Federation Hosts Successful CDFI Round Table at GAC


Credit Unions Share How the Federation Helped them Access External Resources to Expand Services and Increase their Impact in Low- and Moderate-Income  Communities

WASHINGTON, FEBRUARY 26, 2013 – The National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions (the Federation) led an engaged group of credit union leaders through the benefits and process of becoming a certified CDFI yesterday at CUNA’s annual Governmental Affairs Conference. The round table also explored new programs, long-term investment prospects from the Fund, and opportunities to shape the Fund’s agenda moving forward.

Federation President and CEO, Cathie Mahon, spoke on the ongoing work that the Federation has been doing to ensure that the essential financial services credit unions provide to low-income communities are recognized by the CDFI Fund in their certification and grant making processes.

Jodie Harris, Senior Advisor to the Director of the CDFI Fund, noted that with the tremendous growth in the number of low-income-designated credit unions, the CDFI Fund anticipates the number of CDFI-certified credit unions to “go up immensely.” Harris also commented the CDFI Fund’s coordination with the Federation to streamline the CDFI-certification  process for eligible credit unions. Harris spotlighted the CDFI Fund’s grant programs and the “large increase in the number of credit unions receiving grants” in recent years.

The highlight of the afternoon came when credit union CEOs detailed how they have used their CDFI certification and grant funds to position themselves in their local markets and to better serve their low-income members. Communicating Arts CU Hank Hubbard stressed how CDFIfunds enabled his credit union to test out products they might have otherwise found too risky.   Carter FCU CEO spoke about their payday loan alternative program and the tremendous impact their recently launched Volunteer Income Tax Income (VITA) Program has already made in the communities served by his credit union.

Testimonials recounted assistance received from the Federation’s CU Breakthrough consulting services that helped the credit unions to obtain certification and grant support.   Bobby Michael, CEO of CORE FCU in Statesboro, GA explained how obtaining secondary capital from the Federation had “helped us sustain the growth we’ve experienced as a result of the local community banks denying access to affordable lending products and financial services”. “We’ve increased our capacity to respond to the needs of most consumers in our market place” “We give people the respect and dignity they deserve” Michael concluded.

The National Federation is the only CDFI intermediary exclusively serving credit unions and a founder of the National CDFI Coalition.  Over the years, the Federation has worked closely with the CDFI Fund and member credit unions to connect credit unions serving low-income members to this vital source of capital and technical assistance.

CDFI Certification is a valuable tool that, together with the low-income designation, gives qualifying credit unions access to external resources and partnership opportunities that can strengthen capacity to propel a credit union to its next phase of growth.

Over the years, the Federation has worked closely with the CDFI Fund to streamline their certification process, said Pablo DeFilippi, Director of Membership at the Federation “we’ve made tremendous progress in this front with the acceptance of our random methodology to demonstrate target market eligibility and now are very pleased with their recognition of the unique governance structure of credit unions that makes them directly accountable to their target market.”.

94 of the current 221 CDFI certified credit unions must submit their recertification applications by April 1st. To find out if your credit union is part of this group, click here. “If you are, we strongly suggest you reach out to the Federation for support” said DeFilippi “we have the resources and expertise you need to meet that deadline” he concluded.

Monday’s roundtable is just one part of the Federation’s consulting services  helping credit unions gain access to the resources they need to better serve low-income consumers and underserved communities.

About the Federation

The Federation supports the efforts of member credit unions through advocacy, access to capital and specialized training programs. The Federation is the only credit union organization that specializes in serving community development credit unions, which serve low- to moderate-income communities. The Federation has been a leader in the national CDFI movement since its inception in 1995. Currently, Federation members serve 2.5 primarily low income consumers and have combined assets of $15 billion. For more information, visit .

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