Opportunity Finance Network Conference encourages CDFIs to ‘rethink’
YCUP’s Scott Butterfield among conference presenters, says ‘everyone wins’ when credit unions focus on financial inclusion.
SEATTLE, WA (October 26, 2016) — The Opportunity Finance Network (OFN) Conference kicked off Monday, encouraging more than 1,200 Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) to “rethink” economic inclusion nationwide. The OFN Conference is the largest gathering in the CDFI industry.
“Today, tens of millions of consumers are overlooked and underserved,” said Scott Butterfield, presenter and principal of Your Credit Union Partner (YCUP), a Seattle-based consulting firm. “Credit unions were charted to serve the overlooked and underserved. It’s what we do. Perhaps there has never been a better time for credit unions, especially those that are stagnant and having a difficult time growing, to focus on financial inclusion. For many credit unions, choosing to focus on underserved markets provides for their bottom lines as well.”
Among the breakout sessions offered was “Creating a Sustainable Foundation for Financial Inclusion.” Butterfield, alongside Sarah Marshall, North Side Community Federal Credit Union, and Jamey Gill, Mendo Lake Credit Union, shared strategies to successfully launch targeted outreach programs, specifically for creating greater financial inclusion within the community.
“The good news is that everyone wins – credit unions, communities, members – when credit unions focus on financial inclusion,” Butterfield continued. “Look around you. If you have an underserved market in one of the communities you serve, even if its small and emerging, you may want to investigate opportunities to reach out and include those groups. It just might prove to be the shot in the arm your credit union and community needs for a better quality of life.”
Participants heard examples of how best to rally staff around higher member engagement and loan deployment; successfully leverage community partnerships for increased outreach; and an overview of key resources crucial to expanding financial inclusion. Most valuable was the participants’ opportunity to better understand the perspectives of employees, community partners, and vendors to ensure a more successful and sustainable effort overall.
“It’s an honor to be included with such an esteemed group of presenters at such an outstanding gathering of people ready to help their communities,” Butterfield concluded. “With the increasing number of CDFI credit unions and those already committed to serving the underserved and unbanked, we’re pleased to see the growing number of credit unions interested in programming dedicated to their needs.”
About Your Credit Union Partner
Scott Butterfield, CUDE, founded Your Credit Union Partner in 2011 to help credit unions grow, become more efficient, and increase profitability. Today, the consulting firm is the trusted advisor of more than 200 credit unions across the United States. For more information, visit http://www.yourcupartner.org.
About the Opportunity Finance Network
The leading national network of CDFIs, Opportunity Finance Network (OFN) shapes policy, conducts research, and creates partnership and programs that help members deliver high impact in financially stressed communities. Members offer responsible financial products and services in all types of communities – urban, rural, suburban, and Native – across the country. With members, investors, and partners, OFN connects communities to capital that creates jobs, supports small business, builds affordable housing, cultivates healthy food and energy efficiency, and promotes safe borrowing and lending. For more information, visit www.ofn.org.