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.

Course Objectives
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, and underwriting loans to CDFI borrowers.

Who Should Attend
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


  • Robin Husslage, The Carsey School of Public Policy
  • Donna Fabiani, Executive Vice President, Knowledge Sharing 
    Opportunity Finance Network


“This course was well-paced and provided significant knowledge which I will put into practice immediately.”

"It was extremely valuable to learn all of the fundamentals about the industry and will be extremely helpful in my career."

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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.