Certificate in Community Development Finance

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The Fundamentals of the Opportunity Finance Industry course is designed for practitioners who are interested in expanding their knowledge of the basics of the opportunity finance industry, which provides financing and financial services to low-income, low-wealth, and other disadvantaged people and communities. This three-day course is jointly offered by the Center for Impact Finance at the University of New Hampshire's Carsey School of Public Policy and the Opportunity Finance Network.

The 2022-23 Fundamentals of the Opportunity Finance Industry courses will run as virtual offerings. The team has developed course materials and a virtual training that will continue to meet the needs of those in the field of opportunity fiance aiming to expand their knowledge of the industry. Past registrants from 2020 and those on the waitlist will be contacted in September with more details and will be given priority registration. Thank you for your patience and understanding!

*Due to the high demand for course enrollment, the 2022 Session 1 cohort will be focused on CDFI institutions. Non-CDFI institutions will be able to join the waitlist and be notified if a space becomes available. 

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Program Details

The goal of this certificate course is to develop the knowledge and capacity of community development finance professionals so that they can productively contribute to expanding their organizations’ capacity and impact. The primary objectives are to:

  • Provide participants with an understanding of the history, models, products, and players in the opportunity finance field.
  • Expose participants to best practices and trends in financing, capitalization, and operations of community development financial institutions (CDFIs).
  • Inform participants about impact measurement and evaluation as well as key policy issues impacting the industry.
  • Learn about portfolio policies and management as well as underwriting loans to CDFI borrowers.

Module 1: Opportunity Finance Industry and Why it Matters

  • Context, history of industry, and why CDFIs are needed
  • Where CDFIs fit within financial markets
  • Current status of the field: players, CDFI types, and size and scope of industry 
  • Public policy, advocacy, and federal programs for CDFIs

Module 2: CDFI Business Models, Sustainability, and Growth

  • Organizational and operational basics
  • Business models and capitalization strategies
  • Evaluating CDFIs using a CAMEL analysis (Capital, Asset Quality, Management, Earnings, and Liquidity)
  • Impact measurement and evaluation in community development finance
  • CDFI growth framework and sustainability 

Module 3: Community Development through Lending and Development Services

  • Market and mission: understanding market needs, loan product design, and marketing approach
  • Lending sectors and typical products
  • Development services strategies
  • Lending policies and portfolio managment
  • Underwriting CDFI borrowers
  • Emerging trends and CDFI responses and innovations
  • The road ahead: needs and opportunities

Session 1 (FULL)

  • Dates: November 2-16, 2022
    • Virtual Classes:
      • Dates: Three consecutive Wednesdays (Nov 2, 9, 16)
      • Time: 1-2:30 p.m. EST
    • Total Course Hours: 10 hours (consists of a 90-minute Zoom class on Wednesdays and another 1-2 hours of outside class work prior to each virtual session)

 

Session 2 

(registration open soon)

  • Dates: March 8-22, 2023
    • Virtual Classes:
      • Dates: Three consecutive Wednesdays (March 8, 15, 22)
      • Time: 1-2:30 p.m. EST
    • Total Course Hours: 10 hours (consists of a 90-minute Zoom class on Wednesdays and another 1-2 hours of outside class work prior to each virtual session)

 

Session 3 

(registration open soon)

  • Dates: May 3-17, 2023
    • Virtual Classes:
      • Dates: Three consecutive Wednesdays (May 3, 10, 17)
      • Time: 1-2:30 p.m. EST
    • Total Course Hours: 10 hours (consists of a 90-minute Zoom class on Wednesdays and another 1-2 hours of outside class work prior to each virtual session)

Participants who will benefit from attending this course are new or recent entrants into the field of opportunity finance who want to expand their knowledge of the fundamentals of the industry.

  •  Professionals changing careers
  •  Current employees of CDFIs—focused on those who entered the field within the past three years
  •  CDFI investors and funders, including banks and foundations
  •  Government employees involved in community and economic development

*Due to the high demand for course enrollment, the Fall 2022 cohort will be focused on CDFI institutions. Some spaces are alloted for non-CDFI institutions, and others may join the waitlist to be notified if spaces become available.

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“In a very short timeframe, the course presented valuable information about the background and environment of the industry with surprisingly detailed financial analyses and spot-on case studies. A great course!”

“I am much more prepared and capable now to participate in the development of our new loan fund!”

“As a newcomer to the CDFI industry, this course provided a great opportunity to enrich my on-the-job experience. The speakers were passionate and highly effective.  Learning about Self-Help and other leaders in the industry was a great experience. And the site visit tour was great!”

“The peer learning opportunities are exceptional! My vision on capitalization and operating models has been vastly broadened. And it was great to have this training on Self-Help’s campus – what a great industry leader!!”

Please contact us if you have any questions about our program.

Laurie Smith

laurie.smith@unh.edu

 

Headshot of OFN SVO Tina Poole Johnson

                       Tina Poole Johnson
           Opportunity Finance Network
301-356-8124
tpjohnson@ofn.org

With program support from:

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JP Morgan Chase & Co. logo

 

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The Fundamentals of the Opportunity Finance Industry program is jointly offered by the Carsey School of Public Policy at the University of New Hampshire and Opportunity Finance Network.