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Community Scope
Volume 4, Issue 1 2016

Although the data outlined in this report is not representative of all CDFIs in the Southeastern United States, it does illustrate trends in CDFI activity in the region. The CDFIs in the survey sample vary widely by employment and asset size, but as a whole, they are major providers of small business loans, financial education and technical assistance, and are generally looking to expand the services they provide to underserved markets. Respondent CDFIs largely capitalize on resources provided by regulated financial institutions and the federal government, but still report difficulty accessing flexible, lower-cost capital to fund their operations and programs. Survey respondents generally maintain portfolios that conform to the CDFI Fund’s Minimum Prudent Standard (MPS) while operating in high risk target markets. Overall, demand appears to be growing for the products and services provided by the CDFIs in the survey sample, and financial constraints remain a substantial challenge as CDFIs work to meet this demand.

Additional research efforts using data from the 2015 survey will endeavor to identify gaps in CDFI service provision, and more comprehensively explore segments of the CDFI market. Future biennial iterations of the survey may allow for an analysis of developments in CDFI lending activity and responses to capital challenges overtime.


Thank you to Sadaf Knight and Akem Durand of The Support Center for their helpful comments on the content of the 2015 Survey of CDFIs in the Southeast and for assistance with outreach in North Carolina and South Carolina; to Will Lambe of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta for his valuable comments on the content of the survey; to Jeanne Bonds, Peter Dolkart, Jen Giovannitti, Lisa Hearl, Emma Sissman and Isabelle White for assistance with outreach efforts; to Surekha Carpenter for assistance with the appendices;and to Jack Cooper, Renee Haltom, and Shannon McKay for their careful review and insightful comments.


20 Years of Opportunity Finance: An Analysis of Trends and Growth,” Opportunity Finance Network (2015).

Community Development Financial Institutions in North Carolina: Creating Jobs and Community Economic Development,” The Support Center (2012).

Fairchild, Gregory B. and Ruo Jia. “Risk and Efficiency among CDFIs: A Statistical Evaluation using Multiple Methods.” CDFI Fund. (August 2014).

Neelakantan, Urvi, Lisa Hearl and Kimberly Zeuli, “CDFIs in the Southeast,” Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond Community Scope  Vol. 1 No. 1, (2010).

"Our Program Areas," CDFI Fund.

Sectors of the CDFI Industry,” Opportunity Finance Network.

Swack, Michael, Eric Hangen and Jack Northrup. “CDFIs Stepping into the Breach: An Impact Evaluation Summary Report.” CDFI Fund. (February 2015).

Swack, Michael, Jack Northrup, and Eric Hangen, “CDFI Industry Analysis: Summary Report,” Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco Community Investments 24(2) (2012).

The CDFI Fund: Empowering Underserved Communities,” CDFI Fund.

What are CDFIs?” CDFI Fund.


What Does the CDFI Fund Do?” CDFI Fund.


The CDFI Fund contact list used to create the survey contact list was current as of October 31, 2015. The most recent list of certified CDFIs can be found at:


In one instance, a respondent submitted one survey response for a depository institution holding company and its subsidiary CDFI. Both the depository institution holding company and subsidiary were marked as respondent institutions in the 2015 directory, but the submission was recorded as a single survey response.


Emerging CDFIs are defined as those with pending CDFI Certification applications.


One CDFI reported first being certified in 1992, but that observation was excluded from the results, as the CDFI Fund originated in 1994.

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