Announcements

  • The 2020 OFN Conference is Going Virtual!

    Get ready! We're taking the 2020 OFN Conference virtual!

    After deep consideration, we are moving forward with an adapted Conference format that prioritizes the health and safety of our participants and staff amid the ever-evolving COVID-19 pandemic. Although we regret missing the opportunity to gather with you in Los Angeles, we're excited to go virtual and we hope you'll mark your calendars and plan to join us from your laptop on November 9–12.

    Now in our 36th year, the annual OFN Conference is the premier event for community development financial institution (CDFI) practitioners, funders, investors, policy makers, and other advocates of economic opportunity and justice for people and communities in America who are left behind by traditional finance.

    In the coming weeks, please watch for a call for sessions email. We hope you will consider submitting a session proposal. In September, we'll reveal our Conference theme and open registration for our virtual event.

    Till then, stay healthy and safe.
  • 2020 Small Business Finance Forum – Event Website Now Available!

    Our 2020 Small Business Finance Forum event website is now available!

    On June 16 and 17, OFN held its ninth annual-but first-ever virtual-Small Business Finance Forum for more than 800 mission-driven lenders, partners, and other advocates. Our largest Forum to date, this year's event focused on ensuring a shared recovery for financially under-served small businesses across America impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, economic decline, and persistent racial inequality.

    If you missed the Forum or there's something you'd like to revisit, you can access all event content until July 2021. Please enjoy the plenaries, Administration and elected official remarks, "Meet a Small Business" demos, and our Partner Showcase, free of charge. You can access the eleven breakout sessions by using your login credentials from the live event, or register by visiting the event website. The registration fee is $50.
     
  • Speakers Announced-2020 OFN Small Business Finance Forum

    We’re just two weeks away from our first-ever virtual Small Business Finance Forum. Now more than ever, the nation’s small businesses need CDFIs. Join us for conversations focused on emergency relief and ensuring an inclusive recovery for all America’s small businesses.

    We’re pleased to announce our latest confirmed plenary speakers:

    • Robert F. Smith, CEO/Chairman, Vista Equity Partners
    • US Representative Nydia Velazquez (D-NY), Chair of the House Small Business Committee
    • Mayor Greg Fischer, Louisville, KY

    Our breakout sessions will include Inequality in the Pandemic: Entrepreneurs of Color; New Lending: Underwriting and Credit Risk Management in Uncertain Times; and CDFIs and State and Local Governments: Sparking Recovery Together.

    Also, don't miss event breaks featuring CDFI-funded small business owners, including Chef Terence Phillips, owner of Something Fishy, who will lead attendees in a special cooking demonstration.
     
    Register Now

    With our virtual format and affordable registration fees, we hope to reach a wide audience, particularly in this critical time of need for CDFIs and the small businesses our industry serves. Please use our promotional toolkit to help spread the word.

    We look forward to seeing you June 16-17 at the 2020 Small Business Finance Forum: Virtual Edition!

  • 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.