Education and Trainings

Education and Trainings

Educating, training, and mentoring the next 
generation of community development finance practitioners

CIF offers education and training programs in New Hampshire, North Carolina, Seattle and other U.S. locations, as well as in Africa and online. Our diverse group of alumni includes CDFI managers, foundation officers, bankers, senior managers of large international NGOs, as well as donors, leaders and staff from grassroots, faith-based, environmental and health-oriented development organizations. CIF offers certificate programs and is closely affiliated with the Master in Community Development Policy and Practice. Certificate programs may be taken for graduate credit.

Fundamentals of the Opportunity Finance Industry--
Certificate in Community Development Finance

This certificate 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. Offered jointly by the Carsey School and the Opportunity Finance Network, courses are held twice a year at convenient locations around the U.S.

Master in Community Development Policy and Practice

Community development professionals face a myriad of challenges in order to understand the complexities and interrelated problems within a community. This multi-disciplinary master’s program features experts from every college across the University of New Hampshire—from economics and public health to organizational management and civil engineering. Our professors are practicing development professionals who share their decades of experience to teach both the theory of "why" and the proven skills to solve real world problems. 

Features of the program include:

  • Start in the summer, fall, or spring and graduate in 14 to 24 months
  • Short in-person summer terms are combined with online terms fall through spring
  • Gain hands-on learning through an applied year-long capstone project in your community
  • Learn from experienced faculty and peers actively engaged in community development work 

Alumni of the master’s program include non-profit executive directors, philanthropic foundation officers, policy analysts, and microfinance institution senior managers from the U.S. and across the globe, among others.

Sustainable Microfinance and Development Program

Founded in 1999 the Sustainable Microfinance and Development Program has offered development finance practitioners training and networking opportunities in the fields of microfinance, enterprise development, social enterprise, and community-based and rural development. We have trained more than 2,000 practitioners from more than 100 countries around the globe through workshops in Tanzania, Ghana, Togo, South Africa, Kenya, Rwanda, Zambia and New Hampshire. The SMDP offers an intensive professional training experience with a concentration on program planning and implementation of client and community inclusive economic development strategies.

Since its inception, the program has provided an affordable, high quality, and accessible professional development opportunity, which counts among its alumni many of today’s leaders of the development finance field.



Michael Swack 
Center for Impact Finance
(603) 862-3201