In 2014, the National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions embarked on an industry-wide effort to educate credit unions about the benefits and opportunities CDFI certification represents, says Pablo DeFilippi, the Federation’s vice president of membership and business development.
“The goal,” he says, “is to significantly increase the number of CDFI-certified credit unions and to build on the momentum created by NCUA’s fast-track process to provide low-income designation to eligible credit unions.”
Here’s how the Federation and system partners are working together to increase awareness throughout the industry:
• NCUA added a CDFI Certification Challenge to its Technical Assistance Grants (TAG) initiatives, enabling 61 credit unions to seek this credential.
• CUNA’s Community Credit Union Committee and the Federation published a white paper, showing the impact of CDFI certified credit unions and their financial performance compared with other types of CDFIs. Four findings show CDFI credit unions:
• Suncoast Credit Union, Tampa, at $5.8 billion in assets, became the largest CDFI and represents a new breed of highcapacity credit unions impacting low-income communities and financially underserved populations.
• State credit union leagues/associations and the Federation have hosted CDFI/LID roundtables.
CDFI certification is within reach for thousands of credit unions, DeFilippi says.
Learn more about this growing segment of the industry at two conferences in 2015. The Federation will host a CDFI Credit Union Roundtable at CUNA’s Governmental Affairs Conference in Washington, D.C. in March. And in September, the Federation joins with CUNA’s Community Credit Union & Growth Conference in Phoenix. Visit cdcu.coop.