The Nonprofit Quarterly has published an interview with OFN President and CEO Lisa Mensah. Entitled "CDFIs and the COVID-19 Moment: Whither Now, Community Finance?," the article provides a brief history of the roots of the CDFI movement and how the industry has grown. The author reviews what has happened in the past 18 months, since the pandemic hit, and asks what is next.
In March 2020, CDFIs were initially focused on their own survival and the survival of their borrowers. Corporate investment, philanthropic support, and federal money provided new resources for CDFIs. The article explores what it will take to build a sustainable model to “go deep.”
Mensah is quoted: “It is time to be serious about this economy and what it means. I feel that that’s the real question I am not always asked: ‘What is it really going to take to dig out? And give true opportunity?’”