With more than 1,000 certified CDFIs across the country serving a wide range of markets and communities, what does the impact of CDFIs look like at the local level? This is a question that the Support Center, a statewide nonprofit and CDFI in North Carolina explores in a recent report, CDFIs in North Carolina: Creating Jobs and Community and Economic Development.
According to the report, the 17 CDFIs currently operating in North Carolina held $1.17 billion in assets and 33,000 outstanding loans as of 2010, helping to support the creation of over 3,100 jobs in the state. The report also found that, overall, the financial performance of CDFIs in the state exceeded that of peer organizations. For example, North Carolina’s CDFIs exceed the CDFI Fund’s Minimum Prudent Standards (MPS) ratios for both net assets and deployment.
The financial soundness of CDFIs in North Carolina and their broad reach into all types of markets in the state demonstrates that by “working together, supported by sound policies and strategic investments, CDFIs, banks, and the State of North Carolina can spur much-needed economic development in underserved communities, and ultimately the state as a whole.”
The report emphasizes many internal discussions at the FUND offices in which we have contemplated what the collective impact of CDFIs looks like at the local level in other states and regions of the country. As the ranks of CDFIs continue to grow and these institutions have proven to be an important part of the financial landscape during the recession and beyond, what can be done to strengthen local networks of CDFIs and develop partnerships, share best practices, and support each other to reach even more undeserved communities?
How are CDFIs making an impact in your local community? What can we do to strengthen local CDFIs networks? What are the challenges associated with developing these local networks?