OFN partnered with The Jessie Ball duPont Fund to encourage colleges and universities to explore innovative investments in their communities, using the financial resources of higher education and the lending expertise of CDFIs. Through a publication and a series of presentations, the two organizations sought to engage leaders in higher education and community development finance, inspire their thinking, and encourage their collaboration in community development opportunities.

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The Partnerships for Community Impact: Higher Education and CDFIs Working Together report highlights five examples of higher education-CDFI partnerships, involving projects in Philadelphia (TRF and LaSalle University), Chicago (IFF and University of Chicago), Durham, N.C. (Self-Help and Duke University); New Orleans (Hope and Delgado Community College), and multiple communities in North Carolina (LCCU and University of Virginia).

The projects ranged from development of childcare facilities, housing, and grocery stores to encouraging small business development and providing research and evaluation support for community projects.

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