OFN just released the 19th edition of its Side by Side publication, an annual reference guide for CDFI industry practitioners, investors, and others interested in assessing the opportunity finance industry’s activity and performance. This year’s edition uses FY 2016 Annual Member Survey data from 220 OFN Member CDFIs (197 Loan Funds, 22 Credit Unions, and one Venture Fund) to illustrate numerous peer group analyses split by primary financing sector and asset size.

New to this year’s report, we removed outliers from peer group averages to prevent skewed values, resulting in more reliable comparisons. To illustrate differences between our new methodology and that of previous years, we created a table showing the substantial improvements in accuracy. If you really want to geek out on the new methodology, drop me a line and we can chat some stats.

For Investors, the guide is an excellent resource for understanding relevant aspects of the opportunity finance industry. Including key ratios on financing and operations, the report helps investors evaluate opportunity finance institutions for future investment, in addition to benchmarking current CDFI investees against their peers. With over 29 peer groups across eight financing sectors to compare, Side by Side is a uniquely valuable resource.

For CDFIs, including non-OFN Members, Side by Side is an important resource for comparing your organization’s activities and performance against its peers. Peer group comparisons can inform management and operating decisions related to strategic planning and performance objectives, among other initiatives. For CDFIs in an expansion or reorganization phase, this information can help identify key differences in performance and financial composition among CDFIs operating within various lending sectors and asset sizes. Many organizations use Side by Side to inform and educate their boards of directors, funders, and investors.

OFN Members and Allies can download a free Side by Side report from our publications website, and Investors and non-Members/Allies can purchase the report for $175 from the same site. If you have questions about Side by Side or other OFN Research publications, please contact me at lloethen@ofn.org or 215.320.4343.

 

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