Inclusiv announces the CDFI learning center – CU CDFI Practitioner Certification Program

Inclusiv launches the first credit union specific community development training initiative that will provide a Credit Union CDFI Practitioner Certificate. This effort is the result of a historic partnership with the University of New Hampshire Carsey Center for Impact Finance and with the support of CUNA Mutual Group.

With support from CUNA Mutual Group, Inclusiv and the UNH Carsey School Center for Impact Finance have partnered to bring to you the Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) Learning Center program. This three-week course will take credit union employees through three modules focused on creating a pipeline of CDFI practitioners in the credit union industry. The program goal is to provide a deep knowledge in Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) history, current state, certification framework, financial inclusion, and community development, as well as sustainable strategies, models, and best practices to support the growth of CDFI credit unions.

Since the Great Recession, the number of CDFI credit unions has grown significantly. CDFI credit unions are at the forefront of helping communities recover from economic crisis and rebuild from natural disasters. Many played a key role in lending to micro and small businesses through the Paycheck Protection Program, and a growing number is leading the conversation around building more resilient and inclusive communities.

“Inclusiv believes the CDFI certification is far more than just a certification. It is a mechanism, a tool to unlock opportunity for credit union to gain capital infusions for deeper lending to the communities that need it the most. It is no mystery that the communities hardest hit in the past few years were historically underserved communities of color. Through a cohort peer-to-peer learning environment, this course will offer educational alignment about what CDFI certification can truly do for credit unions, at the heart of the credit union movement,” said Chriselle Martinez, Ph.D., CDFI Program Director at Inclusiv.

CUNA Mutual Group has been a key supporter of Inclusiv’s efforts to educate credit unions about the benefits of the CDFI certification. Since the announcement of the collaboration in December 2020, hundreds of credit unions have attended a series of webinars organized by Inclusiv and hosted by industry partners to promote the value of the CDFI certification. CUNA Mutual Group featured a CDFI credit union CEO panel at the 2021 Discovery Conference. Today Inclusiv sees the CDFI Learning Center as the next step in the effort to engage more credit unions in community development and increase our collective impact within the CDFI industry.

“CUNA Mutual Group’s commitment to financial inclusion, diversity, and community development has been instrumental to expand Inclusiv’s capacity to reach, educate, and engage credit unions that want to pursue the CDFI certification. We greatly value their support and look forward to continue this collaboration to make an even bigger impact on our movement and the communities we serve,” said Pablo DeFilippi, SVP of Membership and Network Engagement at Inclusiv.

“We believe a brighter financial future should be accessible to everyone; and we’re proud to stand with our credit union partners who are making a difference in underserved areas. Through Inclusiv’s leadership, the CDFI Learning Center is another example of how we can help credit unions support their communities and members while also making progress towards building a more equitable financial system,” said Robert N. Trunzo, President & CEO of CUNA Mutual Group.

“As the CDFI field grows and becomes more sophisticated, the training needs of practitioners are increasing. We are very happy to be working with Inclusiv to bring quality training to their members” said Michael Swack, Professor and Director of the Center for Impact Finance.

CUNA Mutual Group’s corporate and legislative affairs team, led by Christopher Roe, has been a strategic partner with Inclusiv and has spent the last several years helping to advocate for and implement programs to support CDFI credit unions.

The Inclusiv CDFI Learning Center will offer the Credit Union CDFI Practitioner Certificate Program inaugural course in January of 2022. For a list of selected credit unions, click here. Inclusiv plans to offer the course at various times during 2022 and once a quarter in 2023. Check out our Inclusiv CDFI Learning Center page or contact Chriselle Martinez, Ph.D., CDFI Program Director, at

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