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Community Development Financial Institutions Fund
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CDFI Fund Announces New Training Series to Expand the Capacity of Small and Emerging CDFIs
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September 20, 2012

The Community Development Financial Institutions Fund (CDFI Fund) announced today the launch of a new training and technical assistance series under its Capacity Building Initiative. The Strengthening Small and Emerging CDFIs series will provide specialized training and technical assistance to small and emerging Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs), especially those serving specific regions of persistent poverty that are traditionally underserved by financial institutions.

The training series will provide comprehensive capacity building services and resources for small and emerging CDFIs, tailored to CDFI needs and the communities they serve. The goal of this endeavor is to fill the gaps in CDFI coverage in underserved communities across the country. Opportunity Finance Network (OFN), the selected provider of the series, will deliver training and technical assistance to help the CDFI Fund achieve this objective and expand the capacity of small and emerging CDFIs.

"As we celebrate two successful years of training series under the Capacity Building Initiative, I’m very pleased to be able to announce a brand-new training that will assist smaller CDFIs that are trying to position themselves to grow in a sustainable way,” said CDFI Fund Director Donna J. Gambrell. “The Strengthening Small and Emerging CDFIs series will emphasize providing critical support to small and emerging organizations that are working in communities underserved by financial institutions. The targeted training and technical assistance that we’re providing through this series will ultimately enable these CDFIs to increase their impact and bring quality financial products and services to communities across the country."

CDFIs are critical components of the nation’s financial infrastructure, particularly within the most underserved communities. Successful organization growth relies not only on building a CDFI’s internal capacity and understanding its own growth trajectory, but also on the creation of a strong network of potential collaborators and stakeholders to create an environment that supports a CDFI’s growth. To address these needs, the CDFI Fund will collaborate with OFN to provide training and technical assistance (including one-on-one assistance and mentored cohorts) for small and emerging CDFIs. OFN will also identify underserved areas, including areas of persistent poverty such as Appalachia, the Colonias along the U.S.-Mexico border, and the Mississippi Delta, and provide specific, proactive suggestions for filling gaps of services through product development and collaborations with strategic partners.

All training opportunities and technical assistance resource materials will be posted on the CDFI Fund's website in the coming months.

For more information about the Capacity Building Initiative or the CDFI Fund’s other programs, please visit www.cdfifund.gov.

About the CDFI Fund
The CDFI Fund invests in and builds the capacity of community-based, private, for-profit and non-profit financial institutions with a primary mission of community development in economically distressed communities. These institutions – certified by the CDFI Fund as Community Development Financial Institutions or CDFIs – are able to respond to gaps in local markets that traditional financial institutions are not adequately serving. CDFIs provide critically needed capital, credit and other financial products in addition to technical assistance to community residents and businesses, service providers, and developers working to meet community needs. The CDFI Fund's vision is an America in which all people have adequate access to affordable capital, credit and financial services.

About Opportunity Finance Network
Opportunity Finance Network (OFN) is the national network of Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs)—private financial institutions that are 100 percent dedicated to delivering responsible, affordable lending to help low-income, low-wealth, and other disadvantaged people and communities join the economic mainstream. Through 2010, OFN’s network has originated more than $24.2 billion in financing in urban, rural, and Native communities, and financed 782,907 housing units, 64,391 business and microenterprises, 7,674 community facilities, and created or retained 317,052 jobs. More information is available at: www.opportunityfinance.net.

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