OFN welcomes all CDFIs that are committed to performance to apply for Membership. Our standards for Membership are different and generally higher than the CDFI Fund’s requirements for CDFI certification. Not all OFN Members are CDFI Fund-certified and not all CDFI Fund-certified CDFIs qualify to be OFN Members.
We recognize that not all CDFIs are ready for or interested in OFN Membership. We invite these CDFIs, as well as non-CDFI organizations and individuals who support OFN’s mission, to become OFN Allies. Learn more about becoming an OFN Ally.
OFN Membership rests on four principles:
Mission & Impact: OFN Members have a primary mission of community development and strive to produce positive impacts on low-income, low-wealth, and other disadvantaged people and communities. For CDFIs that are part of or controlled by another corporation(s), the other corporation(s) must also have a primary mission of community development.
Finance-led Strategy: OFN Members are private non-governmental financial intermediaries that provide affordable, responsible financial products and/or services as an integral part of their community development strategy.
Commitment to Performance: OFN Members demonstrate a commitment to performance by acting as disciplined lenders and/or investors in community development and responsible stewards of other peoples' resources.
Support for OFN’s Mission: OFN Members affirm their support of OFN's mission of leading CDFIs and their partners to ensure that low-income, low-wealth, and other disadvantaged people and communities have access to affordable, responsible financial products and services. Members are committed to building, growing, and improving the CDFI field through cooperation and information sharing.
To determine if a CDFI satisfies the Membership Principles, OFN follows a two-tiered process. First, we determine if the CDFI meets our Eligibility Criteria. If a CDFI meets all of the Eligibility Criteria, we further assess the degree to which the CDFI meets a set of Performance Expectations. A CDFI is required to meet all of the Eligibility Criteria, but is not required to meet all of the Performance Expectations to be approved for and maintain Membership.