Become an OFN Member

  • By joining OFN, CDFIs can increase their impact,

  • help shape the industry, and leverage the strength of

  • a national network that is more than 240 Members strong.

 

Overview

As an OFN Member, your CDFI can:

Connect to the Premier Network of CDFIs

  • Receive the Member discount to the annual OFN Conference, a $200 value per Conference attendee.
  • Leverage the experience of the nation’s best and most innovative community development loan funds, community development banks, community development credit unions, and community development equity funds—and contribute your own expertise.
  • Readily access industry experts on OFN’s and our diverse Membership’s staff by joining in Members-only bi-weekly Staying Connected calls on topics of importance to OFN Members.
  • Receive priority access to OFN staff, including OFN President and CEO Mark Pinsky, to speak at your CDFI’s Board meetings, strategic planning sessions, anniversary celebrations, or other events.

Help OFN Create Change and Lead the Industry

  • Be the first to receive policy updates, analysis, and alerts. OFN provides timely news and high-quality detailed analysis on Congressional activities affecting opportunity finance and CDFI loan fund, bank, credit union, and equity fund funding opportunities not found anywhere else.
  • Share your on-the-ground perspective with OFN’s Policy team to inform the policies and strategies OFN pursues to shape industry resources.
  • Receive Action Alerts at key times in the legislative process when your participation in advocacy can make a real difference.
  • Receive tailored technical assistance for your advocacy efforts, including help with messaging and getting connected to the right person in the right office.

Participate in OFN’s National Branding, PR, and Marketing Strategies

  • Register for PR StoryWire and let OFN connect your CDFI to national media who are looking for CDFI stories, information, quotes, and statistics, a $1,500 value.
  • Receive a professional-quality Member Profile that will be featured in OFN’s national public relations, online, and social networking marketing campaigns, a $2,000 value.
  • Publicize your Membership in the nation’s premier network of CDFIs by posting OFN’s logo on your website and materials.

Other Benefits

  • Receive an annual customized peer analysis of your CDFI’s performance as well as a complimentary copy of OFN’s annual peer analysis of the Membership, Opportunity Finance Institutions Side by Side, a $225 value.
  • Enjoy Member discounts to OFN Regional meetings and other OFN events.
  • Receive a 10% Member discount on OFN’s highly effective Strategic Consulting Services.
  • Access OFN’s Members-only Financing Fund, which offers loans and investments that range from $100,000 to $3 million, in terms lasting from 3 to 10 years, as well as a wide range of other financing products designed to help CDFIs achieve their missions.
  • Receive critical updates on new and emerging programs via Opportunities, OFN’s e-newsletter.
  • Submit your CDFI’s updates to be posted to our website, and on social media.

Principles

OFN welcomes all CDFIs that are committed to performance to apply for Membership. Our standards for Membership are different and generally higher than the CDFI Fund’s requirements for CDFI certification. Not all OFN Members are CDFI Fund-certified and not all CDFI Fund-certified CDFIs qualify to be OFN Members.

We recognize that not all CDFIs are ready for or interested in OFN Membership. We invite these CDFIs, as well as non-CDFI organizations and individuals who support OFN’s mission, to become OFN Allies. Learn more about becoming an OFN Ally.

OFN Membership rests on four principles:

Mission & Impact: OFN Members have a primary mission of community development and strive to produce positive impacts on low-income, low-wealth, and other disadvantaged people and communities. For CDFIs that are part of or controlled by another corporation(s), the other corporation(s) must also have a primary mission of community development.

Finance-led Strategy: OFN Members are private non-governmental financial intermediaries that provide affordable, responsible financial products and/or services as an integral part of their community development strategy.

Commitment to Performance: OFN Members demonstrate a commitment to performance by acting as disciplined lenders and/or investors in community development and responsible stewards of other peoples' resources.

Support for OFN’s Mission: OFN Members affirm their support of OFN's mission of leading CDFIs and their partners to ensure that low-income, low-wealth, and other disadvantaged people and communities have access to affordable, responsible financial products and services. Members are committed to building, growing, and improving the CDFI field through cooperation and information sharing.

To determine if a CDFI satisfies the Membership Principles, OFN follows a two-tiered process. First, we determine if the CDFI meets our Eligibility Criteria. If a CDFI meets all of the Eligibility Criteria, we further assess the degree to which the CDFI meets a set of Performance Expectations. A CDFI is required to meet all of the Eligibility Criteria, but is not required to meet all of the Performance Expectations to be approved for and maintain Membership.

 

Eligibility Criteria

To be an OFN Member, consistent with our Membership Principles a CDFI must:

Mission & Impact

  • Have a primary mission of community development and strive to have a positive impact on low income, low-wealth and other disadvantaged people and communities. If the organization is part of or controlled by another corporation(s), that corporation also has a primary mission of community development.

  • Serve primarily low-income, low-wealth, or other disadvantaged people or communities.

Finance-led Strategy

  • Have an active lending and/or investing history of two or more years.

  • Be a non-governmental entity.

  • Be primarily a financing institution that provides affordable, responsible financial products and may also provide financial services.

Commitment to Performance

  • Pro-actively manage the risks in its portfolio and have appropriate loan and risk management policies and procedures in place to manage effectively the risks of its financing activities.

  • Have positive net assets (equity) and, for nonprofit loan funds, positive unrestricted net assets.

  • Have at least one completed financial audit. (For credit unions without audited financials, NCUA 5300 reports are acceptable.)

Support for Opportunity Finance Network’s Mission

  • Affirm their support for OFN’s mission of leading CDFIs and their partners to ensure that low-income, low-wealth and other disadvantaged people and communities have access to affordable, responsible financial products and services.

  • Participate in OFN’s required Member data collection initiatives and make a good faith effort to actively participate in OFN peer learning activities.

To determine if a CDFI satisfies the Membership Principles, OFN follows a two-tiered process. First, we determine if the CDFI meets our Eligibility Criteria. If a CDFI meets all of the Eligibility Criteria, we further assess the degree to which the CDFI meets a set of Performance Expectations. A CDFI is required to meet all of the Eligibility Criteria, but is not required to meet all of the Performance Expectations to be approved for and maintain Membership.

Performance Expectations

Once OFN confirms that a CDFI meets all of the Eligibility Criteria, we consider the degree to which the CDFI meets the Performance Expectations.

A CDFI is not required to meet all of the Performance Expectations to be approved for or maintain membership. CDFIs that are working toward meeting the expectations, that have business models that preclude them from meeting the expectations, or that have extenuating circumstances that cause them to fall short of the expectations may be approved for Membership. OFN also takes into consideration external factors affecting the CDFI industry as a whole, such as the performance of the economy and the financial markets, when assessing a CDFI against the Performance Expectations.

For greater detail and definitions of terms used in the Performance Expectations table below, see the Membership Guidelines.

Performance Expectation

Bank

Credit Union

Loan Fund

Equity Fund

Mission & Impact

Accountable to the communies or populations it serves.

More than 75% of clients or end beneficiaries are low-income, low-wealth, or otherwise disadvantaged.

Tracks impact on low-income, low-wealth, and other disadvantaged people and communities.

Board and staff reflect the diversity of communities served.

Finance-led Strategy

Percent of assets available for financing activities.

60% or more

60% or more

60% or more

NA

Deployment rate (3-year average).

55% or more

55% or more

60% or more

55% or more of first fund

Commitment to Performance

Has not had a loss of borrowed funds.

Has had net positive operating results (change in equity) in at least 2 of the past 3 years.

Net positive change in equity

Net positive change in equity

Net positive operating results

NA

Has not had an operating loss of more than 10% of unrestricted net assets (equity) in the last 2 years.

Not more than 10% loss of equity

Not more than 10% loss of equity

Not more than 10% loss of unrestricted net assets

NA

Has more than three months of operating cash on hand.

NA

Has a net assets (tier one capital, net worth) ratio commensurate with its risk profile.

4% or more (tier one capital)

6% or more (net worth)

15% or more (net assets)

NA

Has portfolio at risk commensurate with its risk profile

Non-current loan rate: less than 8%

12 months + delinquency rate: less than 8%

Primarily business: less than 10

All others: less than 8%

NA

Has net charge-offs (3-year average) commensurate with its risk profile.

Less than 3%

Less than 3%

Primarily business: less than 7%

Primarily micro-enterprise: less than 11%

All others: less than 3%

NA

FAQs

Who can join Opportunity Finance Network?

Opportunity Finance Network's Members include all types of opportunity finance and community development financial institutions (CDFIs) including:

  • Community Development Banks

  • Community Development Credit Unions

  • Community Development Equity Funds

  • Community Development Loan Funds

Does my organization have to be certified by the CDFI Fund to qualify for membership?

You do not need to be a U.S. Treasury Department certified CDFI to be an Opportunity Finance Network Member.

Can for-profit CDFIs join?

Yes, our Members are both nonprofit and for-profit.

How much are the annual dues?

OFN Members pay annual dues based on their asset size. The annual dues is as follows:

CDFI Asset Size Annual Dues
Less than $2 million $250
$2 million to less than $5 million $750
$5 million to less than $10 million $1,000
$10 million to less than $20 million $1,500
$20 million to less than $50 million $2,000
$50 million to less than $100 million $2,500
$100 million or more $3,000

How can my organization apply for membership?

To apply please complete OFN's new online membership application. You will be able to provide all necessary attachments when completing the application. If you want to work on the membership application prior to submitting it online please download a practice copy.

What happens after I submit my application?

During our review of the application, OFN may contact you for additional information. OFN will make every effort to notify you of its decision within one month of receipt of your application. We may exceed the one-month target if your application is particularly complex.

If your CDFI is accepted as a Member, OFN will send you an Annual Member Survey to complete. Once you complete the Annual Member Survey, OFN will confirm your Membership and send you an OFN Membership packet and annual dues invoice. Please do not send a check with your application. Your dues will be pro-rated according to the month that you are approved for Membership.

Who should I contact to get more information about becoming a Member of Opportunity Finance Network?

For more information, contact our Membership Department at membership@ofn.org.

How to Apply

OFN welcomes all CDFIs that are committed to performance to apply for Membership. Our standards for Membership are different and generally higher than the CDFI Fund's requirements for CDFI certification. Not all OFN Members are CDFI Fund-certified and not all CDFI Fund-certified CDFIs qualify to be OFN Members.

To apply please complete OFN's new online membership application. You will be able to provide all necessary attachments when completing the application. If you want to work on the membership application prior to submitting it online please download a practice copy. We recognize that not all CDFIs are ready for or interested in OFN Membership. We invite these CDFIs, as well as non-CDFI organizations and individuals who support OFN's mission, to become OFN Allies.

Do you want more information?

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