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.

March 25 – 27 at Self-Help in Durham, N.C. (Postponed)

Out of an abundance of caution, UNH and OFN have decided to postpone the March 25-27, 2020, Fundamentals of the Opportunity Finance Industry course in Durham, NC. We are committed to protecting the health and safety of our event attendees and our staffs. While the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) state the risk from COVID-19 is low, we have determined that postponing this event is the most prudent course of action at this time. We are exploring options to reschedule the course later this year. Thank you for your patience and understanding!

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Note: Everyone on the Notification List will be alerted when our next course (TBD) is available for registration.

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.

Day 1—10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

  • 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 
  • Models of CDFI growth to improve scale

Day 2—8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

  • How to evaluate CDFIs using a CAMEL analysis (Capital, Asset Quality, Management Earnings, and Liquidity)
  • Underwriting CDFI Borrowers
  • CDFI Hosted Site Visit

Day 3—8:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

  • Lending policies and portfolio management
  • Impact measurement and evaluation
  • Public policy, advocacy, and federal programs for CDFIs
  • Student case study presentations

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

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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. 

Photo of Robin Husslage of the Carsey School.

Robin Husslage
Carsey School of Public Policy

Photo of Donna Fabiani of OFN

Donna Fabiani
Opportunity Finance Network

With program support from:

Logo for the Self-Help Credit Union.


OFN logo


Carsey logo



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.