Frequently Asked Questions

The following FAQs should help you navigate the platform and make use of all the basic functions on the site. If you can’t find what you’re looking for here or need additional support, reach out to us at community@ofn.org. Please note that these messages, including manual password resets, are reviewed and responded to by OFN staff members. We aim to respond to all requests within 48 business hours, so we thank you for your patience as we work to personally respond to questions and troubleshooting requests.  


Managing Your Account 

Communities & Discussion Threads/Posts  

Resources & Events 


General | Top

Q: I’m new here, where should I begin? 

Welcome to the CDFI Connect online community! The purpose of this online platform is to facilitate knowledge and ideas exchange, professional networking, and job and event sharing for people working in and around the CDFI industry.  

Much of the activity on CDFI Connect takes place within Communities. A good place to begin is by joining one or more communities that suit your role and/or interests in the field. To see a list of all active communities, select "Communities” in the top navigation bar and select “All Communities” from the drop-down menu. All users are automatically part of our largest community, the Open Forum, but there are other communities organized by topic or function within CDFIs that you may be interested in being part of.

Once you’ve chosen one or more communities and selected “Join,” you may want to explore that community’s Discussion Board and take a look at the active conversations and outstanding questions being shared. Join the conversation by responding to a question or topic, or posting your own. (More detailed instructions for navigating these elements can be found throughout this FAQ page) 

You may also want to view upcoming industry events, either within communities or on the CDFI Connect home page.

Lastly, as a new user, don’t forget to fill out your own profile by adding a profile picture, personal and professional interests, job history, and any other information you want to share with community members!

Q: What should I do if I notice content or posts that don't seem appropriate to the community?  

For specific guidance on the terms and guidelines for engagement on the platform, please look over our Community Guidelines. If you see posts that you suspect violate a Community Guideline or which you otherwise would like to bring to the attention of OFN, please reach out to us at community@ofn.org. 

Managing Your Account | Top

Q: What is my username/password? 

A: You will use an email address as your login username for CDFI Connect. If this is your first time logging in, you will need to first reset your password. To do so, navigate to your profile page (by selecting the circular photo icon on the top righthand corner of the screen), click on My Account, and then select Change Password,” which is the first option on the dropdown menu on your profile page, as demonstrated in the image below. You will receive an email with a link to reset your password. If you do not receive an email, please click here to contact us for support.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Q: How can I update my personal information on my profile?

CDFI Connect allows users to change their profile picture, address, bio, education, and work history. Navigate to your profile page (selecting the circular photo icon on the top righthand corner of the screen). From there, click the pencil icon located under "Contact Details." From there, you are able to edit your address. To the right of the Contact Details bar, your bio, personal interests, job history and education can all be edited using the pencil icon.  

However, please note that changing your organization, job title, and/or email address requires a change in the backend server. If you need to make any of those changes, please contact us at community@ofn.org and someone from OFN’s team will provide support as soon as possible 

Q: How do I reset my password?  

Navigate to your profile page, then select “My Accountand “Change Password.” You will be prompted to enter and confirm a new password. If you get locked out of your account and need to have a password reset performed, please contact us at community@ofn.org and someone from OFN’s team will provide support as soon as possible. 

Q: How do I control what information is visible in My Profile?

Navigate to your profile page, then select the "My Account" tab and choose "Privacy Settings" from the drop-down menu. This will let you control what information is visible to whom. After you’ve made changes, click the “Save Changes” button at the bottom of the page.

Q: How do I find other members?

Click the "Network" dropdown in the main navigation bar and select User Directory. The Directory lets you search for other users based on first and/or last name, company/Institution name, or email address. Switch to the “Advanced Search” tab to refine your search results by city, state, county or country.

Q: How do I add contacts to my contact list?

To add someone to your contact list, simply click the "Add as Contact" button on the desired contact’s profile page or from the search results from the user directory. Adding contacts allows you to create a virtual address book, which makes it easy to send messages through the site. Additionally, when you view another user’s profile, you’ll be able to see any contacts you have in common. You can also choose to let your contacts view certain demographics in your profile that others can't. 

Q: How can I control the frequency and format of emails I receive?

Navigate to your profile and click on the "My Account" tab. Choose "Community Notifications" from the drop-down menuOn that page, you'll see your subscription options under the heading "Notification Settings," as displayed in the image below.   

For each Community that you are part of, you have the following delivery options: 

Real Time: Sends an email every time a new message is posted in the discussion. 

Daily Digest: Sends one email to you each day, consolidating all of the posts from the previous day. 

No Email: Allows you to be part of the group without having emails sent to you. You can still post and read others’ messages by logging into the community site. 

You also have the option to receive a Weekly Consolidated Community Digest-- a comprehensive email with all activity from across the communities you're a member of. This may be a good option if you're a member of multiple communities. You can select which communities' updates are included in that weekly digest.


Communities & Discussion Threads/Posts | Top

Q: What are communities? How do I join or leave a community?

Communities are forums that allow you to participate in discussions and share resources with other users, organized around particular topics, roles, or issue areas. For example, the Open Forum is a broad space for general collaboration and ideas-sharing, while the Climate Lending & Resilience community is specifically intended for discussion and resource-sharing on topics in climate lending, mitigation, and resilience efforts. 

To see what communities you currently belong to, go to “Communities” in the main navigation bar and select “My Communities.” 

To join a new community, click on “Communities” in the main navigation and click on “All Communitiesto see a list of available communities. If the community is open and not invitation only, you will see the "Join" button, and just have to click that button to join. You'll then be prompted to choose an email delivery option for updates on posts (Real Time, Daily Digest or No Email). If a community is exclusively for OFN member organizations or invitation-only, you will see a lock icon with the words “View Only.” If you have not received an invitation but are interested in being a part of the community, please email us at community@ofn.org with a brief explanation of why you’d like to join.  

To leave a community, navigate to that community's homepage and click the "Settings" icon next to the community name. Click the Leave Community" button, as shown in the image below.                                                                                                                               

Q: How do I respond to others’ discussion posts?

To respond to a discussion post, click “Reply” to send your message to the entire communityTo send a message to the only author of the post, select “Reply Privately” by clicking the drop-down arrow, as demonstrated in the image below. 

Q: How do I start a new discussion thread?

Within communities, users can start conversations and share questions and ideas through discussion threads. When you’re on a community page, you can choose the “Discussion” tab to see a list of all the threads and can click on them to view individual discussion threads. There are three ways to start a new discussion thread.

1. From the navigation bar select “Participate" > “Start a Discussion.” This will prompt you to select a community you belong to and want to post to. 

2. When in a community click "Add Discussion Post" or "Post New Message" to post a new message in that community.

3. From an email for a particular discussion forum, you can use the “Post Message” link located at the top of the discussion email. 

Resources & Events | Top

Q: Where do I find OFN's toolkits and resources

CDFI Connect’s Resource Library is the main destination for accessing OFN’s leading practice toolkits, materials from in-person and virtual events, and recordings of Connect+ and other webinars. To find them, select “Resources" from the main navigation bar at the top of the page and click “OFN Resources.” Resources are organized in folders, which you can navigate using the file navigator along the left side of the screen. Leading practice toolkits can be found in the library by clicking “OFN Leading Practices and Resources,” as shown in the image below. 

Other OFN content and resources are organized within folders and subfolders. If the folder has a “+” icon, you need to first click the “+” to see what’s inside of it. When you get to a folder without a “+” icon, then you will see all the resources stored within it. 

Example: Conference session materials are organized in subfolders by year and conference day. Clicking directly on the "OFN Conferences" folder doesn't show any content inside, because the content is within subfolders (indicated by the "+" icon). 

Clicking the “+” next to the folder expands it so you can see subfolders, until you arrive at the folder that contains the content. 

Q: What are community libraries and how do they get populated

Each community also has a library affiliated with it, which can be found by clicking into a Community and choosing the tab “Library.” These libraries are a place to store files that have been shared in discussions or uploaded by community members.  

The resource libraries are populated in two ways:  

  1. When you include an attachment in a discussion post, the system automatically places it in the affiliated resource library. 

  1. You can also upload documents directly to a resource library by using the “Share a File” link found under “Participate” in the main navigation or "Create New Resource Library Entry" button on any community's resource library page. Resources do not have to be associated with a discussion thread. 

Q: How do I upload a document?

Select the “Share a File” link found under “Participate” in the main navigation or "Create New Resource Library Entry" on any community landing page. Please note that uploading a document is accomplished by completing a few steps, and each step must be completed before you can move on to the next: 

Choose a title for your document and include a description (optional). Select the resource library to which you’d like to upload it, and select a folder to which you’d like to upload it (optional)Then, choose an Entry Type (most will be Standard Files, but be cognizant of any copyright licensed material). Once you have completed these steps, please click “Next.” 

Upload your file. 

Select “Next” if you want to further describe your files and/or add tags to your fileOtherwise, please click “Finish” to post your resource library entry 

The system supports dozens of file types including hyperlinks, standard files (Word, Excel, PowerPoint), webinars, images and YouTube videos. 

Q: How do I share an event?

To post an event, first enter the community you wish to post infor example, the Open Forum, Marketing & Communications, the CDFI Women’s Network, etc. Scroll to the upcoming events section and click “Add Event.”  

Fill in the event details with the following:  

  • Title  

  • Event Type: Select “Industry Event” 

  • Name of the Community in which you would like to post  

  • Description  

  • Date & Time  

  • Location: If virtual, please include registration link and login instructions  

  • Event Image 

Once finished, click “Save” to post.