Resources for CDFI Growth: Three New Webinars & Toolkits for Practitioners 

Sindhu Lakshmanan

During September, OFN hosted a three-part webinar series called Resources for CDFI Growth. This series highlighted new toolkits that OFN has developed to support CDFI practitioners in maximizing organizational sustainability and impact as their organizations grow. While these toolkits are designed specifically for CDFI loan funds, they can also be adapted for CDFI credit unions, banks, and venture funds. 

Each webinar features industry professionals with whom OFN worked to create these tools, as well as CDFI practitioners who share their experiences and lessons learned around each of the toolkit topics. 

Missed a webinar or want to re-visit the content? You can access all the toolkits and webinar recordings on-demand via CDFI Connect! If you do not have a CDFI Connect account, you can join for free here

Cash Management Toolkit Resources 

  • Toolkit: Includes an overview guide on how to think about effective cash management, a webinar recording, as well as three starter Excel tools to assist with cashflow modeling and asset-liability matching. Access the toolkit
  • Webinar Recording: During this webinar, Eric Hangen, principal of I Squared Community Development Consulting, LLC, discusses the drivers of cash flow and how to best utilize the toolkit. In addition, Rex Fowler, CEO of Hartford Community Loan Fund, and Dwayne Shipp, director of finance at Neighborhood Housing Services of Chicago, provide a CDFI practitioner perspective on how and why they implemented financial projection tools, such as the ones included in the toolkit, to strengthen cash management at their respective organizations. Access the recording. 

CDFI Loan Fund Business Model – Four Essential Pillars Framework Resources 

  • Toolkit: A concise, practical handbook that covers the core elements of every CDFI’s business model to provide CDFI managers and staff with a comprehensive approach to thinking about the development of CDFIs at any stage of growth. The four pillars include mission and goals, lending policies and procedures, organizational infrastructure, and financial strategy. Access the toolkit. 
  • Webinar Recording: Leslie Hoffman, principal and founder of LEH Consulting Group, walks attendees through the components of the guide and how best to use it, while John Holdsclaw IV, president and CEO of Rochdale Capital, shares his experiences and the challenges of building a new CDFI through the lens of the Four Essential Pillars Framework. Access the recording. 

CDFI Loan Policy Toolkit Resources 

  • Toolkit: Consisting of a loan policy guide, three sector-specific samples of loan policies, and two checklist templates, this toolkit was designed to help CDFIs create, refresh, or rewrite their loan policies. OFN will add more templates and sector-specific sample loan policies over time. Access the toolkit
  • Webinar Recording:  During this webinar, Barbara Eckblad, principal and founder of The Eckblad Group, highlights elements of the loan policy guide and provides context on how to use it. She also highlights key points that practitioners should keep in mind. In addition, Latorrie Geer, CEO of Community Works, shares her lessons learned and advice from refreshing the loan policy at her CDFI. Access the recording.

These toolkits are intended to be living documents. OFN will continuously update them as industry standards and best practices evolve. In addition, the Resources for CDFI Growth series is just the start of new tools, content, and training that OFN will be developing to help CDFIs grow stronger and reach their full potential.

More CDFI Training and Professional Development Coming Soon

Recently OFN was one of 12 organizations to receive a grant from Citi Foundation’s Community Finance Innovation Fund. The $50 million grant program will help advance the field of community finance and create positive impact for low-income communities and communities of color. OFN will be utilizing its grant to establish a new CDFI career center to help attract the next generation of a talented and diverse CDFI workforce. We will also use the grant to create tailored training and professional development opportunities to help existing CDFI professionals advance within the industry. Stay tuned for more details!

OFN would like to thank the sponsors of the Resources for CDFI Growth series, Capital One and Fifth Third Bank, whose funding provided us with the support to develop the toolkits and webinar series.

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