Access to affordable financial products and services is a staple of economically vibrant communities. Yet at least one quarter of American households do not have a bank account or rely on costly payday lenders and check-cashing outlets. Additionally, many small businesses and critical community development projects lack access to the capital investment necessary to spark economic growth in their communities. The Community Development Financial Institutions Program (CDFI Program) actively works to address these issues by investing federal resources—which are matched with private funding—in CDFIs working to serve low-income and underserved people and communities.
The CDFI Program offers both
Financial Assistance and
Technical Assistance awards to CDFIs. These competitive awards support and enhance the ability of these organizations to meet the needs of the communities they serve.
Financial Assistance awards are made in the form of loans, grants, equity investments, deposits, and credit union shares, which CDFIs are required to match dollar-for-dollar with non-federal funds. This requirement enables CDFIs to multiply the impact of federal investment to meet the demand for affordable financial products in economically distressed communities.
Technical Assistance grants are offered to CDFIs and Certifiable CDFIs (see eligibility below) to build their organizational capacity.
Both Financial and Technical Assistance awards empower CDFIs to grow, achieve organizational sustainability, and contribute to the revitalization of the communities they serve.
Healthy Food Financing Initiative - Financial Assistance awards are also offered for CDFIs that are interested in expanding their healthy food financing activities.
For more information, please see our CDFI Program Fact Sheet (English /
Español) and our
Healthy Food Financing Initiative Fact Sheet (English /
To be eligible to apply for a Financial Assistance award, your organization must be a Certified or Certifiable CDFI. Certifiable CDFIs are entities that submit a Certification Application to the CDFI Fund by the deadline specified in the applicable Notice of Funds Availability (NOFA), but are not yet officially certified at the time of Financial Assistance application submission.
The CDFI Fund also offers supplemental awards through the Healthy Food Financing Initiative. CDFIs that are selected to receive a Financial Assistance award may also receive a Healthy Food Financing Initiative award to expand their healthy food financing activities.
Certified, Certifiable, and Emerging CDFIs are eligible to apply for Technical Assistance awards. However, Certifiable and Emerging CDFIs must demonstrate that they have the ability to become a Certified CDFI within three years of receiving a Technical Assistance grant.
For more detailed information, please refer to the Notice of Funds Availability (NOFA) and visit the
CDFI Certification Application Process page.