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Community Highlights

Oct. 27, 2017

Maryland:Highlights from Baltimore

Community Development Needs Assessment Workshop

Community based organizations (CBOs), neighborhood associations, and community development corporations (CDCs) located throughout the Baltimore metropolitan area convened on Friday, October 27 for a “Community Development Needs Assessment Workshop.” The Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond partnered with other regulatory agencies and local stakeholders on this program to help these CBOs learn how to build out and develop their organizations’ capacity, realize their potential, and transform their neighborhoods for the better. This full day program was hosted by the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, Maryland Nonprofits, the Community Development Network of Maryland, and the Maryland Bankers Community Reinvestment Group.

The workshop organizers identified a list of approximately 100 emerging neighborhood groups and invited them to fill out an internet-based capacity assessment survey that described each CBO’s current level of governance, strategic planning and financing. “Our focus was on those small but promising organizations who are seeking the technical assistance and capacity building to help them get to the next level of their development,” said Peter M. Dolkart, Richmond Fed’s regional community development manager for Maryland and Washington, D.C.

Guided by the survey results, the workshop’s agenda was tailored specifically to speak to the needs and available resources for this audience. Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI), government officials, bankers, and technical assistance practitioners presented strategies and recommendations to connect community-based organizations with nonprofits and financial institutions that are looking to invest in underserved communities. The workshop included a networking luncheon and closed out with a banker/CDFI panel on successful examples of partnerships with CBO/CDCs.

This workshop was the culmination of a series of 2017 programs highlighting the 40th anniversary and legacy of the Community Reinvestment Act of 1977, the federal law designed to encourage commercial banks and savings associations to help meet the needs of borrowers in all segments of the communities including low- and moderate-income neighborhoods. Participants left the program knowing that these convenings will continue through the year to come.  

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