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CDFI Essentials

CDFI Essentials supports young CDFIs to learn skills, create policies and manage risk — while still meeting their mission to serve disadvantaged communities.  

We have seen community lenders struggle with low portfolio performance because they do not have comprehensive loan program systems in place.  Developing a sustainable loan program is a long-term effort that could span 2-3 years and involves many steps. To address this issue, we created CDFI Essentials which offers review of your loan policy manual, monthly cohort learning sessions, individual coaching, and access to guest speakers who are leaders in the CDFI industry. Participants develop their loan policy manual throughout the program. 

Our topics include:

  • Elements of a Complete Loan Program and Loan Manual
  • Portfolio Performance Standards
  • Loan Product Design & Target Market Outreach
  • Profit and Loss Analysis
  • Loan Loss Reserve Policy
  • Risk Rating System
  • State Guarantee Programs
  • Working with Troubled Loans
  • Capitalization Strategies
  • Portfolio Reports and Process
  • Closing Documents and Servicing
  • Microlending Leadership
  • Incorporating Technology to Improve Efficiency

We invite you to have both staff and board participate in our monthly meetings. CDFI Essentials takes place every year from February to December. If you’re interested in enrolling your organization in the 2024 cohort, please contact Emily Gasner.

2023 Cohort

  • Access Plus Capital
  • Excite Credit Union
  • Extending a Helping Hand
  • HIAS
  • Logan Heights Community Development Corporation
  • ProsperUs Detroit
  • The Urban League of Philadelphia
  • Vida Mejor Capital