New York – The Citi Foundation today announced the 12 nonprofits selected as recipients of the $50 million Community Funding Innovation Fund. Building on Citi and the Citi Foundation’s long history of promoting financial inclusion, these grants will help strengthen the work of these specialist organizations that have been an economic lifeline for America’s most vulnerable communities. hard hit by the economic impact of the pandemic.
According to Financial Health Pulse 2022 US Trends Report, also backed by the Citi Foundation, financial health in America has declined across many demographic and socioeconomic groups over the past year. As the economic challenges of American households increase, Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) and Minority Depository Institutions (MDIs) play a vital role in providing credit and other asset-building financial services to households. and to unbanked and underbanked entrepreneurs in communities and low-income communities. of color.
“Investing in community development finance institutions has been a long-standing priority,” said Brandee McHale, President of the Citi Foundation and Head of Community Investment and Development, Citi. “Through this new initiative, the Foundation is deepening that commitment by investing in innovative ideas that will help evolve the community finance industry through innovation and capacity building.”
“With groundbreaking support from the Citi Foundation, the National Bankers Community Alliance will have the resources and encouragement to invest in the critical technology advancements MDIs need to better serve their communities,” said Nicole A. Elam, CEO of the National Bankers Community Alliance and President and CEO of the National Bankers Association. “We are honored to work alongside the other visionary organizations in our cohort to pursue and implement the big ideas that will drive the community finance industry forward.”
Through the Community Finance Innovation Fund, these organizations will work in four key areas to help positively transform community finance: technology and operational efficiency; financial and risk-sharing models; development of human capital and talents; and thought leadership and research.
“Like the constituents they serve, many community finance organizations have been challenged by the pandemic and need more resources and capacity to have greater impact.” said Donna Gambrell, CEO of Appalachian Community Capital and Chair of the Board of Opportunity Finance Network. “The Community Finance Innovation Fund is seeding bold ideas that have the potential to transform community finance in ways that create exponential positive impact for these CDFIs, their clients, and the communities they serve.”
The following organizations and projects, listed by focus area, have been selected for the Community Funding Innovation Fund:
Technology and operational efficiency
- Aeris Insight will add new features to its Aeris® Cloud, the most comprehensive database of CDFI loan fund performance. The new functionality will enable custom dataset collection, industry-level aggregation and querying that will provide the data needed to meaningfully assess the effectiveness of CDFIs in providing capital to diverse communities and projects. .
- California Association for Micro-Enterprise Opportunities (CAMEO) will launch the country’s first CDFI Shared Services Center providing emerging and mid-sized CDFIs with a centralized resource to build their internal HR, IT and finance capabilities.
- Alliance of Credit Builders establish a consumer lending bootcamp to work with CDFIs serving consumers located in credit deserts and interested in offering a responsible small-dollar lending product to address the lack of affordable, entry-level and small dollar for consumers with no or low credit scores.
- Community Alliance of National Bankers (ACNB) will launch a groundbreaking effort to help MDIs continue their digital modernization through access to tailored advice, technical assistance and customized technology solutions designed to reduce operational costs and increase product offerings for underprivileged communities. served and small businesses.
Financial and risk sharing
- Calvert Impact Capital will launch a small business program that will provide a set of resources, including liquidity, lending technology and technical assistance, to help CDFI small business lenders increase their small business lending volume by 100 before the pandemic.
- Capital Impact Partnerswhich is part of Momentus Capital, is developing a first-of-its-kind, mission-driven investment bank to better connect investors to community organizations through community-centric securities offerings.
- CDFI African American CEO Alliance increase membership in its growing network of Black-led CDFIs; and launch a new technical assistance and human capital development program to increase the capacity of its members.
- Inclusive help minority-nominated credit unions achieve CDFI certification and implement plans to improve their operations and financial sustainability, increasing access to responsible products at the community level.
- Local Initiatives Support Company (LISC) will implement a two-pronged human capital strategy to expose diverse candidates to the field of community development funding. The Economic Mobility Corps, in partnership with AmeriCorps and the CDFI Fund, will place adult professionals in year-long positions at certified CDFIs. Additionally, LISC has created an innovative internship program with HBCUs that will place students of color in paid internships with LISC offices and other CDFIs.
- National Association of Latino Community Asset Builders (NALCAB) launch a technical assistance program to help Latino-led nonprofit lending funds achieve CDFI certification, an essential first step in building credibility for future funder investments to help them grow and to serve their community.
- Opportunity Funding Network will establish a new CDFI Career Center to help attract the next generation of a talented and diverse CDFI workforce, as well as create tailored training and professional development opportunities to help existing CDFI professionals advance in the ‘industry.
Research and Thought Leadership
The organizations were selected following a competitive inquiry process earlier this year. Citi Foundation support for a number of fund organizations and projects contributes to Citi and the Citi Foundation Action for Racial Equitywho has already invested over $1 billion in strategic initiatives to help close the racial wealth gap in the United States since its launch in 2020.
The Citi Foundation works to promote economic progress and improve the lives of people in low-income communities around the world. We invest in efforts that increase financial inclusion, catalyze job opportunities for youth, and reinvent approaches to building economically vibrant communities. The Citi Foundation’s “More Than Philanthropy” approach leverages the tremendous expertise of Citi and its people to fulfill our mission and drive thought leadership and innovation. For more information, visit www.citifoundation.com.