Washington, DC – April 10, 2015 – (RealEstateRama) — The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Community Development Financial Institutions Fund (CDFI Fund) announced three workshops today that are part of its Expanding CDFI Coverage in Underserved Areas Capacity Building Initiative training series.
The series will provide specialized training and technical assistance to certified and emerging Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) seeking to expand their reach into underserved communities that currently lack a CDFI presence. The workshops include content that is applicable to all CDFI organizational structures, including loan funds, credit unions, banks, and venture capital funds.
Opportunity Finance Network (OFN) will partner with subject matter experts to provide the two-day workshops, which will help participants increase the availability of financial products and services in underserved communities in the United States. Each workshop will be tailored to address the unique needs of organizations seeking to increase and expand their presence in underserved areas. CDFI Fund staff will also be present at all of the workshops to discuss CDFI certification and how the CDFI Fund’s programs can support increasing access to financial products and services in some of the country’s most difficult-to-reach target markets.
“The CDFI Fund is committed to the expansion of CDFIs into communities that lack access to credit and affordable financial services,” said CDFI Fund Director Annie Donovan. “This workshop series will be a unique opportunity for CDFIs and emerging CDFIs to learn how to break into these markets to deliver responsible CDFI financial products and services.”
The three workshops are:
- Forming New and Affiliated CDFI Entities, June 16-17, 2015, Baltimore Branch of the Richmond Federal Reserve Bank, Baltimore, MD: This workshop, provided by OFN in partnership with the Community Development Venture Capital Association (CDVCA), the National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions (NFCDCU), and the Community Development Bankers Association (CDBA), is designed for participants that are interested in forming a new CDFI loan fund or venture capital fund. The workshop is also relevant for existing CDFI banks, credit unions, loan funds, and venture capital funds that are interested in forming new, legally-affiliated CDFI entities within their existing organizational structure to serve new, underserved markets. Participants will learn to analyze unmet financial services needs in underserved markets, to evaluate the role of affiliated legal structures in serving target markets, and how to start a loan or venture capital fund.
- Understanding the Benefits of CDFI Status for Newly-Certified and Prospective CDFIs, July 22-23, 2015, Denver Branch of the Kansas City Federal Reserve Bank, Denver, CO: This workshop, provided by OFN in partnership with NFCDCU, CDBA, and CDVCA, is geared toward newly-certified CDFIs or existing community-based banks, credit unions, loan funds, and venture capital funds that want a deeper understanding of the benefits and requirements of CDFI certification for their organization. During the workshop, participants will learn about what it means to be a certified CDFI and what some of the strategic choices are regarding pursuing CDFI certification. Participants will also learn how to measure impact, tell their CDFI’s story to funders and partners, and explore collaboration and partnership models.
- Expansion by Existing CDFIs, August 19-20, 2015, Kansas City Federal Reserve Bank, Kansas City, MO: This workshop, provided by OFN in partnership with NFCDCU and CDBA, is targeted at existing CDFI banks, credit unions, and loan funds seeking to explore successful strategies for geographic and product expansion in underserved areas and areas of persistent poverty. During the workshop, participants will focus on successful strategies for expansion applicable to each CDFI organizational structure. The workshop will also offer an extensive overview of key operations, staffing, and technology considerations for expansion.
All of the Expanding CDFI Coverage in Underserved Areas workshops are free of charge to participants; however, workshop attendees are responsible for their own travel, food, and incidental costs.
The training series also includes a technical assistance component, provided by OFN and its partners, which closely integrates with workshop content and includes peer cohorts, webinars, one-on-one support, and advanced sessions for CDFIs with specialized and continuing needs. The CDFI Fund encourages organizations interested in attending the workshops or applying for technical assistance to contact OFN for more details about each training.
As with other Capacity Building Initiative series, the Expanding CDFI Coverage in Underserved Areas series will include the creation of an in-depth Virtual Resource Bank on the CDFI Fund’s website, which is available for the general public. The Resource Bank will include all training and reference materials presented during the training series. The Resource Bank will be available later this summer.
Registration details and additional information about each training session are available online [http://ofn.org/expanding-cdfi-coverage-underserved-areas]. Up to 80 participants can attend each workshop and attendance is on a first come, first served basis. Registration of individuals will be confirmed within two weeks of submitting your information via OFN’s registration page. Please do not make travel arrangements until OFN confirms your attendance.
To learn more about the CDFI Fund’s Capacity Building Initiative, please visit www.cdfifund.gov/cbi