Advocacy Tools

  • Issues-driven tools CDFIs can use in your own

  • federal advocacy efforts.

Below are OFN advocacy toolkits and fact sheets on various policy issues. Please visit our Member Portal page for additional OFN Member advocacy tools, including toolkits and policy presentations.

FY 18 CDFI Fund Appropriations Request Toolkit

Submit a request today asking your member of Congress to fund the CDFI Fund at $250 million in FY18. Many congressional offices have an appropriations request form you will need to complete. Deadlines vary from office to office. OFN has prepared this toolkit with sample text and templates to assist you in submitting an appropriations request.

Congressional Site Visit Toolkit

Members of Congress and their staff can gain a more in-depth understanding of the work CDFIs are leading in their communities by visiting projects and meeting with borrowers. Send your request today to schedule a site visit during the next congressional recess. OFN has prepared this toolkit to assist you with your planning and advocacy efforts.

CDFIs, Small Business, and Job Creation 

CDFIs provide capital for small businesses and microenterprises that mainstream financial institutions might overlook. These small businesses create jobs in urban, rural, and Native communities nationwide. OFN Member CDFIs’ annual net charge-off rate of 0.7% is better than the rate for most FDIC-insured institutions. OFN’s CDFI Business Loan Funds’ average business loan size is less than $146,000, below the level at which many banks can effectively serve small business borrowers.

CDFIs and Housing Finance 

CDFIs help to finance homes for families in low-income, low-wealth, and other underserved communities across the nation. By financing affordable housing in markets that mainstream financial institutions may overlook, CDFIs provide families and individuals with safe, quality housing that they can call home.

Lending by OFN Members in Rural Communities 

Rural communities face unique challenges, including underdeveloped infrastructure, unemployment, and lack of access to capital. In 2014, 131 OFN Members (more than half of OFN’s total membership) had cumulatively invested nearly $1 billion in existing financing to rural areas -- they closed almost $500 million in financing that year alone. Additionally, more than $11 million in farm financing and more than $11 million in food-related financing was provided through OFN Members in 2014. Almost 500,000 beneficiaries were impacted by OFN Member activity in 2014.

CDFI Bond Guarantee Program

The CDFI Bond Guarantee Program (BGP), enacted as part of the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010, is an innovative federal credit program that offers credit-worthy, certified CDFIs access to affordable long-term capital. The BGP is administered by the CDFI Fund at the U.S. Department of the Treasury and in FY 2016 is authorized to issue up to seven bonds for up to $750 million. Designed as a zero cost federal program—operating at no cost to taxpayers—the BGP enables participating CDFIs to expand and deepen their work towards economic growth and opportunity.


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