7 Reasons Community Development Financial Institutions Lack Investors

Community development financial institutions are great places for impact investors to put their dollars, but the money isn't flowing. Rosalie Sheehy Cates discusses the barriers in connecting CDFIs and impact investors, and a way forward for both.

Community development consultant Rosalie Sheehy Cates asks: What does it take for community development financial institutions to reach impact investors as a new source of capital?

Community development financial institutions (CDFIs) are seemingly the perfect fit for impact investors: they're staffed with seasoned financiers that have established relationships in low-income communities.

But a study by the Triple Bottom Line Collaborative found that there were several barriers between CDFIs and investors.

The first one? Simply being seen.

Cates writes, "As successful as our affordable housing and business lending is for our communities, TBLC found that CDFI lending and affordable housing is largely invisible to the wider world of private investing. TBLC also found that community organizations are frequently written off as a “government programs” or as risky, shoestring operations. Our first job is to visibly position CDFIs (and our borrowers) as effective and well-managed social enterprises."

Full Story: Connecting CDFIs and Impact Investors

Comments

Prepare for the AICP Exam

Join the thousands of students who have utilized the Planetizen AICP* Exam Preparation Class to prepare for the American Planning Association's AICP* exam.
Starting at $245
Planetizen Courses image ad

Planetizen Courses

Advance your career with subscription-based online courses tailored to the urban planning professional.
Starting at $16.95 a month

Wear your city with style!

100% silk scarves feature detailed city maps. Choose from six cities with red or blue trim.
$55.00
Book cover of Unsprawl

Unsprawl: Remixing Spaces as Places

Explore visionary, controversial and ultimately successful strategies for building people-centered places.
Starting at $12.95