Publications

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Collaboration as the New Competition
Issue Date: 2013-10-18

Presenters: Sara Vernon Sterman, The Reinvestment Fund; Jeannine Jacokes, Partners for the Common Good; Kim Latimer-Nelligan, Low Income Investment Fund; and Shaw Canale, Mountain BizWorks

Competition in the CDFI marketplace is on the rise. With interest rates at a historic low and a renewed emphasis on investing locally, we as an industry are faced with increasing competition on every front from access to capital to project financing. What can we as an industry do to enhance our competitive edge? Across the industry, there are examples of innovation and success as a result of collaboration. Is collaboration the new competition? This panel discussion explores three recent examples of CDFI collaboration, each focused on harnessing partners’ strengths and resources to amplify outcomes. Panelists from The Reinvestment Fund and LIIF talk about their collaborative efforts in community health center financing. Partners for the Common Good discuss the CapNexus platform, which connects mission-driven capital to borrowers.Mountain BizWorks will discuss the creation of Appalachian Community Capital, a new capital intermediary established to address capital needs of the Appalachian region.

Track: Collaborations
Level: General

Cost:
FREE

Beyond Housing in TOD Vision
Issue Date: 2013-10-18

Moderator: Robin Hacke, Living Cities
Panelists: Jessica Standiford, Low Income Investment Fund; Mike LaFave, Neighborhood Development Center; and Mary Tingerthal, Minnesota Housing Finance Agency 

Funders, policy makers, and developers have placed tremendous emphasis in recent years on mixed use transit oriented development (TOD) as a powerful tool for creating healthy, livable communities. While there is often a deliberate focus on the affordability mix of the housing in such projects, the commercial component of these projects is all too often less intentional. Moderated by Robin Hacke of Living Cities, this panel will highlight recent examples of mixed-use, TOD projects which have had a deliberate focus on economic development. The panel will discuss what “equitable" economic development means in the context of TOD, what it takes to make the economic development component a reality, how it interfaces with the housing component of the same project, and how CDFIs can play a meaningful role. Panelists include Mike LaFave of the Neighborhood Development Center, a CDFI that has completed several such projects; Jessica Standiford of LIIF, who recently completed a national study of mixed use projects; and Mary Tingerthal, a national leader in housing finance policy.

Track: Coverage
Level: General

Cost:
FREE

Financing Food Hubs
Issue Date: 2013-10-18

Moderator: Marten Jenkins, Natural Capital Investment Fund
Panelists: Rick Larson Natural Capital Investment Fund; Malini Ram Moraghan, Wholesome Wave; Sandi Kronick, Eastern Carolina Organics, LLC; Gray Harris and Daniel Wallace, CEI

This session will explore in depth outcomes-based approaches to assessing, supporting and financing early-stage food hubs as they move towards sustainable revenue-based models of operation. (USDA’s working definition of a food hub: a centrally located facility with a business management structure facilitating the aggregation, storage, processing, distribution, and/or marketing of locally/regionally produced food products.) We will explore how CDFIs can add value to the sector; provide tips and suggestions for working with food hubs; consider how to partner with foundations and impact investors; discuss appropriate financing tools; and examine strategies that enable hubs to serve low and moderate income communities. We will frame the discussion with recent research; interview a successful hub operator, a technical assistance provider who coordinates investment, and two CDFI representatives; break participants into small groups to problem solve particular food hub financing challenges; and debrief via a large group discussion.

Track: Healthy Foods

Cost:
FREE

Learnings from Scaling Up Microfinance: New Product Development
Issue Date: 2013-10-18

Presenter: Ashvin Prakash, CFSI

This session draws upon the learnings of the two New Product Development Mentored Working Groups, which were part of the CDFI Fund’s Capacity Building Initiative, Scaling Up Microfinance. The mentored working group sessions covered topics related to developing a strategy to offer new products for both consumer and business lenders. The key aspects to new product development include: ensuring that products align with clients’ needs, gaining organizational buy-in to successfully introduce a new product, assessing prospective partnership opportunities to offer new products, and evaluating product success after its implementation. Join this session to learn how keeping the end goal of the product in mind can support a thoughtful approach to introducing responsive new products and scaling up the microlending activity in your organization.

Track: Microenterprise Finance
Level: General

Cost:
FREE

Home Mortgages: Regulation and Operations
Issue Date: 2013-10-17

Presenters: Jeff Jaffee, CitiMortgage; Patricia Duarte, NHS of Phoenix; Donovan Walsh, The Financial Services Consulting Group; Carrie Johnson, Center for Responsible Lending; and Thomas Kearney, Consumer Finance Protection Bureau 

What does it take for a CDFI to run a home mortgage operation, from origination to servicing to collections? What are the recent changes in mortgage regulation and how do they impact CDFIs mortgage businesses? Experienced CDFIs and experts from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and Citigroup will answer these questions and give you an opportunity to discuss your challenges and concerns.

Track: Consumer Finance 
Level: General

Cost:
FREE

Expansion Strategies for Rural CDFIs
Issue Date: 2013-10-17

Moderator: Shaw Canale, Mountain BizWorks
Presenters: Dave Glaser, Montana CDC and Ray Daffner, Appalachian Regional Commission

CDFIs serving rural markets face a unique set of challenges when trying to grow their organizations and expand their reach. Rural populations are dispersed and declining. The CDFIs that serve them have limited options for accessing capital and are typically smaller than urban CDFIs, creating a perception that their impact is smaller. In this session you’ll learn how two CDFIs have faced these barriers and achieved impressive growth. You’ll also hear from the Appalachian Regional Commission whose recent study of access to capital in the region has led them to collaborate with local CDFIs in a unique way to attract significant new capital to the region.

Track: Coverage
Level: Advanced

Cost:
FREE

Data Tools for Healthy Food Investments
Issue Date: 2013-10-17

Presenters: Christina Szczepanski and Lance Loethen, The Reinvestment Fund; and Amanda Behrens, Maryland Food System Mapping Project

Healthy food access financing is a growing sector with increasing opportunities for funding and investment. However, there are many challenges on how to responsibly invest in opportunities that successfully connect underserved communities to healthy foods. Many successful initiatives have been in part reliant on data tools that offer a way to quantify need and demand in underinvested neighborhoods. This panel offers a look at three data tools adopted at the federal, state and local levels to help determine eligibility for investment. Offering a national perspective, the USDA’s Economic Research Service will discuss the updated food desert data and how it can be used to assess need. The Reinvestment Fund will discuss its Limited Supermarket Access data and how it provides a framework for determining eligibility for projects financed through a food access initiative. At the local level, learn about how the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future is helping the City of Baltimore use data for its food retail initiative.

Track: Healthy Foods 
Level: Intermediate

Cost:
FREE

Big Data: Innovations in Serving the Underserved
Issue Date: 2013-10-17

Moderator: Dan Delehanty, CapitalOne
Panelists: Celina Pena, Accion Texas; Paul Breloff, Accion Venture Labs; Samir Pendse, Boston Consulting Group; and Mark Hookey, DemystData

Big data is big news, but how can CDFIs use extensive consumer data to reach more individuals and entrepreneurs? In this session, we will explore big data and the increasingly important role it plays in financial services delivery. Attendees will explore how big data can create breakthroughs in both loan outreach and underwriting and discuss innovative ways to integrate big data into lending operations. We’ll also talk about the big data industry landscape, including who the key players are.

Track: Microenterprise Finance
Level: General

Cost:
FREE

Salesforce.com Solutions for CDFIs
Issue Date: 2013-10-17

Presenters: Matt Royles, Opportunity Finance Network; Andrew Schlack, Calvert Foundation; Pradip Sitaram, Enterprise; and Jerry Huskins, Fonteva 

Back by popular demand, join us for the “201” edition of last year’s oversubscribed “Your CDFI in the Cloud” session. This session will build on the high-level overview of enterprise cloud computing presented at the 2012 OFN Conference. The session will take a deeper dive into how some CDFIs are pioneering the use of cloud computing technology from Salesforce.com to glean critical business intelligence that can be used to improve lending processes, staff performance, and cash management—all while realizing cost savings over previous technologies. The panelists will also discuss change management and what it takes to move an organization’s data and processes out of inefficient silos and into a centralized database in the cloud. This session will take a strategic approach to technology and is appropriate for C-level executives and IT staff alike.

Track: Organizational Capacity
Level: Intermediate

Cost:
FREE

Partnerships for Energy Efficiency Lending
Issue Date: 2013-10-17

Moderator: Rob Sanders, Consultant, Clean Energy Finance
Panelists: Jack Markowski, Community Investment Corporation and Anne Evens, CNT Energy

Effective energy efficiency lending requires an array of skills and knowledge about which improvements will deliver the most energy efficiency improvements for the least cost and how to structure the loans in a way that works for the customer and the CDFI. In this session, representatives from Community Investment Corporation and CNT Energy describe their successful Energy Savers partnership that has reduced energy costs by 30% in over 9,500 affordable apartments in the Chicago Metro area. This innovative partnership combines the lending expertise of a CDFI and energy efficiency expertise of a nonprofit energy organization to deliver a one-stop shop for multifamily building owners. Hear how each organization has leveraged its relationships and knowledge to reach more customers and improve the rate of property owners making energy improvements after an energy assessment.

Track: Energy Efficiency 
Level: General

Cost:
FREE

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