FUND Community Institute

Building Thriving Communities

FUND CI LogoThe mission of FUND Community Institute (FUND CI) is to build thriving communities through research, training, and facilitation of opportunities for knowledge sharing. FUND CI is a nonprofit think tank conducting independent studies, partner projects and commissioned research.

FUND Community institute was founded in 2017 by Ruth Barber, based on the values of social justice, and the belief that all people should be given the opportunity to prosper.


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.


Additional Research

Women in CDFIs

CDFI Boards and Fundraising

The Role of Advisory Boards at CDFI Organizations

Have ideas for a research project? Email us at


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Chicago, IL 60610

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