Photo: Jeff Miskiri, owner of Po Boy Jim Bar & Grill in Washington, D.C. (client of OFN member Wacif)
OFN member CDFIs are mission-driven lenders and vital actors in the creation of an inclusive economic recovery. By supporting small businesses, affordable housing, and community facilities, OFN member CDFIs create an outsized impact in rural, urban, and Native communities.
To further the work of our members, OFN offers capital through several distinct programs.
Google Grant and Loan Programs
On October 19, 2021, at OFN’s Virtual Conference, Google and Alphabet’s Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Ruth Porat announced a new $5 million technology grant program for CDFIs that OFN will manage. The new grant program will help CDFIs adopt technology innovations to support small business lending and will help smaller asset-sized CDFIs to reach more entrepreneurs in the communities they serve. OFN will invite CDFI members to participate in the program and will provide the criteria for applications once applications are open, later this year. OFN thanks Google for their ongoing support.
Announced in 2020, the Grow with Google Small Business Fund provides CDFIs low-cost, fixed-rate loans of up to 10-years. Additionally, funded by Google.org, OFN offers a Grant Program that enables CDFIs to offer lower cost, more flexible loan products, and build capacity to support both the short-term recovery as well as long-term financing needs of America’s small businesses, including nonprofits.
Finance Justice Fund
The goal of the Finance Justice Fund is to help accelerate the work of OFN member CDFIs serving rural, urban, and Native communities experiencing disproportionately high rates of poverty and disinvestment. The Fund supports CDFIs of different sizes, varying balance sheets, and operational capacities with low-cost, long-term debt and grant capital.
Renewable and Energy Efficiency Grant Program
The Renewable and Energy Efficiency Financing Grant Program is a four-year partnership between Opportunity Finance Network (OFN) and an anonymous donor. Between 2019-2022, OFN is providing up to a total of $5.25 million in grants to OFN members focused on renewable and energy efficiency financing. Stay tuned for the opening of the next funding round.
CDFI Community Investment Fund (CCIF)
In July 2021, American Express National Bank joined Woodforest National Bank to expand CCIF by a combined $8.8 million. This capital will be deployed to CDFIs in equity equivalent (EQ2) investments, which provide patient capital that CDFIs can leverage to finance small businesses, affordable housing, and other community development projects. Priorities of the fund include CDFIs serving people of color, CDFIs led by people of color, and/or CDFIs serving the banks’ footprints.
CDFI Supporters Are Welcome!
OFN welcomes additional supporters to help finance CDFIs. Investing in CDFIs supports small businesses, affordable homes, community facilities, energy efficiency, community development, and long-term, high-quality jobs across America. Investing long-term, low-cost debt capital in CDFIs allows them to reinvest in the communities they serve. Philanthropic support lets CDFIs create the most impact. Grants are vital for helping CDFIs to leverage debt, build capacity, and grow net assets.