On October 28, 2013 The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Community Development Financial Institutions Fund (CDFI Fund) released its fiscal year (FY) 2014 Notice of Funds Availability (NOFA) for the Community Development Financial Institutions Program (CDFI Program) and Native American CDFI Assistance Program (NACA Program).
The Administration’s FY 2014 Budget for the CDFI Fund requests up to $191 million in Financial Assistance (FA) and Technical Assistance (TA) awards:
- $144 million for CDFI Program awards;
- $35 million for Healthy Food Financing Initiative Financial Assistance awards; and
- $12 million for NACA Program awards.
Repeat applicants will notice a significant difference in the application, with a shift away from primarily narrative responses to a data driven application focused on an integrated business model and measurable performance. Based on this new application structure and focus, CDFI practitioners may wish evaluate the skills needed on their application preparation team. While in the past, many CDFIs turn to those with a background in grantwriting, this new application necessitates the need for a team that is also skilled in data collection, analysis, and strategic management in order to develop a compelling case for funding.
This new application reinforces the issues that we discussed in our last blog. Meaning, that the CDFIs most poised for funding viability and organization sustainability employ a strategic management approach. This includes a distinct definition of core purpose, a deep understanding of the CDFI’s target market, clearly articulated goals, and the ability to define and achieve a social return on activities by developing and deploying products and services tailored to the needs of the target market.
The deadline for submission of the CDFI Program and NACA Program applications is December 23, 2013 at 12:00 p.m. Eastern Time. FUND Consulting is fully subscribed for comprehensive application preparation services, but is taking on application review clients.