Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs)

OBDC Small Business Finance

Founded in Oakland in 1979, OBDC now provides loans, education, and networking opportunities to small business owners in nine Bay Area counties.  Over the past decade, it is credited with making 500 loans totaling more than $29 million and resulting in thousands of new jobs in the Bay Area. Read more about OBDC Small Business Finance...

Community Bank of the Bay

Founded in Oakland in 1996, Community Bank of the Bay is a community bank serving Oakland, Danville, San Mateo and San Jose, California.  As the state’s first CDFI bank, its mission is to make a positive and sustainable economic impact.  With $128 million in assets, the bank focuses on providing financing to small businesses and nonprofits.  In 2007, it created a special fund, the Bay Area Green Fund (BAGF), to finance groups that are contributing to a sustainable economy.  The bank relocated its Oakland headquarters to an Energy Star and LEED certified building in 2013. Read more about Community Bank of the Bay...

Infographic: Impact of CDFIs

How community development financial institutions build community wealth

Brewery Credit Union

Headquartered in Milwaukee and with ATMs in several Milwaukee-based cooperatives, Brewery Credit Union (BCU) was established to provide superior financial service while economically empowering its members and community. As of 2013, it held more than $35.8 million in assets. Dedicated to consumer education, BCU has a range of tools to educate its members and the public about financial topics as well as credit union philosophy, values, and uniqueness. Read more about Brewery Credit Union...

Guardian Credit Union

Established in 1934 by employees of Harnischfeger Corporation, a West Milwaukee machine manufacturing business, to provide a source of credit with a fair interest rate and the opportunity for people to improve their economic and social conditions, Guardian Credit Union (GCU) expanded its charter in 1986 to serve anyone living or working in Milwaukee and Waukesha counties. Today, GCU is the largest credit union headquartered in Milwaukee, with over 35,000 members and assets over $225 million. Read more about Guardian Credit Union...

Legacy Redevelopment Corporation

Founded in 2003, Legacy Redevelopment Corporation is the only CDFI focused on housing and commercial real estate in Milwaukee's central city. Its loans are credited with financing over 230,000 square feet of new or renovated space for nonprofit and socially oriented businesses, and the creation or renovation of over 100 affordable housing units. Read more about Legacy Redevelopment Corporation...

Ways to Work

Based in Milwaukee, Ways to Work provides low-interest loans and financial education to working families with challenging credit histories through its network of 44 sites located across 19 states. Since its establishment in 1994, the CDFI has made about $78 million in affordable loans to nearly 34,500 families. Read more about Ways to Work...

Alliant Credit Union

Established in 1935 by a small group of United Airlines employees, Alliant now serves employees and members of about 250 diverse organizations and residents of 20 Chicago neighborhoods.  With over 335,000 members nationwide and over $9.3 billion in assets, Alliant ranks as the 8th largest credit union in the nation.  Over a decade ago, Alliant launched a Civic Affairs Program to formalize and emphasize its commitment to the community.  Through one initiative catalyzed by the program, Alliant employees have been teaching financial literacy classes to students in Chicago area public schools since 2005.

North Side Federal Credit Union

Founded in 1974 by a small group of women who believed all people should have equal access to capital, North Side Federal Credit Union aims to provide affordable banking services and expand the availability of alternative financial resources.  North Side has a “social change” philosophy based on the notion that alternative resources can lead to a more economically just community and greater financial stability for its membership.  The credit union currently holds over $4 million in deposit accounts and has disbursed more than $45 million in loans since its inception.

Community Investment Corporation

The Community Investment Corporation (CIC) provides loans for the acquisition, rehabilitation, and preservation of affordable rental housing in the Chicago metropolitan area.  To do so, it manages a $225 million loan pool, which includes funds from 40 investor banks that have made multiyear commitments to CIC.  Since 1984, CIC has made over 2,000 loans totaling $1.2 billion for the rehabilitation of more than 55,000 units that provide affordable housing for upwards of 130,000 people.


IFF, formerly known as the Illinois Facilities Fund, provides loans and real estate consulting to nonprofits based in the Midwest, with a particular focus on those that serve low-income communities and special needs populations. It is the largest nonprofit CDFI in the Midwest and one of only a few nationally to earn the CDFI Asssesement and Rating System (CARS) AAA+1 rating. Established in 1988, IFF now has assets of more than $498 million.  In 2015, its loan program made 117 loans totaling over $95.5 million—resulting in the creation or maintenance of 3,713 jobs.

Accion Chicago

Launched in 1994, Accion Chicago is an alternative lending organization dedicated to providing credit and other business services to small business owners who do not have access to traditional sources of financing.  Unlike conventional financing groups that make loans based on revenue, collateral, and/or credit, Accion Chicago’s lending is largely character-based and relies on a client’s commitment to his/her business and references from customers and suppliers.  Since its inception, Accion Chicago has made nearly 4,000 loans totaling $31 million.

CDFI Certification: A Building Block for Credit Union Growth

Terry Ratigan

As CDFI (community development financial institution)-certified credit unions have grown more than 40 percent in the last six years, their capacity to serve low-income and underserved areas has grown accordingly. This new white paper from the Credit Union National Association and the National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions, the only national intermediary exclusively devoted to community development credit unions, describes community development credit union performance in 2013 and outlines the process and advantages of CDFI certification. 

Cincinnati Development Fund

The Cincinnati Development Fund (CDF) is a nonprofit lending institution focused on financing the development of affordable housing and community revitalization projects in the Greater Cincinnati area. Since its establishment in 1988, CDF has made more than $250 million in loans, impacting more than $1 billion in economic development work and creating more than 3,500 housing units. Read more about Cincinnati Development Fund...