Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs)

Enterprise Financing for WealthWorks Value Chains

Marjorie Kelly

This new report, authored by Democracy Collaborative Senior Fellow Marjorie Kelly, offers a comprehensive framework of community investing, ownership, and wealth control models to enhance the social, ecological, and economic well-being of rural areas.

Exchanging Ideas for a Just Economy

Conference focuses on strategies to ensure fair and equal access to capital

Last week, the National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC) hosted its annual conference in Washington DC. Entitled “A Just Economy: Ideas, Action, Impact,” the conference brought together nearly 800 community-based practitioners and policymakers to discuss responsible community investment and share strategies to ensure equal access to credit, capital, housing, jobs, and banking services. Read more about Exchanging Ideas for a Just Economy ...

Virginia Community Capital

Starting out providing microloans and Individual Development Account programs, Virginia Community Capital (VCC) has expanded significantly since its 2005. It has become a certified B-corporation and has increased its equity capital to $20 million. In 2008, Virginia Community Capital opened the Community Capital Bank of Virginia (CCBV), becoming one of six nonprofit bank holding companies in the nation. The partnership has enabled the organization to funnel the bank’s profits back to itself and to finance 23 community development projects and 623 units of affordable housing. In 2013, it launched the $11 million Virginia Fresh Food Loan Fund, which combines small business technical assistance and lending opportunities to increase the capacity of urban corner stores to sell and market healthy items and to foster the expansion of food hubs. The organization has also partnered with Bon Secours Richmond to provide micro-loans for small businesses and in 2014, it announced a partnership with the Virginia Community Economic Network to increase the capacity of the community economic development industry to promote entrepreneurship in the state.

Virginia Community Development Corporation

Virginia Community Development Corporation (VCDC) is a tax credit fund manager that connects corporate investors with local community sponsors to support economic development in Richmond and beyond.  The nonprofit provides community partners developing mixed use housing with low rate pre-development and construction loans. Using New Market Tax Credits, the organization has helped to provide over 130 units of affordable housing, and a childcare facility in Richmond.

Neighborhood Housing Services of Richmond, Inc.

Established in 1981, Neighborhood Housing Services of Richmond, Inc. is a nonprofit community development financial institution that helps low and moderate-income families purchase homes. It provides services to support stable, self-sustaining neighborhoods such as pre and post- home purchase education, foreclosure prevention and budget counseling, and other financial educational resources to prepare home owners for renovating, insuring, and maintaining their homes. It also offers home purchase and refinance loans, as well as Individual Development Accounts to encourage savings and asset building.

Creating Jobs by Building Community Wealth

Our research director Steve Dubb is joined by REDF's Carla Javits  for a conversation around "Big Ideas for Job Creation" at the Aspen Institute, focusing on transforming anchor institution procurement to strengthen local economies and using social enterprise to create employment opportunities.

Read more about Creating Jobs by Building Community Wealth...

Rey España

This month we interview Rey España, Director of Community Development at the Native American Youth and Family Center (NAYA), one of the largest and most successful urban Native American centers in the nation. In the past decade at NAYA, España has helped launch a number of projects, including an individual development account program, an affordable housing portfolio, a private high school serving Portland’s Native American community, and two social enterprises. NAYA is now looking to develop a Community Development Financial Institution to provide loan assistance for NAYA’s microenterprises.

ChangeXchange NW

ChangeXchange NW is a brand new economic engine for growing community capital as a regional, financial exchange designed to build a more vibrant and connected region through the delivery of cutting edge knowledge on the ground and innovative secure technology online. Read more about ChangeXchange NW...

Oberlin College Adopts Impact Investing Platform

Likely largest higher education commitment to social investing in nation to date
A few weeks ago, Oberlin College, with an endowment of nearly $700 million, adopted what is likely the largest impact-investing platform to date by a college or university in the United States. Although Oberlin is just one institution, the decision provides a hopeful sign of an accelerating institutional shift toward greater socially responsible investment practices. A tremendous opportunity exists. Higher education as a sector controls more than $400 billion in endowment assets.

The Rise of Community Wealth Building Institutions

More people are turning to economic alternatives in which new wealth is built collectively and from the bottom up

Crossposted from Policy Network, and later published on the London School of Economics website, this blog is part of a debate event hosted by Policy Network in London, UK, that was reviewed in OurKingdom by grassroots activist James Doran:    

Five years after the financial crisis economic inequality in the United States is spiraling to levels not seen since the Gilded Age. While most Americans are experiencing a recovery-less recovery, the top one per cent of earners last year claimed 19.3 per cent of household income, their largest share since 1928. Moreover, income distribution looks positively egalitarian when compared to wealth ownership.

Public Money for the Public Good

How public finances can be unlocked for local economic development
Public banks and credit unions weathered the last crisis much better than private banks, benefiting the communities they served as well. And many experts believe that it’s only a matter of time before the next financial crisis hits. To weather the next one well, we need to ensure that our individual and collective resources strengthen the types of financial institutions that are democratically accountable, economically stable, mission oriented, and that are actively helping build and keep wealth locally in our communities.