Is ‘Marketing’ A Bad Word to CDFIs?

As I’ve been out and about talking with more and more CDFIs lately, I’ve noticed something interesting: varied reactions to the word ‘marketing.’ It seems that for at least some CDFIs, the term ‘marketing’ either:

  1. Doesn’t seem [to them] to accurately describe their activities for finding new capital and new borrowers
  2. Doesn’t seem like a concept they want to be associated with

I thought it would be interesting to explore both of these–and I hope you’ll jump in by adding your own comments and thoughts to the discussion!

Does ‘Marketing’ Accurately Describe The Activities CDFIs Do?

When most people  think of ‘marketing,’ they think of advertisements. And while many CDFI banks and credit unions may run advertisements in the media, for many CDFIs, advertising is only a very small part of their business. Really, the term ‘marketing’ is quite broad and can indeed be used to summarily describe many of the activities that CDFIs do find themselves doing, such as:

  • Development and fundraising
  • Sourcing deposits (for bank and credit union CDFIs)
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