The start of 2023 is the perfect time to take stock of OFN’s progress toward our mission of change in low-income, low-wealth rural, urban, and Native communities.
Our movement is growing
OFN is stronger than ever in our ability to lead the fight for social, racial, and economic justice.
We closed the year with almost 400 members — 394 to be exact. These members, along with CDFI funders, investors, and other industry partners, made OFN’s first in-person conference in three years our biggest convening ever with 2,000+ attendees.
OFN’s just published 2021 Side by Side offers key data on this membership and its impact nationwide.
What we’re prioritizing in 2023
The Biden-Harris Administration’s historic Inflation Reduction Act and Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund makes environmental justice core to the fight against climate change. This is the CDFI fight — environmental justice is economic justice — and green finance must be an industry imperative going forward. OFN has environmental justice and green finance high on our agenda this year.
Other new capital will accelerate CDFI impact in low-wealth, low-income rural, urban, and Native communities. MacKenzie Scott’s $25 million grant to OFN will support our strategic priorities over the next three years. We’ve launched a unique initiative with Citi Foundation to build a stronger, more diverse CDFI workforce today and tomorrow. And new investors have joined us in our Finance Justice Fund, building the momentum of our movement toward economic equality.
On the policy front, the nation welcomes a new Congress this month (of course, the welcome has come with some headline-making hiccups). And OFN continues to advise the Biden-Harris Administration on the implementation of programs where CDFIs can play a role. Additionally, coming soon are new CDFI Fund certification standards and potentially other reforms to CDFI Fund programs.
In the meantime, OFN has planned a robust calendar of events and line-up of activities to advance social, racial, and economic justice. And our search for the organization’s next president and CEO has brought several exceptionally qualified candidates.
All the best for you!
OFN is excited for another milestone year for CDFIs — it’s going to be a great one! We wish you all the best on our shared journey toward opportunity for all.