Community Development Financial Institutions: At the Crossroads in Wisconsin
The Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago's Community Development and Policy Studies division and the Helen Bader Foundation held a workshop entitled, Community Development Financial Institutions: At the Crossroads in Wisconsin. The workshop was held on Wednesday, December 1, at the Helen Bader Foundation in Milwaukee.
This seminar brought together Wisconsin's community development financial institutions (CDFIs) to provide an opportunity to learn about and from each other, network, understand the state of the industry, explore issues of common concern and find ways in which the industry may move forward in unity and through collaboration. This conference featured panel discussions on approaches to CDFI sustainability and the benefits and drawbacks to taking a collective approach to issues of common concern; a luncheon keynote addressed by CDFI Fund Director Donna Gambrell (invited); as well as representatives from the CDFI Fund to provide technical assistance.
An interactive discussion focusing on introducing all attendees and having each share some brief background about their CDFI's mission and geographic focus.
CDFIs take diverse approaches to provide affordable credit, capital and financial services to underserved populations and communities. This panel draws on research to measure the social impact, financial performance, and institutional sustainability of varying types of CDFIs, and examples of cooperative organizational models both within and outside the community development arena designed to improve efficiencies and impact.
How different are Wisconsin's CDFIs from each other? Do we approach funders, underwrite risk, share risk, obtain and service customers in completely different ways? Can we learn things from one another and from other states? Are there any economies of scale to be found? The panel will discuss the benefits and drawbacks to taking a collective approach to issues of common concern facing CDFIs doing business in Wisconsin. Afterward, attendees are encouraged to weigh in with their thoughts to help enlighten our discussion.
Last Updated: 11/30/2010