Community Development Financial Institutions are organizations that lend money and provide technical assistance to individuals and groups deemed unbankable by commercial banking institutions.
CDFIs are people. Many of the original organizers of CDFIs were community activists. But today, many former bankers are involved as well.
"We lend to minority-owned businesses, women-owned businesses, businesses that do good things for the environment. We have lent to a wide variety of industries, but each has the common thread of being community-building, in some sense."

Dave Kleiber, Cascadia Revolving Fund


CDFIs are institutions. CDFIs take many different organizational forms and employ a wide variety of strategies.

CDFIs are not charities, commercial banks, or government programs. CDFIs do not give money away. They don't make a profit for their shareholders, and they don't depend on government funding.