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CDFI Survey Background

Community Scope
Volume 4, Issue 1 2016

In 2009, the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond began conducting a survey of CDFIs in the Southeast region of the United States. The results from the 2009 survey were used to create a directory of CDFIs in the Southeast, as well as to inform research about CDFI capitalization and service provision in the Southeast. Since then, the survey has been redeployed on a biennial basis, with assistance from the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta in 2011 and 2015, and from the Support Center, a Raleigh, North Carolina-based, CDFI, in 2013 and 2015. Results from the 2011 and 2013 surveys were used to update the online directory of CDFIs, and in 2015, the survey was revised to include more detailed questions about capitalization, demand, capacity, non-lending programs and services, and impact investing. To maintain consistency with past surveys, the 2015 survey defined the Southeast as Alabama, Arkansas, the District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia.

Figure 1: Survey Responses by State

Figure 1

Source: Survey results from the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond’s 2015 Survey of CDFIs in the Southeast.


The distribution list for the 2015 survey was compiled using contact information from the Richmond Fed’s 2013 CDFI directory, the CDFI Fund and the Opportunity Finance Network.2 The final distribution list included 257 CDFIs.

As has been experienced in the past, there were various complications with the final distribution list, including out-of-date contact information and multiple listings for CDFIs that have merged. The survey was distributed via email, and staff members conducted at least four follow-up phone calls with each CDFI to encourage participation. In total, there were 146 survey responses representing 147 CDFIs.3 The total response rate for the survey was 57.2 percent; state response rates ranged from 31.1 percent (Mississippi) to 93.8 percent (Virginia). Detailed information on the number of respondent CDFIs headquartered in each state can be found in Figure 1.

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