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CDFI Essentials

CAMEO is receiving requests from CDFIs to assist with program development. Developing a sustainable CDFI is a long-term effort that could span 2-3 years and involves many steps.

To support this development, CAMEO is offering a new service, the CDFI Essentials Program, which has three elements: CAMEO provides each CDFI an initial 1-2 hours of organizational counseling to assess the CDFI’s current status, organizational capacity and develop an initial work plan to get started. This program is appropriate for new CDFIs as well as CDFIs that want to formalize their processes and take their program to the next level of development.

Each participating CDFI will participate in a monthly peer learning call, facilitated and supported by CAMEO.  The initial calls we will identify the common questions and concerns among the group.  CAMEO will bring resources to these calls, including examples, research papers, and experts.  Topics may include: 

  • establishing an underwriting grid
  • creating loan products
  • writing credit memos
  • global cash analysis
  • analyzing credit reports
  • closing loans
  • establishing an approval authority process
  • taking collateral
  • establishing portfolio performance standards
  • establishing definitions of portfolio-at-risk definition
  • selecting lending technology
  • creating a servicing program
  • establishing a loan loss reserve

The calls will generate action items for each CDFI to complete and review with the program director.

Each participating CDFI will also receive up to two hours of individual support each month to assist with individual issues and to support implementation of the information presented at the monthly peer learning calls.

Participants must be CAMEO members, sign the attached letter of commitment and pay a program participation fee of $1000 per year. We are happy to give a letter of reference for sponsorship.

If an organization wants more guidance, email Heidi Pickman.