Expanding CDFI Coverage in Underserved Areas

  • Building the capacity of CDFIs to extend their reach

  • into underserved communities.



The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Community Development Financial Institutions Fund (CDFI Fund) announced three workshops today that are part of its Expanding CDFI Coverage in Underserved Areas Capacity Building Initiative training series.  

The series will provide specialized training and technical assistance to certified and emerging Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) seeking to expand their reach into underserved communities that currently lack a CDFI presence. The workshops include content that is applicable to all CDFI organizational structures, including loan funds, credit unions, banks, and venture capital funds.

Opportunity Finance Network (OFN) will partner with subject matter experts to provide the two-day workshops, which will help participants increase the availability of financial products and services in underserved communities in the United States. Each workshop will be tailored to address the unique needs of organizations seeking to increase and expand their presence in underserved areas.

"The CDFI Fund is committed to the expansion of CDFIs into communities that lack access to credit and affordable financial services,” said CDFI Fund Director Annie Donovan. “This workshop series will be a unique opportunity for CDFIs and emerging CDFIs to learn how to break into these markets to deliver responsible CDFI financial products and services.”.

The three workshops were:

  • Forming New and Affiliated CDFI Entities, June 16-17, 2015, Baltimore Branch of the Richmond Federal Reserve Bank, Baltimore, MD: This workshop, provided by OFN in partnership with the Community Development Venture Capital Alliance (CDVCA), the National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions (NFCDCU), and the Community Development Bankers Association (CDBA), is designed for participants that are interested in forming a new CDFI loan fund or venture capital fund. The workshop is also relevant for existing CDFI banks, credit unions, loan funds, and venture capital funds that are interested in forming new, legally-affiliated CDFI entities within their existing organizational structure to serve new, underserved markets. Participants will learn to analyze unmet financial services needs in underserved markets, to evaluate the role of affiliated legal structures in serving target markets, and how to start a loan or venture capital fund.
  • Understanding the Benefits of CDFI Status for Newly-Certified and Prospective CDFIs, July 22-23, 2015, Denver Branch of the Kansas City Federal Reserve Bank, Denver, CO: This workshop, provided by OFN in partnership with NFCDCU, CDBA, and CDVCA, is geared toward newly-certified CDFIs or existing community-based banks, credit unions, loan funds, and venture capital funds that want a deeper understanding of the benefits and requirements of CDFI certification for their organization. During the workshop, participants will learn about what it means to be a certified CDFI and what some of the strategic choices are regarding pursuing CDFI certification. Participants will also learn how to measure impact, tell their CDFI’s story to funders and partners, and explore collaboration and partnership models.
  • Expansion by Existing CDFIs, August 19-20, 2015, Kansas City Federal Reserve Bank, Kansas City, MO: This workshop, provided by OFN in partnership with NFCDCU and CDBA, is targeted at existing CDFI banks, credit unions, loan funds, and venture capital funds seeking to explore successful strategies for geographic and product expansion in underserved areas and areas of persistent poverty. During the workshop, participants will focus on successful strategies for expansion applicable to each CDFI organizational structure. The workshop will also offer an extensive overview of key operations, staffing, and technology considerations for expansion.

Note: These workshops are Capacity Building Initiative trainings provided by Opportunity Finance Network on behalf of the Community Development Financial Institutions Fund (CDFI Fund). These workshops are not CDFI Fund Financial Assistance or Technical Assistance application trainings or CDFI Certification trainings. CDFI Fund staff, however, will be in attendance at all three in-person training sessions to answer questions related to the training topics being covered, and to deliver general information about the various CDFI Fund programs

All of the Expanding CDFI Coverage in Underserved Areas workshops are free of charge to participants; however, workshop attendees are responsible for their own travel, food, and incidental costs.

The training series also includes a technical assistance component, provided by OFN and its partners, which closely integrates with workshop content and includes peer cohorts, webinars, one-on-one support, and advanced sessions for CDFIs with specialized and continuing needs. The CDFI Fund encourages organizations interested in attending the workshops or applying for technical assistance to contact OFN for more details about each training. 

As with other Capacity Building Initiative series, the Expanding CDFI Coverage in Underserved Areas series will include the creation of an in-depth Virtual Resource Bank on the CDFI Fund’s website, which is available for the general public. The Resource Bank will include all training and reference materials presented during the training series. The Resource Bank will be available later this summer. 

Webinar Recording

Information Call: Expanding CDFI Coverage in Underserved Areas Capacity Building Initiative Workshops
Date: 4/30/15
Presenters: Ginger Mcnally, OFN; Alexandra Jaskula, OFN; Charlene Van Dijk, CDFI Fund
ResourcesPresentation PDF
Description: The Expanding CDFI Coverage in Underserved Areas informational webinar provides an overview of the workshops, answers questions about this Capacity Building Initiative training, and helps participants determine which training session will be most beneficial for them to attend based on their organization's needs.


To learn more about the CDFI Fund’s Capacity Building Initiative, please visit www.cdfifund.gov/ or view the fact sheet.

Technical Assistance Webinars

Tuesday, April 19, 2016, 2:00 PM EDT
Portfolio Management: Best Practices for Definitions and Reporting to Funders and Partners

Feeling a bit fuzzy on loan portfolio definitions and reporting? Join this webinar to learn about best practices and to hear about the latest research in the field in order to help you tell your story and accurately report your portfolio performance to funders and partners.  If you need additional capital to support your expansion plans, knowing how to describe and report on your portfolio performance is critical.  Join the webinar to learn how from experts in the field.


Tuesday, May 3, 2016, 2:00 PM EDT
Adding a Near-Equity Product to Your Toolbox

Many CDFIs are eager to learn about near-equity products to complement their lending and development services activities.  This webinar will introduce key concepts, including how to know if your organization is a good candidate for offering equity products and what kind of customers might benefit from a near-equity investment.


Tuesday, May 17, 2016, 2:00 PM EDT
Small Dollar Loans

Small dollar loans can provide much-needed capital to low-income, low-wealth consumers and small businesses.  Join this webinar to learn about developing quality small dollar loan products designed to align borrower success and lender profitability.


Tuesday, May 31, 2016, 2:00 PM EDT
Expanding Capacity for Credit Unions through High-Impact Products and Services

Geared toward community development credit unions, this webinar is focused on expanding coverage in underserved areas through high-impact products and services.  CDFI credit unions offer loans and services in some of the nation’s most economically disadvantaged communities. Come learn about high-impact products and services that respond to the needs of underserved markets and support growth and profitability for community development credit unions.


Tuesday, June 14, 2016, 2:00 PM EDT
Looking Forward: Industry Trends

Is your business model evolving? What are your sources of capital, and how should they change? What lies ahead for the CDFI industry? How might these questions inform your strategies for growth and expansion of coverage in underserved areas?  Join this webinar to learn about new research illuminating how to look forward about industry trends so that you can position your CDFI for expansion.



REASONABLE ACCOMMODATIONS: Requests for reasonable accommodations under section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act should be directed to Michael Jones at the CDFI Fund via (202) 653-0300 or IThelpdesk@cdfi.treas.gov no later than 72 hours in advance of the event.