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Opportunity Finance Network - eNewsletter
July 2010

News, Innovations & Results:

Also in this issue:


Strategic Plan Feedback Requested

The OFN board recently approved a new mission statement. Look out for an online survey later this week, and please give us your feedback.

Emerging CDFI Leaders Conference
CDFIsv2.0 The Vision of a New Generation

This fall, OFN will bring together 20-30 emerging leaders in San Francisco to discuss their recommendations for CDFIs and the industry they might lead some day. CDFIs v2.0: The Vision of a New Generation reflects the need to spotlight new perspectives and give voice to new ideas, according to OFN CEO Mark Pinsky.

For those who would like to participate, look for a separate email announcement with the online application invitation in August. Prospective applicants can include staff and Board Members at CDFIs and other institutions working in the CDFI industry. Selection of participants will be made by late August. Those selected will travel to San Francisco for one and a half days of networking and discussion. With generous support from Rabobank, OFN will cover travel, meals, and lodging.

Visit our Web site for information on how to participate.

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Deadline Reminder: OFN Board Nominations Due
Opportunity Finance Network

Doug Bystry, Chair of the Governance Committee, issued a call for OFN Board Nominees in June. His email and letter informed us that, in total, the OFN membership will elect four Directors at the Annual Meeting, to be held November 4 during the OFN Conference in San Francisco. Mary Mathews of Northeast Entrepreneur Fund, Inc. and David Beck of Self Help have reached the term limit on their tenure and therefore cannot run for re-election. The terms of two current Board members are expiring, and these Board Members are eligible for re-election: Kristi Coker of Citizen Potawatomi Community; and Lori Glass of The Reinvestment Fund.

In order to nominate a candidate for election, Members must send an email directly to Doug Bystry, Governance Committee Chair and cc: Nancy Banta, Opportunity Finance Network. Nominees who receive the endorsement of at least two Members from two different Member organizations, and indicate a willingness to serve will be presented to the Membership for consideration. The deadline for nominations is July 28, 2010, 5 pm Eastern Standard Time.

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Notes From the Field: Southeast Regional Meeting
The Southeast Regional Meeting

The Southeast Regional Meeting was held July 19 to 20 at the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond. More than 100 OFN Members, other CDFIs, emerging CDFIs, funders, investors, and other stakeholders convened to learn from industry leaders and their peers, and to network. Speakers included OFN President & CEO Mark Pinsky who talked about OFN’s strategic planning for the future and the state of the industry, Robert Schnorbus from the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond who gave an overview of the regional economy, and Don Graves, deputy assistant secretary for small business, housing and community development, U.S. Department of the Treasury who talked about small business access to credit. CEO Bill Bynum of Hope Community Credit Union/Enterprise Corporation of the Delta presented a dinner keynote address. On the second day, training sessions included small business underwriting, affordable housing underwriting and as well as a session on capitalization. The meeting was a significant regional collaboration for CDFIs in the Southeast.

Support for this meeting was provided by the Citi Foundation and the Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation.

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Mark Your Calendars! 2010 OFN Conference
Aligning Capital & Justice

Preparations for the 2010 OFN Conference, titled “Capital & Justice: If Not Now, When?” are gearing up. OFN is working with its co-hosts—our 23 California members—to plan an eventful three and a half days in the city by the bay. Many CDFIs and other industry insiders have submitted session proposals for a curriculum that will include 13 tracks ranging from Risk Management to Partnerships and Collaboration to Small Business Finance to Research and Evaluation. Additionally, you can join us for exciting and informative community development tours that will highlight the Mission District, Transit-Oriented Development, and community development finance north of the Bay Area. Conference registration opens next month; look for the complete Conference brochure in your mailbox mid-August. In the meantime, the Hyatt Regency San Francisco is accepting hotel reservations, so to receive the Conference rate, make your reservation online now.

See you in November!

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News From the Hill
Taking the Policy Offensive

Banking Regulatory Agencies to Host Series of Hearings on the Community Reinvestment Act
On June 17, the federal bank and thrift regulatory agencies announced a series of four hearings to gain public input on modernizing the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA). The Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the Comptroller of the Currency, and the Office of Thrift Supervision are holding the hearings to consider how to update the regulations to reflect changes in the financial services industry, changes in how consumers access banking services, and current housing and community development needs.

The hearings present an excellent opportunity for CDFIs to weigh in on issues including revision of assessment areas, incentivizing community development investments, and other ways to facilitate bank partnerships and collaboration. OFN will be represented on a panel at the Chicago hearing and is encouraging its Members to participate in these hearings or submit testimony by August 31. For more information about how you can participate, contact Dafina Williams at 215.320.4318.

The first hearing was held July 19 in Arlington, Virginia. There are remaining three hearings will be held at the following dates and locations:

• August 6, 2010, Atlanta, Georgia;

• August 12, 2010, Chicago, Illinois; and

• August 17, 2010, Los Angeles, California

A two-page document summarizing the questions and issues in which the regulators are particularly interested is available.

Find out more about the regulators’ hearings, including the dates and locations.

Federal Reserve Announces Public Hearings on Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA)
Late last month, the Federal Reserve Board announced that it will hold four public hearings this year on potential revisions to Regulation C, which implements the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA). The hearings seek to bring together consumers, community and consumer organizations, mortgage lenders, and other interested parties to help the Board evaluate whether the 2002 revisions to Regulation C have provided useful and accurate information about the mortgage market, to provide information to help the Board assess the need for additional data and other improvements, and to help identify emerging issues in the mortgage market that may warrant additional research.

The hearings feature panel discussions by invited speakers, and other participants may deliver oral statements of up to five minutes. In addition, written statements may be submitted for the record. The first hearing was held July 15 at the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta. The remaining three hearings will be held at the following dates and locations:

• August 5 , 2010, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco;

• September 16, 2010, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago; and

• September 24, 2010, Federal Reserve Board in Washington, D.C.

For more information and details about how you can participate in the remaining hearings, view the Federal Register Notice.

Sweeping Financial Regulatory Reform Passes Senate
In the most seismic shift in financial regulation since the Great Depression, last week the Senate passed H.R. 4217, the “Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010” after months of political wrangling and debate. The legislation, which has significant implications for the financial services industry and the external environment in which CDFIs operate passed the Senate by a margin of 60–39. The bill, which passed the House of Representatives on July 1st, will now go to President Obama, who is expected to sign the legislation into law. OFN will continue to monitor and analyze the legislation, and will prepare analysis of the major provisions of the final legislation in the coming weeks.

Senate Leaders Introduce Asset Building Legislation
Senators Schumer (D-NY) and Dodd (D-CT) recently introduced S.3577, the American Saving for Personal Investment, Retirement and Education Act (ASPIRE), legislation that would create a savings account at birth for every child born in the U.S. Several Representatives introduced H.R. 4682 a similar bill in the House. The legislation focuses on strategies that promote long-term financial planning, financial literacy, and asset building as a method to expand economic opportunity for children.

To details on the proposed legislation, read the New America Foundation’s summary of the legislation.

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CARS™-rated CDFIs Keep Growing
CARS™ -  The CDFI Assessment and Rating System

As CDFI third-party ratings grow increasingly important to investors, more CDFIs are getting CARS™-rated every day! The number of CARS™-rated CDFI loan funds grew to 56 during the second quarter with the release of six new ratings:

The El Paso Collaborative offers a wide range of loan products, programs and services—each designed to address a specific community need in the greater El Paso, Texas area.

Primary Care Development Corporation is dedicated to ensuring that every community in New York has timely and effective access to primary healthcare. This is PCDC's second rating.

Valley Economic Development Corporation creates and sustains jobs and businesses in the Los Angeles County community by providing high-quality economic development services.

Lakota Funds, an organization that plays a vital role in improving life for Oglala Lakota people by placing capital with new and growing businesses on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.

NCALL Research Inc, based in Dover, Delaware, specializes in affordable housing development, education, and lending in Delaware and the eastern shores of Maryland and Virginia.

Partners for the Common Good is a national organization that works to advance economic justice and opportunity for low-income people and communities.

Investors who would like to learn more about CARS™ and CDFIs that are interested in being rated in 2011 should contact Paige Chapel at 206.328.6110.

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2nd Quarter CDFI Market Conditions Survey Now Open

Opportunity Finance Network invites you to complete the OFN CDFI Market Conditions Survey, 2nd Quarter 2010. The Survey must be completed online by August 6th at 5:30 pm Eastern Time.

The quarterly CDFI Market Conditions Survey is the only survey of its kind; there is no other source of near-real-time data on the CDFI industry. By participating in this important survey, you can help ensure that you, your peers, funders, investors, and policy makers have the most accurate and complete information on what is happening in the industry today.

Read more

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Staying Connected Calls

Each month OFN hosts Staying Connected Calls to keep Members informed about important policy issues and to provide a forum for knowledge sharing about issues vital to the success of CDFIs. Staying Connected calls are posted online approximately 24 hours after the call.

Upcoming Staying Connected Calls
All calls will begin at 1 pm Eastern Time and end by 2 pm Eastern Time.
Register now

August 19: Financial Reform Legislation (led by Cheryl Neas)
This summer, Congress passed sweeping changes to the regulatory framework in which financial institutions do business, including the creation of a regulatory agency devoted to consumer protection. Learn about the implications for CDFIs, the next steps in the process, and opportunities to influence the discussion.

September 8: Market Conditions (led by Lori Glass, Chair, OFN Board Market Conditions Committee)
Find out how market conditions changed between April and June 2010 with a summary of the 2nd Quarter 2010 CDFI Market Conditions Report. Depending on the findings, the conversation may focus on a particular aspect of financing or operations, or on a particular strategy CDFIs are using to stay strong.

Staying Connected calls are made possible by the Citi Foundation.

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Stefanie Arck Joins OFN’s Strategic Communications Team
Stefanie Arck

Stefanie Arck has joined OFN as the Vice President, Strategic Communications to enhance public relations and media efforts for OFN and the opportunity finance industry. Her responsibilities in this new role will include managing public relations, and communications, such as the e-newsletter, and social media channels.

Stefanie brings over 15 years of communications experience with her, which will allow OFN to expand its reach in local and national media and develop new tools for CDFIs. Most recently, Stefanie worked at Brooklyn Public Library managing internal and external communications for the 60-location non-profit. She has also written articles and reviews for various publications, including Time Out NY magazine and the Jewish Exponent.

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Job Bank

For a comprehensive list of all current job opportunities, including openings at Opportunity Finance Network, visit the Job Bank on Opportunity Finance Network’s Web site. And it’s easy for you to submit job postings online with our online form.

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Events Calendar

Want to showcase your events?
Email us at webupdates@opportunityfinance.net to let us know the details. OFN will add them to our online Calendar of Events, a resource for the opportunity finance industry.

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Facebook

OFN is on Facebook! Become a fan to follow the latest industry news, read about new members, learn about upcoming events and more.

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