What do CDFIs need in 2021? Federal Reserve survey aims to find out


Christy Cleare

2021 CDFI Survey

Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) are crucial for getting funds into communities underserved by traditional banks. During times of crisis, the lending and capital needs of underserved communities are heightened. CDFIs have a track record of providing this critical support, beginning with the 1970’s recession. Today, they continue to provide much needed support. Here are a few examples from 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Helping the smallest of small businesses access Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) funds
  • Assisting households with mortgage and rent relief
  • Arranging financing for nonprofit organizations to build affordable housing
  • Lending to community organizations to preserve and expand local programs

The Federal Reserve’s own work in low- and moderate-income communities requires us to understand the CDFI landscape. What are the biggest hurdles for CDFIs? Which resources are needed? How are CDFIs faring as they serve low- and moderate-income individuals and businesses disproportionately impacted by the pandemic?

By gaining this understanding, the Fed is better positioned to shape policy recommendations and programming to support CDFIs. In 2021, this is essential information for promoting an equitable economic recovery for all.

One important tool for collecting it is the Federal Reserve’s biennial survey of CDFIs, which is open from March 22 through May 14, 2021.

This year’s survey focuses on the capacity of CDFIs to support communities as the economy recovers from pandemic shocks. Questions cover current policy support and where changes may assist CDFIs in their missions in ways that bolster racial equity. Unlike years past, the survey does not collect financial performance and benchmark data available through other sources.

March 22 – May 14, 2021

The 2021 CDFI Survey is now closed

We hope you’ll share the survey with CDFIs in your professional network, or if you are a CDFI leader, complete the survey. We want to hear from you. Thank you in advance for helping the Federal Reserve better understand and meet the critical needs of CDFIs.

Thank you for your responses.

About the Federal Reserve CDFI Survey

The Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond launched a biennial survey of CDFIs in the Southeast in 2009.  Due to growing interest, the survey expanded in 2019 and was administered nationally and focused on key financial data and capacity constraints. Due to the pandemic, a special round of the survey gathered critical information to better understand support needs arising from the events of 2020. The 2019 and 2020 surveys were administered as a partnership between the 12 Federal Reserve Banks, the CDFI Fund, Opportunity Finance Network, the CDFI Coalition, the Native CDFI Network, First Nations Oweesta Corporation, NeighborWorks America, Inclusiv, and select distribution partners.

Want to connect with a CDFI in your state? Visit our national directory of CDFIs.

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