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The FUND Family

The FUND Family of organizations works collectively to facilitate positive social, economic, and environmental impacts in communities nationwide through consulting services, research, training, and facilitation of opportunities for knowledge sharing. Consisting of FUND Consulting, a for profit consulting firm,  and FUND Community Institute, a nonprofit think tank, FUND delivers high quality services with a focus on supporting organizations and practitioners who foster positive outcomes in communities nationwide.

FUND’s successes are rooted in our commitment to providing high quality services that support organizations and practitioners fostering positive outcomes in communities nationwide while adhering to our corporate values:

  • We do right by our clients and each other, never compromising on quality or integrity.
  • We innovate through research, anticipation of client needs, and facilitation of positive outcomes.
  • We are committed to equity and our belief that diversity and inclusion make us stronger.
  • We are sustainable by promoting profit, supporting our people, and working to minimize environmental impact.

FUND Consulting

Since inception, FUND Consulting has worked with more than 350 CDFIs nationwide.   FUND has helped these CDFIs secure grants, allocations, and awards totaling more than $659 million and has assisted others to increase capacity by: understanding their markets; evaluating the effectiveness of  their  programs;  developing  their  boards;  and  creating  strategies to manage growth and maximize impact.

Founded by Lolita Sereleas in October of 2000, FUND Consulting was a pioneer in designing and delivering supportive services for CDFIs seeking assistance in navigating CDFI Funding applications, and analyzing market need and demand. The addition of Ruth Barber as Partner in 2002 marked the establishment of FUND as a firm with increased capacity to deliver high quality consulting services to CDFIs as well as non-profit and government entities. Under this leadership team, FUND Consulting grew to become the leading firm in the CDFI industry, providing strategic and operational support on fundraising and capitalization, strategic planning, needs assessments and market analyses, and impact evaluation. Becoming known for its superior customer service, and results-oriented products, FUND Consulting skyrocketed in growth from 2002-2016, achieving close to a 33% market share in the CDFI industry. 


FUND Community Institute

Founded with a love for research and a strong desire to give back to the industry that helped FUND Consulting grow, Ruth Barber spearheaded the launch of FUND Community Institute (FUND CI) in 2017.  FUND CI is a nonprofit think tank which conducts research, provides training, and facilitates opportunities for knowledge sharing in the fields of community and economic development.  This includes independent studies, partner projects and commissioned research. Emily Sipfle currently serves as Executive Director.

On the heels of a noteworthy study on CDFI governing boards, FUND Community Institute conducted its first formal research project in 2017 on the role of Advisory Boards at CDFI organizations, the findings from which are available on the FUND Consulting blog. In 2018, the FUND CI team  completed a landmark study on the role of women in the CDFI Industry titled Perception vs. Reality: Women and Change in the CDFI Industry. One of the key findings was that the CDFI industry has a long way to go in terms of achieving diversity and inclusion. To further investigate this issue, FUND CI conducted research in 2019 to identify the best practices of CDFIs that are recognized as being ahead of the curve in fostering diversity, equity, and inclusion both internally and externally. The findings from this research can be found in the Advancing Equity: Diversity and Inclusion at CDFIs report.