CDFI Impact Blog



The Impact of Community Investing Impact of Community Investing<div class="ExternalClass256A010AF32C409FB6D920527F79F5B7"><p>One of the most energizing aspects of my job as director of the Community Development Financial Institutions Fund (CDFI Fund) is engaging with a diverse array of stakeholders who care about creating economic opportunity in distressed communities and telling them the CDFI story. I find that too often, the innovative and impactful work of CDFIs, CDEs and other organizations served by the CDFI Fund is not as well understood as it should be. In order to spread the word about this amazing work, we are launching a new feature on our public website: Impact Stories.</p><p>Through Impact Stories, we will spotlight the outcomes that CDFI Fund awardees are achieving in communities across the nation. We will showcase the diverse and essential financial services, lending, and investments CDFIs, CDEs, and other awardees provide every day in distressed and underserved rural, urban, and Native American (including Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian) communities. </p><p>CDFI Fund awardees help <a href="/Documents/Cake%20Appeal%20NACA%20Impact%20Story%20052517.pdf" target="_blank"> entrepreneurs get off the ground </a>and existing <a href="/Documents/Wild%20West%20Boots%20041917.pdf" target="_blank">small businesses grow their operations</a>. They expand access to <a href="/Documents/REVISED%20Nevada%20Idaho%20CDFI%20CMF%20Impact%20Story%20042717.pdf" target="_blank">affordable housing </a>and homeownership for low-income people. They finance healthcare facilities and other vital community centers that assist vulnerable populations, such as <a href="/Documents/BGP%20Clearinghouse%20CDFI%20Impact%20Story%20040317.pdf" target="_blank">disabled veterans</a>. They create access to safe and affordable financial products for those on the margins of the financial system. They develop communications networks and infrastructure to expand critical community services and enhance economic development <a href="/Documents/NMTC%20GreatWave%20Impact%20Story%20041917.pdf" target="_blank">opportunities</a>.</p><p>Of course, no good impact story should be told without data. And we will be using these impact stories to highlight what we are learning from the ever improving data we collect from our awardees.</p><p>The CDFI Fund needs your help in identifying stories and best practices that are having impact in distressed and underserved communities across the nation. Submit your story suggestions to the CDFI Fund <a href="" target="_blank">here</a>. </p><p> <i>Interested in seeing more? <a href="" target="_blank">Sign up to receive CDFI Fund Impact Stories</a> as we release them, or keep an eye on our <a href="/impact/Pages/default.aspx" target="_blank">Impact Blog</a>. And check out our <a href="/Documents/CDFI_7554_YearInReview_2016_FINAL_web%20020617.pdf" target="_blank">FY 2016 Year in Review </a>to learn more about the impact of CDFIs and the CDFI Fund’s programs. Full information about the CDFI Fund’s programs can be found at <a href="" target="_blank"></a>.  </i></p><p> <i>Annie Donovan is Director of the CDFI Fund.</i></p></div>Annie Donovan2017-05-25T17:00:00ZFramework for the Future29GP0|#6739e502-ad8d-4e57-bade-8d5d363e66c7;L0|#06739e502-ad8d-4e57-bade-8d5d363e66c7|In the Field;GTSet|#52f34ab0-6f81-4fe6-b393-2715c7089532
CDFI Fund Weighs Public Input from Listening Tour Fund Weighs Public Input from Listening Tour<div class="ExternalClassD7001069D8E146B68268D5AB6DD80CB9"><p> <em>​This was originally posted on <a href="" target="_blank">Treasury's Notes blog</a> on August 28, 2015.</em></p><p>This month, Treasury’s Community Development Financial Institutions Fund (CDFI Fund) wrapped up its National Listening Tour. We spent the summer soliciting public input regarding a new strategic framework for the CDFI Fund. These forums provided an opportunity for constructive dialogue that will build on the growth and success of Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs), Community Development Entities (CDEs), and the communities that they serve. Using what we heard, we will be creating a “<em>Framework for the Future</em>,” which will be a set of strategic directives to guide our work over the next five years.</p><p>At the CDFI Fund, we are mindful of the tremendous responsibility that we play in promoting economic revitalization in our nation’s low-income communities. That is why we convened these sessions to hear from stakeholders firsthand their thoughts on our strategic direction over the next five years. More than 300 people attended sessions in five cities and over 70 others joined me on two conference calls for those serving rural communities in the continental U.S. and in Hawaii, Alaska, and the territories.</p><p>We asked participants to weigh in on six areas of inquiry, including: </p><ul><li>​How can the CDFI Fund support the use of data to strengthen the industry and increase our impact? </li><li>How can we best support CDFIs to continue to innovate? What will it take to scale solutions we know work? </li><li>What more can we do to reach communities that need CDFIs but are either not being served by them, or have limited access to CDFI Fund support? </li><li>Are our programs effective and working optimally for communities? </li><li>How is our customer service? What needs to be improved? </li><li>What issues should be on our radar screen but are not?</li></ul><p>Some highlights of what I heard are:</p><ul><li>​CDFIs appreciate the flexibility and usefulness of our programs, especially financial assistance awards; </li><li>CDFIs use our awards to support a wide diversity of community development strategies, from consumer services and credit, to micro and small businesses, to community facilities and affordable housing; </li><li>CDFIs appreciate the knowledge and responsiveness of our staff; and </li><li>CDFIs would like more transparency, to shorten our award cycle, and to make our data collection system easier to use. </li></ul><p>This feedback comes at a pivotal time for the CDFI Fund. Next month will mark the end of our 20th year, and we have accomplished so much over that time. We’ve grown a nationwide network of almost 1,000 certified CDFIs, and we’ve awarded over $46 billion in monetary awards, tax credit authority, and bond guarantees. The CDFIs and CDEs that received these resources have delivered vital lifelines to communities. As we look to the future, we know that there is so much more to be done to bring economic opportunities to underserved urban and rural areas of the nation.</p><p>We thank those who participated in and hosted our Listening Tour, especially the Federal Reserve Banks of San Francisco, Kansas City/Denver, Chicago, New York and Atlanta.</p><p> <em>Annie Donovan is the Director of the Community Development Financial Institutions Fund at the U.S. Treasury Department.​</em></p></div>Annie Donovan2015-08-28T17:36:00ZFramework for the Future10GP0|#6739e502-ad8d-4e57-bade-8d5d363e66c7;L0|#06739e502-ad8d-4e57-bade-8d5d363e66c7|In the Field;GTSet|#52f34ab0-6f81-4fe6-b393-2715c7089532
The CDFI Fund's Guiding Principles CDFI Fund's Guiding Principles<div class="ExternalClassD8FB58389F624801BD7767F0E82968CE"><p>Today I spoke at the 2016 CDFI Coalition Institute to discuss the CDFI Fund’s recent accomplishments and our upcoming objectives. You can read my<a href="/Lists/CDFI%20Speeches%20%20Testimony/DispForm.aspx?ID=47" target="_blank"> full speech here</a>, but I wanted to take a moment to emphasize an important development for the CDFI Fund that I discussed: the CDFI Fund’s Framework for the Future and our new Guiding Principles. </p><p>Continuous growth in the community development field requires ever increasing support and input from CDFIs and CDEs across the nation. To that end, in FY 2015 we began a strategic effort to develop a comprehensive plan to support this growth. Weighing the generous public input we received from our Listening Tour last summer, we have created the Framework for the Future – our strategic roadmap. This Framework is built upon five Guiding Principles that drive our strategic efforts to increase impact in underserved communities:</p><ol><li><p>Increase the impact of the CDFI Fund network by supporting the growth, reach, and performance of CDFIs and CDEs.</p></li><li><p>Foster a diversity of CDFI and CDE activities and geographies while holding certified CDFIs and CDEs to high standards of integrity.</p></li><li><p>Build the capacity of the CDFI Fund and its network to capture, produce, and utilize data to improve decision-making, performance, and accountability.</p></li><li><p>Ease the customer experience and create on-ramps for new and emerging CDFIs and CDEs to access CDFI Fund programs. </p></li><li><p>Promote awareness of CDFIs in order to expand their access to new resources.</p></li></ol><p>The CDFI Fund is moving at a rapid pace to help CDFIs and CDEs improve the lives of people living in distressed communities throughout America. Our efforts are all geared to help our network of financial institutions maximize economic impact critical to creating an inclusive economy that helps every American prosper. We will be utilizing our five Guideposts as we develop a five year strategic plan. I thank everyone who has provided us with input over the past year, whether through the Listening Tour or otherwise. This input is driving our efforts. I look forward to continued engagement in the year to come!</p> </div>Annie Donovan2016-03-09T16:26:00ZFramework for the Future14