In 2017, FUND Community Institute conducted research on CDFI Advisory Boards to gain insight on the extent to which CDFIs integrate Advisory Boards as a component of their business models. In the current political and financial environment, it is increasingly important for CDFIs to make use of all available resources to build organizational capacity. As a course of business or to meet CDFI Certification requirements, many CDFIs (42% in our survey) have Advisory Boards in addition to Governing Boards. CDFI Advisory Boards are a rich resource that are often underutilized. Future blogs will share information on what the Advisory Boards do, why they were formed, and what innovative practices are being employed that could help other CDFIs.
This first data installment presents information on what Advisory Boards look like:
- Median of 8 Advisory Board members
- Average size of 12 members with a range in size from 4 to 64
- Average size for CDFI Banks is 10 and for CDFI Loan Funds is 13
- Most do not have subcommittees
- Average term of members is 2.5 years
- Many do not have specified terms
- Most commonly meet quarterly or twice a year
- The most common expertise brought is knowledge of communities and target market needs, community development, affordable housing, and real estate. The next tier of expertise includes lending, banking, and small business
About the Research
An online survey was emailed to CDFIs in July 2017 and 216 CDFIs responded; of which 42% indicated they had Advisory Boards. Of survey respondents with Advisory Boards, 83% represented CDFI loan funds, 11% CDFI banks, 3% CDFI credit unions, and 3% CDFI venture capital funds.
FUND Community Institute (FUND CI)
FUND CI was founded in 2017 as part of the family of FUND Consulting organizations. In an effort to support the CDFI Industry, one of the main activities of the organization is to conduct and disseminate research on CDFIs and related topics. For more information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.