Membership Eligibility

Eligibility Requirements

OFN membership is reserved for mission-driven community lenders, including certified community development financial Institutions (CDFIs) that fit the criteria listed below.

Note that CDFI Fund certification is not a requirement to become an OFN member.

  • Has a primary mission of community development and strives to have a positive impact on low-income, low-wealth, and other underserved 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.
  • Is primarily a financing institution that provides affordable, responsible financial products and financial services.
  • Has an active lending and/or investing history of two or more years.
  • Serves primarily low-income, low-wealth, or other disadvantaged people or communities. Has an active lending and/or investing history of two or more years.
  • Has completed at least one annual financial audit. (For credit unions without audited financials, the NCUA 5300 report is acceptable.)
  • Pro-actively manages the risks in its portfolio and has appropriate loan and risk management policies and procedures in place to effectively manage the risks of its financing activities.
  • Has positive net assets (equity) and, for nonprofit loan funds, positive unrestricted net assets.
  • Is a non-governmental entity. (Board of Directors may not be majority (>50%) government controlled. Exceptions are made for organizations under Tribal governance.)
  • Commits to participating in OFN’s required member data collection initiatives and making a good faith effort to actively participate in OFN peer learning activities.
  • Affirms its support for OFN’s mission to lead CDFIs and their partners to ensure that low-income, low-wealth, and other underserved people and communities have access to affordable, responsible financial products and services.

Required Documentation

OFN will request the following documents from all applicants:

  • IRS exemption letter, if applicable.
  • Articles of Incorporation
  • Bylaws
  • Board List with Affiliations
  • Staff List (with titles, emails, and phone numbers) – optional
  • Sample Impact Tracking Report (or a list of impact indicators the organization uses)
  • Loan Policies (including risk management policies)

In addition, Loan Funds and Venture Capital Funds will be asked to provide:

  • Audited financial statements for the most recent three (3) years. If the organization has fewer than three years of financial statements, submit all available audits (minimum of one).
  • Most recent interim financial statement
  • Most Recent Audit Management Letter
  • (Only Venture Capital Funds) Most recent quarterly investor report

For a sample membership application, click here. This sample application is only for reference as applications must be completed online.

2024 Annual Dues Structure

Turnaround Time

The membership team will review complete applications within a week of submission and will follow up with outstanding questions, as needed.

OFN reserves the right to deny membership to applicants that, at OFN’s sole discretion, do not demonstrate a commitment to mission, community, or performance.

Please contact OFN membership team with any questions.

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As an alternative to membership, individuals and organizations that do not meet OFN’s member eligibility requirements are invited to purchase an allyship to support extending the reach, awareness, and impact of the CDFI industry.

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CDFIs address capital challenges for disinvested communities.

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