Lending

CDFI Fund Makes a Difference for Communities

CUs' work in underserved areas ‘tells a great story.’

June 18, 2013
/ PRINT / ShareShare / Text Size +
CDFI Gambrell
 
There have been "great improvements" for credit unions taking advantage of the Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund, says Director Donna Gambrell, addressing the 2013 Annual Conference of the National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions.
 
Fifteen credit unions received $13.7 million in financial assistance and $678,000 in technical assistance from the fund in 2012.
 
Plus, the fund is seen as a valuable tool by the Obama Administration, which called for a $3 million budget increase to $224.9 million, Gambrell reports. While that budget still needs approval, it is a positive development.
 
“That is unheard of in these times,” Gambrell says. “Some of my colleagues have called me, asking ‘how did you get a budget increase in this environment?’ I think a lot of it has to do with our ability to tell a good story, not only about the work you all are doing but about the impact that it is having on communities.”
 
The CDFI Fund allows credit unions in underserved communities to lend more money to those in need, Gambrell says. She points to recent research revealing that for every dollar awarded from the fund, credit unions lend an additional 45 cents after the first year, $1.10 after two years, and $1.60 after three years.
 
Since its creation, the CDFI Fund has awarded more than $1.7 billion to community development organizations and financial institutions.

Post a comment to this story

heroes

What's Popular

Popular Stories

Recent Discussion

Great article! Unfortunately, most employees don’t feel valued or appreciated by their supervisors or employers. In fact, research has shown that the predominant reason team members quit their jobs is because they don’t feel valued. This is in spite of the fact that employee recognition programs have proliferated in the workplace – over 90% of all organizations in the U.S. has some form of employee recognition activities in place. But most employee recognition programs are viewed with skepticism and cynicism – because they aren’t viewed as being genuine in their communication of appreciation. Getting the “employee of the month” award, receiving a certificate of recognition, or a “Way to go, team!” email just don’t get the job done. How do you communicate authentic appreciation? We have found people have different ways that they want to be shown appreciation, and if you don’t communicate in the language of appreciation important to them, you essentially “miss the mark”. Additionally, employees need to receive recognition more than once a year at their performance review. Otherwise, they view the praise as “going through the motions”. A third component of authentic appreciation is that the communication has to be about them personally – not the department, not their group, but something they did. Finally, they have to believe that you mean what you say. How you treat them has to match the words you use. If you are not sure how your team members want to be shown appreciation, the Motivating By Appreciation Inventory (www.appreciationatwork.com/assess) will identify the language of appreciation and specific actions preferred by each employee. You then can create a group profile for your team, so everyone knows how to encourage one another. Remember, employees want to know that they are valued for what they contribute to the success of the organization. And communicating authentic appreciation in the ways they desire it can make the difference between keeping your quality team members or having a negative work environment that everyone wants to leave. Paul White, Ph.D., is the co-author of The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace with Dr. Gary Chapman.

Your Say: Who should be Credit Union Magazine's 2014 CU Hero of the Year?

View Results Poll Archive