDBI Exchange Network.  NCIF acts as a patient investor with individual community development banks.  In addition, NCIF selectively makes seed fund loans, extends debt to banks, and provides secondary capital to low-income credit unions.  NCIF offers an annual Development Banking Conference to bring together CEOs, CFOs, and other interested parties in the Community Development Banking Institutions field. NCIF Social Performance Metrics provides key information about the community development mission of banks.

Aeris: Aeris is the company behind CARS (CDFI Assessment and Rating System), a comprehensive, third-party assessment of a CDFI’s social impact, financial strength, and financial performance. CARS can be an important tool for investors in CDFIs. The site also contains information for CDFIs interested in participating in the ratings system.  

CDFI Coalition - The CDFI Coalition advocates on behalf of the CDFI industry and educates the public about community development finance. The CDFI Coalition is a primary source of information and knowledge about the CDFI field for the general public, the media, public officials, private sector lenders, as well as CDFIs.

Community Development Bankers Association (CDBA) is a national trade association focused on the specialized needs of CD banks. CDBA promotes growth of the industry though: (1) identification of best practices in the industry the sharing of information about CD banking, and (2) providing training and educational opportunities for lawmakers, regulators, investors, and government agencies about the issues facing the CD banking industry.

CapNexus is a searchable online database that matches money and borrowers to community development finance opportunities.  CapNexus listing and matching service allows loan originators, interested buyers, and financing partners to effectively meet.  

Community Reinvestment Fund (CRF) is a non-profit organization which provides a secondary market for community development loans originated by CDFIs. CRF also provides loan servicing and portfolio management services, as well as lender training and technical assistance to community-based lenders.

Social Investment Forum: The Social Investment Forum (SIF) is the US membership association for professionals, firms, institutions and organizations engaged in socially responsible and sustainable investing. SIF and its members advance 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 investment management and advisory firms, mutual fund companies, research firms, financial planners and advisors, broker-dealers, banks, credit unions, community development organizations, non-profit associations, and pension funds, foundations and other asset owners. SIF members practice SRI through methods such as portfolio selection analysis, shareholder advocacy and community investing.

B Corporation: B Corps are certified by the nonprofit B Lab to meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency. The B-Impact Assessment Tool allows companies to assess their performance to best practices on employee, community, and environmental impact.

The Global Alliance for Banking on Values is an independent network of banks and banking cooperatives with a shared mission to use finance to deliver sustainable economic, social, and environmental development.

GIIRS (Global Impact Investment Ratings System) is a comprehensive and transparent system for assessing the social and environmental impact of companies and funds through a ratings and analytic approach.

Low Income Credit Unions 

National Credit Union Administration (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 Credit Union Data Research a Credit Union feature allows for a search of all low-income credit unions. 

National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions (NFCDCU) helps community development credit unions (CDCUs) provide affordable loans, secure savings, basic financial education and other vital services to low-income and minority consumers. NFCDCU serves as an intermediary for banks and thrifts interested in making deposits in CDCUs.

Microenterprise CDFIs 

MicroTracker: This searchable database, maintained by The Aspen Institute’s FIELD Program, provides information on almost 700 U.S. microenterprise programs in the United States, along with graphic profiles that provide key facts on organizations' products, services and scale as reported in the U.S. Microenterprise Census.

Association for Enterprise Opportunity (AEO) is a member organization which is dedicated to the promotion of microenterprise in the U.S. AEO provides its members with a forum, information, and a voice to promote microenterprise for people and communities with limited access to economic resources. AEO maintains a variety of resources for microenterprise practitioners on their Web site.

Aspen Institute’s FIELD Program FIELD identifies, develops, and disseminates best practices and educates funders, policy makers, and others about microenterprise in the U.S. as an anti-poverty strategy.

Venture Capital CDFIs 

Community Development Venture Capital Association (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 Web site contains a description of and links to community development venture capital funds throughout the country.