Helping Low Income People

Helping Low-Income People
CDFI Products and Services
Sources of Funding
CDFIs and Mainstream Financial Institutions
CDFI Fact Sheet

Helping Low-income People

Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) are private-sector, financial intermediaries with community development as their primary mission. While CDFIs share a common mission, they have a variety of structures and development lending goals. There are six basic types of CDFIs: community development banks, community development loan funds, community development credit unions, microenterprise funds, community development corporation-based lenders and investors, and community development venture funds. All are market-driven, locally-controlled, private-sector organizations.

CDFIs measure success by focusing on the “double bottom line:” economic gains and the contributions they make to the local community. CDFIs rebuild businesses, housing, voluntary organizations, and services central to revitalizing our nation’s poor and working class neighborhoods. The positive effect that CDFIs have on their communities should not be underestimated.

Not only do local organizations make the decisions about how to best meet community needs, the ripple effects of CDFI activity bring responsible homeowners, locally-owned businesses, neighborhood facilities, first-time savers, and other positive benefits to communities that reach far beyond the financial bottom line.