Announcements

  • Lending Where it Counts: An OFN Conference for the Record Books

    By the numbers, the 2019 OFN Conference will go down in CDFI history: 1 President William Jefferson Clinton; more than 1,600 attendees (the most yet!); 119 sessions across 11 tracks; special policymaker and industry guests; 5 CDFI-led tours through D.C. and Baltimore; 60 Congressional office visits and 4 Congressional Champions; numerous formal and informal networking opportunities; and 43 Expo vendors... it was a feast of learning for practitioners, funders, investors, and policymakers.

    From October 20-23, the industry gathered in Washington, DC to showcase Lending Where it Counts, the 2019 Conference theme. In sessions, plenaries, and meetings, we explored and shared new strategies and opportunities for CDFI investment: making a difference for the people and places CDFIs serve. Reaching deep. Getting the job done... Lending where it counts.

    See our full list of highlights, with speaker videos, session materials, photos, and blog recaps at conference.ofn.org!

  • About this Community

    Hello friends!

    We created this CDFI Connect Community as a platform for sharing information, cross-pollination of ideas, and organization around the topics of clean energy, efficiency, and climate resilience. Several overlapping groups wanted to be able to share their ongoing conversations and bring in new ideas and new voices. Participants will be able to find background documents, ask questions, and collaborate around events and shared goals.

     While this CDFI Community is currently by invitation-only, we hope members will recruit other others who working to build a resilient future to participate. You'll notice posts from people who have been working together in some specific issue areas: 

    • The Commercial Energy Lenders (focused on financial products, underwriting, and lending specifics)
    • Sustainability in Affordable Housing Lender Learning Network (SAHLLN) – mostly multifamily
    • Climate Crisis CDFI working group
    • Precovery Labs screening framework

      

    Here's how the Connect Community is set up:

    1. Discussions
      • This is where you can pose a question for discussion, reply to discussions, and participate in the conversation. 

     

    • We encourage you to label the subject line of your posts for easy reading. Examples:

    [CLIMATE CRISIS] How can banks get CRA credit for climate crisis response?

    [LOANS] Do you require appraisals for small rooftop solar loans?

     

    • We encourage discussion related to financing, portfolio risk, and technical assistance to borrowers and members. This might include clean energy loan products, ways to alleviate energy poverty, and advance climate justice.  We'll focus on topics of CDFI practices, policies, and programs. We aim to maintain a conversation tone that is authentic, personal, professional, collegial, respectful and understanding.
    • Should there be an instance where you want to post a question to the community anonymously, directly message Hannah Vargason, Melissa Malkin-Weber or John Egan.
    1. Library
      • Resources have been uploaded into the library and we encourage all community members to share files here as well.  A CDFI Connect User Manual has been uploaded to help you understand the features within the community.    
    2. Calendar
      • This is the shared calendar for the community.  Look here to find out about events upcoming that address clean energy and climate resilience broadly.  We will also share sessions of interest at conferences often attended by CDFI Industry representatives.
    3. Directory
      • This is the directory of all Community members.  You've been added to this OFN Community because you have attended an OFN conference session on resilience and/or have expressed interest in resilience, climate crisis, energy, or related topic. Look here to find contact information or send a message directly to someone.  
      • This CDFI Community is currently by invitation-only, and includes folks from partner organizations that are not CDFIs. As a member, you will have the ability to invite and add new members by clicking the "Settings" icon and following instructions.  To add a new member, the individual will need to be your contact within CDFI Connect.  If you have any questions about adding new community member, please let me know.
  • 2019 Small Business Finance Forum Registration is Open

    OFN's 2019 Small Business Finance Forum will bring more than 350 representatives of CDFIs, other mission-driven small business lenders, and their partners together for a day and a half of valuable learning and networking that supports their mutual business goal of helping our nation's small businesses succeed.  New this year, we offer a community development tour following the closing lunch plenary for those who want to get out and see CDFI small business work on the ground in Chicago.

    Register here.
  • Amir Kirkwood joins OFN as chief lending and investment officer

    OFN is excited to announce Amir Kirkwood will join us as Chief Lending and Investment Officer starting February 1, 2019. In this newly created position, Amir will be responsible for the strategy, development, implementation, and risk management of OFN’s financial services.

    OFN President and CEO Lisa Mensah highlighted in the press release announcing his hire, “This is a pivotal moment for our field, and Amir’s deep knowledge and experience, as well as his sincere appreciation for CDFIs and dedication to moving money into hard to reach communities, will help OFN grow resources for CDFIs. His knowledge of our industry, gained from years of serving as an investor in it, perfectly positions him to make the CDFI case with new investors and to expand our reach into new markets.”
  • Annie Donovan Steps Down as Director of the CDFI Fund

    Annie Donovan announced she is stepping down from her role as Director of the CDFI Fund effective January 4, 2019. She will be succeeded by Jodie Harris who served as Director of the office of Small Business, Community Development.

    Read her full announcement here.