In January, Mark Pinsky and I launched CDFI Friendly America, a new way of bringing the value of CDFIs flexible capital and know-how to America’s small cities and towns. We are excited to introduce a new strategy to make it easier for CDFIs to work in smaller communities by helping leaders in those towns and cities work effectively with CDFIs. We are on a mission to bring the CDFI industry to under-served communities in towns and small cities across the nation. Instead of starting new CDFIs, CDFI Friendly America is a strategy to help small to medium size cities attract statewide, regional, and national CDFIs to lend in their market by standing up a small nonprofit that has two tools in their toolkit: an Executive Director who will organize the market and make matches between potential borrowers and interested CDFIs and a small credit enhancement fund to have some “skin in the game” and help get complex deals to the finish line.
We know that CDFIs are ready to work in more places and create opportunities for more people. And we are learning just how enthusiastic lots of towns and small cities are to benefit from CDFI financing. Our vision is a national network of CDFI Friendly Communities using CDFI financing to do more for the people who live and work in them.
We recently published a white paper to explain how our new CDFI Friendly model can benefit thousands of communities and millions of people in the United States. Please click here to read CDFI Friendly America: A White Paper Introducing the CDFI Friendly Strategy for Smaller Cities & Towns. The White Paper describes the origins of our strategy and why the CDFI Friendly strategy can be the missing link for thousands of communities.
Click here if you think a community you are working with would be a good candidate or if you are interested in learning more about CDFI Friendly America.
We look forward to working with you as CDFI Friendly takes root.