Meeting Community Needs: The Promise of Community Development Financial Institutions
The country’s more than 1,100 certified Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) are playing an increasingly important role in the financial, economic, and social health of low- and moderate-income communities, financing businesses owned by people of color, women, or residents of rural areas, and supporting communities devastated by the financial and housing crises of the past decade. Both governments and business partners have come to rely on them.
But CDFIs are being challenged to do more, in both their traditional communities and beyond. And they are being asked to go beyond finance. Meeting these challenges will require CDFIs to build on their traditions of social justice, compassion, and financial professionalism, while maximizing their creativity, resilience, and ability to build coalitions and partnerships and shape policy at the federal, state, and local levels.