Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs)


PolicyMap, a project of The Reinvestment Fund, a Philadelphia-based CDFI, allows users to use GIS mapping technology to create custom maps, tables, and charts that help organizations map their social impact investments and better target their work to benefit disadvantaged communities.

Indivisible: Stories of American Community

Indivisible is a national documentary project exploring community life in America today. Through photographs and recorded voices, Indivisible focuses on the real-life stories of struggle and change in twelve communities—from Delray Beach, Florida, to Ithaca, New York; from the North Pacific Coast of Alaska to Chicago's Southwest side; from the Rio Grande Valley in Texas to the Yaak Valley, Montana.

Faith, Hope and Capital

Aired on public television in 2000, this series provides valuable information on building wealth in struggling communities. The "real stories, real people" section is particularly notable, including text of interviews of more than 20 community development finance analysts and practitioners.

Community Development (Federal Reserve, San Francisco)

The San Francisco Federal Reserve publishes the quarterly on-line periodical, Community Investments Online. As well, it maintains the Center for Community Development Investments and a host of on-line resources about Community Reinvestment Act review schedules, an important tool for community groups seeking to keep local financial institutions accountable.

Communities and Banking (Federal Reserve, Boston)

The Boston Federal Reserve publishes the quarterly on-line periodical, Communities & Banking. The site also has links to many other community development finance publications and resources.

CEDRIC Research Repository (Federal Reserve, Chicago)

The Chicago Federal Reserve, both through its publication, Profitwise, and through a number of national conferences that it has sponsored, has been an important research center on issues concerning community development financial institutions.

Aspen Institute & the Federal Reserve: Achieving Sustainability, Scale, & Impact in Community Development Finance

Starting in April 2005, the Federal Reserve and the Aspen Institute have collaborated on a series of (roughly) quarterly workshops on how to build sustainability in community development. This website contains links to the presentations of these workshops, as well as information about future events.

Chicago Community Loan Fund

Chicago Community Loan Fund (CCLF) provides low-cost, flexible financing to nonprofit community development organizations for affordable housing, commercial development, and nonprofit facility initiatives.  Since 1991, CCLF has grown from an initial investment of $200,000 to over $70 million in total capital under management.  To date, it is credited with closing more than $150 million in community development financing, which has or will leverage an additional $1.1 billion in public and private sector financing for Chicago-based development projects.

Buffalo Economic Renaissance Corporation - CLOSED

Founded in 1978 by the City of Buffalo, the Buffalo Economic Renaissance Corporation is a public-private partnership organization, placing an emphasis on the development of small businesses ands strengthening neighborhood businesses. Read more about Buffalo Economic Renaissance Corporation - CLOSED...

Buffalo Cooperative Federal Credit Union

Established in 1979 as a non-profit cooperative financial institution, the Buffalo Cooperative Federal Credit union is owned and operated for the benefit of the members who use its services. Providing low-cost financial services and loans to its members, BCFCU keeps money working within the community. Read more about Buffalo Cooperative Federal Credit Union...

Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs)

Community development financial institutions (CDFIs) provide credit and financial services to people and communities underserved by mainstream commercial banks and lenders.  CDFIs encompass a range of nonprofit and for-profit entities including community development banks, community development credit unions, community development loan funds, community development venture capital funds, and microenterprise loan funds. Read more about Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs)...

Community Economic Development Assistance Corporation

Based in Boston, the Community Economic Development Assistance Corporation (CEDAC) is a quasi-public community development finance institution that provides financial resources and technical assistance to Massachusetts nonprofit community development organizations in support of affordable housing, workforce development, childcare, and education.  In 2016, it provided over $15 million in predevelopment, acquisition, and bridge lending to area nonprofits.  Since its establishment in 1978, CEDAC’s work is credited with stimulating the production or preservation of 45,000 housing units and producing more than 16,240 units of supportive housing.

Massachusetts Housing Investment Corporation

Founded in 1990 by a consortium of banks and other corporate investors, Massachusetts Housing Investment Corporation (MHIC) is non-profit, certified CDFI focused on financing affordable housing and community development across New England. To date, it has raised $2.5 billion from 139 institutional investors for its Low Income Housing Tax Credit program and has received 11 awards totaling $807 million for its New Markets Tax Credit program.  In 2014, MHIC partnered with the Conservation Law Foundation to launch the Healthy Neighborhoods Equity Fund, a $30 million fund aiming to support mixed-use, mixed-income projects that will positively transform neighborhoods, strengthen community and environmental health, and promote regional equity while providing returns to investors.

Housing Partnership Network

Based in Boston, the Housing Partnership Network is a business alliance of the nation’s top performing nonprofit development organizations, allowing them to share the innovations from each organization’s local practices and leverage their resources more efficiently. One of its enterprises - the Housing Partnership Fund - is a CDFI-certified lending institution that has provided over $88.5 million in capital to 52 Network members.  Another enterprise, the Housing Partnership Insurance, is the first captive insurance company owned by and operated for nonprofit affordable housing organizations. The company insures more than 75,000 units valued at over $10.5 billion, and, since 2008, has returned $10.2 million in dividends to its owner-members.

Boston Community Capital

Founded in 1984, Boston Community Capital (BCC) is one of the most innovative and successful community development financial institutions in the nation.  To date, it has lent more than $1 billion and leveraged $6 billion in additional investment. Its investments are credited with preventing more than 800 foreclosure-related evictions, renovating 2 million square feet of real estate, building or preserving nearly 20,000 units of affordable housing, and creating 4,440 living-wage jobs.  BCC is also one of the largest solar providers to affordable housing in the country—its financing has helped to generate 26.5 million kilowatts of solar capacity, saving customers millions in energy costs.


Founded in 1994, PeopleFund provides loans to small businesses and nonprofits, and a range of business assistance services including one-to-one mentorship and educational workshops.  As of 2013, it had lent over $37 million to more than 445 small business owners and nonprofits, creating over 3,000 new jobs.  Nearly two-thirds of the businesses it supports are minority owned.

Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs)

Whom Do Black-Owned Banks Serve?

Russell D. Kashian, Richard McGregory and Derrek Grunfelder McCrank
Communities and Banking

We Just Knock on Doors

Pedro Arce
Communities & Banking, pages 28-30

NOW! The State of Opportunity Finance

Mark Pinksy
Prepared Text for the 24th Annual Opportunity Finance Network Conference

Venture Capital in New England Secondary Cities

Carole Carlson and Prabal Chakrabarti
New England Community Developments, issue 1

Financing Hope

Tracy Fernandez Rysavy and Prianjali Mascarenhas
Yes! Magazine

An Overview of the CDFI Industry

Brandy Curtis
New England Community Developments, issue 2

CDFI Investing Made Easy with CARS

Kathy Stearns
Partners in Community and Economic Development, volume 16, number 3

Transforming Trailers into Assets

Peter Skillern and Tanya Wolfram
Popular Government, pages 4-11

Creating Real Opportunity

Chrissa Shoemaker Debree
Bucks County Courrier Times

Latina Microenterprise and the U.S.- Mexico Border Economy

Bárbara J. Robles
The Estey Centre Journal of International Law and Trade Policy, volume 3, number 2

Interview: Martin Eakes

Lynn Adler and Jim Mayer
Faith, Hope and Capital

Interview: Richard Taub

Lynn Adler and Jim Mayer
Faith Hope and Capital

Microenterprise as an Exit Route from Poverty

Lisa Servon and Timothy Bates
Journal of Urban Affairs, volume 20, number 4, pages 419-441

Small Business Investment Companies: Investment Option for Banks

Ammar Askari

This Community Developments Insights report describes the U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Small Business Investment Company (SBIC) program, its role in capital markets, and how financial institutions—including national banks and federal savings associations (collectively, banks)—can use the program to expand their small-business finance activities. This report also describes how the SBA licenses these companies, how they operate and are supervised, and the guidelines they should follow. Finally, this report outlines risks and regulatory considerations of bank investments in SBICs and explains how these investments may receive consideration under the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA).

The information in this report was obtained from a variety of sources, including bankers, non-supervised nancial intermediaries, SBICs’ general partners (GP), trade groups, the SBA’s Of ce of Investment and Innovation (OII), and other parties involved with small business investment companies. Appendix E provides a resource directory for additional program information. 

Affordable Housing and Asset Development: The Role of Land Ownership in Mobile Home Parks

Sally K. Ward, Charlie French, Kelly Giraud and Paul Bradley
CFED Assets Learning Conference—A Lifetime of Assets: Building Families, Communities & Economies

Pay for Success: The First Generation

Dana Archer-Rosenthal

Pay for Success: The First Generation provides a look at the ten Pay for Success projects that have launched in the United States–projects that have finalized contracts and financing, and initiated service delivery as of March 2016. It offers detailed comparison of U.S. PFS projects and synthesizes observations on the market’s development to date. It is informed by Nonprofit Finance Fund’s unique and central vantage point in the U.S. Pay for Success arena. This report pulls from PFS contracts and other publically available documents, interviews with stakeholders, and incorporates information and observations gleaned by NFF through its more than five years of experience as a field builder, funding intermediary for PFS project development, and investor. It examines project goals and project design; the partners and stakeholders involved; the underlying data, evidence, and evaluation plans; the governance and investment structures, including repayment terms and investor profiles; and project costs. The report also provides key definitions for some terms, in an effort to further a common language for the PFS eld. 

Broad-Based Ownership Models as Tools for Job Creation and Community Development

Marjorie Kelly, Steve Dubb and Violeta Duncan

As cities wrestle with the growing challenge of wealth inequality, more and more leaders are looking to broad-based ownership models as tools to create jobs and build community wealth. These models are highly effective, with a positive impact for low- and moderate-income individuals and communities. This report looks at six such models—ESOPs, Worker Cooperatives, CDFIs, Social Enterprises, Municipal Ownership, and Emerging Hybrids—with examples of best practices, and explores how these models can be used in community economic development.

Making the Case for Linking Community Development and Health

Edmonds et al

This report, published in partnership by the Center on Social Disparities in Health, the Build Healthy Places Network, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, is a "resource for those working to improve low-income communities and the lives of the people living in them." Despite growing recognition that social and economic conditions are the primary drivers of health, the fields of community development and public health remain siloed. This new report from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Build Healthy Places Network outlines specific opportunities to integrate the two fields and overcome barriers to collaboration. It also includes recommendations on how to measure the impact of cross-sector collaborations and refine programs accordingly.  

CDFI Futures: An Industry at a Crossroads

Jeremy Nowak
Opportunity Finance Network
This report examines growth obstacles and opportunities within the community development financial institutions (CDFI) industry. The report was motivated by a view among many practitioners and investors that the CDFI industry is at a pivotal time of change in response to new capitalization options, ongoing operating challenges, and shifts in the external environment.

CDFI Futures: An Industry at a Crossroads

Jeremy Nowak
Opportunity Finance Network
This report examines growth obstacles and opportunities within the community development financial institutions (CDFI) industry. The report was motivated by a view among many practitioners and investors that the CDFI industry is at a pivotal time of change in response to new capitalization options, ongoing operating challenges, and shifts in the external environment.

CRA Investment Handbook

Center for Community Development Investments

CRA Commitments

National Community Reinvestment Coalition

Report on the Industry 2002

Community Development Venture Capital Association (CDVCA)

New Pathways to Scale for Community Development Finance

Gregory A. Ratliff, Kirsten S. Moy, Laura Casoni, Steve Davidson, Cathie Mahon and Fred Mendez
Profitwise News & Views

Reducing Income Inequality: How CDFIs Promote Job Quality

This report from the Opportunity Finance Network details how community development financial institutions (CDFIs) can support quality job creation as a way to reduce income inequality. Noting that this approach is currently underutilized in the field, the report draws on five case studies of CDFIs that are using tools such as debt and equity products, interest rate reductions, and technical assistance to not only grow small businesses, but ensure access to quality jobs for low-income communities. The report makes recommendations for how to scale this approach in the CDFI field.