"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world.

Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has"

Margaret Mead, Anthropologist
(used with permission)

"If you don't like the news .... go out and make some of your own !!"

Wes "Scoop" Nisker, Newscaster


Government is a slow and tedious process. While it often includes citizen and neighborhood involvement, non-governmental, private organizations have created movements and interesting groups which can create positive change in our cities and towns.

I am fascinated by the way groups are created and how they influence public decision making. This blog merely recognizes them and forwards the description of these groups from their own websites.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Opportunity Finance Network

Location: Nationwide

Website: www.opportunityfinance.net

Opportunity Finance Network (OFN) is a national network of community development financial institutions (CDFIs) investing in opportunities that benefit low-income, low-wealth, and other disadvantaged communities across America.

OFN Members are performance-oriented, responsible investors that finance community businesses, sparking job growth in the areas that need it most, and delivering both sound financial returns and real changes for people and communities.

Our Network has originated more than $23.2 billion in financing in urban, rural, and Native communities through 2009. With cumulative net charge-off rates of less than 1.4%, we have demonstrated our ability to lend prudently and productively in unconventional markets often overlooked by conventional financial institutions.

Community development financial institutions (CDFIs) are private financial institutions that are 100 percent dedicated to delivering responsible, affordable lending to help low-income, low-wealth, and other disadvantaged people and communities join the economic mainstream.

By financing community businesses—including small businesses, microenterprises, nonprofit organizations, commercial real estate, and affordable housing—they spark job growth and retention in hard-to serve markets across the nation.

CDFIs are profitable but not profit maximizing. They put community first, not the shareholder. They have had great success over the past 30 years, and have a proven track record of making an impact in those areas of America that need it most.

OFN’s mission through 2025 is to lead CDFIs and their partners to ensure that low-income, low-wealth, and other disadvantaged people and communities have access to affordable, responsible financial products and services.

OFN pursues its mission across five key program areas:

Financing: facilitating high-volume, CDFI-based financing systems;

Public Policy: bringing new public and private resources to the CDFI industry;

Knowledge Sharing: transforming the CDFI field with training, research, and analysis for CDFIs, funders, investors, and other key stakeholders;

Strategic Consulting: helping organizations develop the necessary systems to increase growth and performance; and

Strategic Communications: raising the profile of CDFIs and creating a broad base of support for CDFIs and the people and communities they serve.

We are proud of our Network’s record of success:

More than 180 Members strong

$23.2 billion invested through FY 2009, financing:

60,261 businesses

635,528 housing units

6,465 community facility projects

$7.4 billion in total assets

Low-risk, with a net charge-off rate of 1.6% in FY 2009

At work in urban, rural, and Native communities in all 50 states.

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