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  • Resources for OFN Community

Deployment Strategies for CDFI Small Business Lenders
Issue Date: 2014-01-16

Are you facing challenges deploying your small business loan capital? Do you want to increase your lending to small businesses? OFN’s newest Technical Assistance Memo, Deployment Strategies for CDFI Small Business Lenders, can help. Based on a survey and interviews with CDFI small business lenders, the TA Memo shares successful outreach, marketing, product development, and capitalization strategies that have helped small business lenders increase loan volume, have greater impact, and improve their bottom line. This publication is the third in the CDFI Small Business Growth Collaborative TA Memo series and is made possible by the generous support of Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses. 

Cost:
FREE

Membership Brochure
Issue Date: 2013-12-06

Opportunity Finance Network (OFN) is the leading network of CDFIs.  OFN is the only national membership network exclusively representing all types of CDFIs and offering unparalleled leadership in CDFI capacity building, policy, marketing, and financing.

Learn how to become and OFN Member and the benefits that are associated with it.

Cost:
FREE

Performance Counts: Presentation and Classification of Grants and Net Assets
Issue Date: 2013-12-02

Performance Counts is an industry-led collaborative effort to develop industry standards and best practices around financial statements and financial management, and serve as an industry forum for sharing information, documents, and ideas on these topics. The initiative includes a Working Group that develops financial statement standards, guidance, and best practices by CDFIs for CDFIs.

This paper discusses the purpose of net assets, the presentation of net assets on the Statement of Financial Position (SFP), and the presentation of grants on the Statement of Activities (SOA).

Cost:
FREE

OFN Guide to CDFI Program (Financial Assistance and Technical Assistance) FY2014 v.1
Issue Date: 2013-11-15

This guide reflects an analysis of the FY2014 Notice of Funds Available (NOFA), Application, online webinars, and related materials. It is intended to support CDFIs’ efforts and is not a substitute for a CDFI’s own review of the application materials or for the CDFI Fund’s documents. OFN may update or reissue this document if the CDFI Fund makes changes, issues clarifications, or provides additional resources.

Cost:
FREE

Financing Food Hubs
Issue Date: 2013-10-18

Moderator: Marten Jenkins, Natural Capital Investment Fund
Panelists: Rick Larson Natural Capital Investment Fund; Malini Ram Moraghan, Wholesome Wave; Sandi Kronick, Eastern Carolina Organics, LLC; Gray Harris and Daniel Wallace, CEI

This session will explore in depth outcomes-based approaches to assessing, supporting and financing early-stage food hubs as they move towards sustainable revenue-based models of operation. (USDA’s working definition of a food hub: a centrally located facility with a business management structure facilitating the aggregation, storage, processing, distribution, and/or marketing of locally/regionally produced food products.) We will explore how CDFIs can add value to the sector; provide tips and suggestions for working with food hubs; consider how to partner with foundations and impact investors; discuss appropriate financing tools; and examine strategies that enable hubs to serve low and moderate income communities. We will frame the discussion with recent research; interview a successful hub operator, a technical assistance provider who coordinates investment, and two CDFI representatives; break participants into small groups to problem solve particular food hub financing challenges; and debrief via a large group discussion.

Track: Healthy Foods

Cost:
FREE

Learnings from Scaling Up Microfinance: New Product Development
Issue Date: 2013-10-18

Presenter: Ashvin Prakash, CFSI

This session draws upon the learnings of the two New Product Development Mentored Working Groups, which were part of the CDFI Fund’s Capacity Building Initiative, Scaling Up Microfinance. The mentored working group sessions covered topics related to developing a strategy to offer new products for both consumer and business lenders. The key aspects to new product development include: ensuring that products align with clients’ needs, gaining organizational buy-in to successfully introduce a new product, assessing prospective partnership opportunities to offer new products, and evaluating product success after its implementation. Join this session to learn how keeping the end goal of the product in mind can support a thoughtful approach to introducing responsive new products and scaling up the microlending activity in your organization.

Track: Microenterprise Finance
Level: General

Cost:
FREE

Innovative Partnership Opportunities between Native and non-Native CDFIs
Issue Date: 2013-10-18

Moderator: Kristi Bias, Oweesta
Panelists: Ted Piccolo, Northwest Native Development Fund; Helen Scalia, Four Directions Development Corporation; and Keith Bisson, Coastal Enterprises, Inc.

Many Native and non-Native CDFIs work in close proximity but in separate markets. What are the opportunities for building partnerships between Native and non-Native CDFIs that further the goals of each? In this interview-style session you'll learn about two examples of such partnerships. Northwest Native Development Fund is working with a local non-Native CDFI to expand its deployment ratio. And Four Directions Development Corporation in Maine has had a long-standing relationship with CEI. This session will open your ideas to a new type of partnership opportunity you may not have previously considered.
 
Track: Native CDFIs
Level: General

Cost:
FREE

Impact Measurement for CDFIs: The Current State of the Field
Issue Date: 2013-10-18

Moderator: Donna Fabiani, Opportunity Finance Network
Panelists: Joan Brodhead, Community First Fund; Jeannine Jacokes, Partners for the Common Good/Community Development Bankers Association; and Michael Swack, Carsey Institute

An ongoing area of concern for CDFIs, impact measurement is critical for CDFIs to understand how well they are accomplishing their mission. It’s also a critical part of telling the CDFI story. In this session we’ll present an overview of some of the impact measurement initiatives and approaches in the industry today, and hold a hearty discussion of what CDFIs and the industry should be measuring and for what purpose. You’ll learn about the Financial Innovations Roundtable’s new Impact Measurement Working Group; two recent research efforts on how different types of CDFIs -- bank CDFIs and small business lenders -- measure impact; and Community First Fund’s integrated approach to impact measurement, starting with embedding impact into its corporate culture and loan underwriting process. Impact measurement is a complex topic that brings out strong passions and opinions. We hope to use this session to move the industry’s thinking forward by at least a few steps.

Special Session: Impact Measurement
Level: General

Cost:
FREE

Brand Basics: What’s Your Story?
Issue Date: 2013-10-18

Presenters: Dave Glaser, Montana CDC and Spider McKnight, Six Pony Hitch Digital and Design

In an industry where concise, powerful communication is key, your brand is your first, best, and sometimes only opportunity to make a connection. Since 2012, Montana CDC has undergone a complete brand overhaul geared toward message simplification and consistency, resulting in improved recognition within key target audiences. This session presents a case study exploring the opportunities and challenges CDFIs may face as they look to establish, invigorate, and rebrand their organizations. Covering the entire process from the initial, extensive research to the launch strategy, this session brings you a dual perspective: you’ll hear from the CDFI that initiated the brand revision and the agency that helped bring it to life. Dave Glaser of Montana CDC and Spider McKnight of Six Pony Hitch Digital & Design will share details on the process and suggest ways that other CDFIs can freshen their brand and messaging strategies. In addition to sharing Montana CDC’s story, Spider and Dave will respond to branding questions and concerns, providing expert advice for other CDFIs struggling with their brand or identity.

Track: Strategic Communications
Level: Intermediate

Cost:
FREE

Inventing Products to Serve the Underbanked
Issue Date: 2013-10-18

Moderator: Stacy Augustine, CU Strategic Planning
Panelists: Cindy Gribben, Natco FCU; DeAndre Zachery, Shreveport FCU; and Alycia Juvik, CU Strategic Planning

Credit unions were founded to provide “working class folk” access to affordable credit. Groups of individuals at churches, schools, and offices pooled money to give each other loans. They were pioneers, inventing products to serve neighbors and colleagues. Why is the credit union “consumer as the owner” cooperative business model a Petri dish for innovation? You'll gain insights into this question from a panel of innovators from Natco FCU, Shreveport FCU and Hawaii First FCU’s Community Resource Center. You’ll take away three things from this session: 1) New product, process, and policy ideas to implement at your CDFI, including model underwriting and collections policies; 2) Insights on how to link innovative development services to qualify the underbanked for loan products they otherwise would not have access to; and 3) How to design products and services with broad community development impacts by using proven research methodologies like Hawaii FCU's First Voice process for product and service invention to determine the challenges and needs of both partner community based organizations and the clients they serve.

Track: Credit Union
Level: General

Cost:
FREE

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