Jason Friedman

Friedman Associates

Contact Details

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Friedman Associates is a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) consulting services firm. We are relentlessly driven to strengthen the intellectual and financial capacity of nonprofit lenders. We share your vision for economic justice and equal access to capital for low-wealth individuals and communities. Our team of consultants have built successful organizations; raised millions for operations and loan capital; and achieved measurable community impact.

FA is led by Jason Friedman, nationally recognized for his leadership and accomplishments in community development and entrepreneurship for disinvested individuals and communities. With thirty years of experience, he is sought out by the nonprofit, public and private sectors to develop initiatives that create small businesses, affordable housing and jobs in underserved markets. His team is comprised of former senior-level CDFI professionals.

Selected past and current clients include the Cleveland Foundation, Finance Fund, NW Capital, Invest Detroit, Detroit Development Fund, MEDA, Century Housing, Northern California Community Revolving Loan Fund, Volunteers of America, Northwest Area Foundation, U.S. Small Business Administration, New Jersey Community Loan Fund, Grameen USA, National Association of Latino Asset Builders, National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC), Northern Maine Community Development Corporation; Accion Texas and the Massachusetts Association of Community Development Corporations.

Products and Services
A.   Capacity Building for New and Growing CDFIs

Design and Create CDFIs: we guide and support you through the entire process and develop (1) product guidelines; (2) underwriting criteria; (3) analytical tools; (4) loan fund policies and procedures; (5) initial staffing and board development; and (6) case statement for funding. We also provide on-site staff training on all aspects of loan fund management.

Build Stronger CDFIs: we pinpoint the barriers preventing you from achieving your goals. We will show you how to improve the effectiveness, performance, and impact of your loan fund. Then we give you a detailed operational plan – a tool that guides staff and your board to implement these changes and monitor progress.

Capitalize & Fund CDFIs: A capitalization plan serves as a blueprint for ensuring you have the cash and other assets you need to manage risk and pursue opportunity. Financial projections are not enough; you need to examine your long-term balance sheet. Our capitalization plans address your financial health and goals in the areas of liquidity, adaptability and durability. FA will focus on funding for operations, capital, and loan reserves, and deliver investment instruments, and coaching to make the pitch.

B.   Increasing the Self-Sustainability of Community Economic Development Organizations

Strategic Planning:  A strategic plan done right should inspire its participants and leave a lasting, positive impression. It could even be life-changing.  We emphasize “strategy” as opposed to “planning.”  The strategy should focus on answering 4 interrelated questions about the organization’s strategic direction. 

  • What social challenge are we working to address and how do we believe that we can make a difference?
  • What part of the problem should we work on, and what role should we play, and where will we focus our efforts?
  • What actions, adaptations, and economic model are required, and how will we measure our success?
  • What skills and abilities will we need, individually and collectively, to create the impact we’ve set out to achieve?

Build Strong Governance: Organizations that move into the next stage of growth must answer the question: “what kind of board do we deserve?”  We help institutionalize best practices in governance through the development of a Board Policies Manual.  The BPM serves a playbook for how the board governs itself to ensure accountability and effectiveness