News & Information

Could CDFI certification expand your service outreach?

by Christine Henzig, Director of Communications Aug 23, 2016

Wouldn't it be great if your credit union could accelerate loan growth through access to grants, tax credits, and the ability to raise funds from foundations, corporations and state and local governments? You can, and a whole lot more!

What

Those are just a few perks of being certified by the U.S. Treasury's CDFI Fund as a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI).

Who 

Wisconsin has three credit unions using CDFI perks to foster service excellence and create awareness of the value of credit unions. They are:‚Äč

There are more than 800 certified CDFI’s in the US, including loan funds, credit unions and community banks. Close to $2 billion in loans have impacted consumers using Wisconsin CDFI's

Why

CDFI status offers financial institutions an extra leg up to help consumers, including access to five-, six-, or even seven-figure grant awards that can be used to grow capabilities and further their mission to serve members and communities. CDFIs also can take advantage of technical assistance, training, and capacity-building initiatives that further their mission. 

 A video from the National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions - which has helped credit unions achieve the certification - explains how CDFIs have created economic opportunity for individuals and small businesses, affordable housing, and key community services while adding a tremendous boost to their bottom lines.

How

To become a CDFI you must have a primary mission of promoting community development through activities that improve the social or economic conditions of low income markets, and demonstrate that at least 60% of your financial services activities are directed to low income consumers and underserved populations. 

The National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) is encouraging credit unions to obtain CDFI status by streamlining the application process. NCUA now provides much of the information a credit union needs to complete the CDFI certification application from data NCUA routinely collects from credit unions.

The League has compiled extensive resources explaining more about CDFI perks and the application process. 

Questions?

Contact Josh Roberts, League Director of Development, at (608) 514-0080.

More information


Wisconsin credit unions come together as a single League to Unite for Good; we remove barriers, increase awareness and foster service excellence. All of these steps help more Americans to see credit unions as their best financial partner and regard their credit union as their primary financial institution. Read more articles in our Unite for Good series.