WHO WE ARE

THE LAUNCH OF THE CDFA FOUNDATION: RESPONDING TO COMMUNITY NEED

The CDFA Foundation specifically focuses on building equitable and inclusive opportunities for socially and economically disadvantaged individuals & communities working in and engaging with the development finance agency industry.

In 2020, during the heart of the pandemic, the Council of Development Finance Agencies (CDFA), with support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), undertook a robust research initiative to understand the barriers, biases, and challenges that minority/underrepresented small businesses face when trying to access capital via development finance agencies. Development finance agencies, known as DFAs, are quasi-public-private authorities that provide direct or indirect access to capital. The vast majority of DFAs operate bond financing and small business lending programs. DFAs represent the bulk of the non-traditional access to capital resources for borrowers throughout the country and are the primary stakeholder served by the CDFA as a whole.

The research conducted in 2020 resulted in the launch of the $18 million CDFA Equitable Capital Loan Guarantee Program funded by RWJF. This program unlocks capital for minority/underrepresented borrowers in five communities and represents the first and most substantial national effort to create inclusion and equity in the development finance industry directly.

With the CDFA’s research and loan guarantee program as a backdrop, CDFA made the bold move to push beyond these initial efforts with the launch of the CDFA Foundation. The CDFA Foundation, an independent 501(c)3 nonprofit, was launched in 2022 as a direct response to the social, racial, and economic injustices being experienced throughout the country.

The CDFA Foundation was created to address these inequities specifically in the DFA community to assist with crafting solutions for helping capital flow more equitably. The CDFA Foundation was founded to assist DFA leaders with making positive, equitable, and inclusive decisions by providing solutions in three key areas: Inclusive Engagement, Equitable Access to Capital, and Shared Resources.

OUR 3 AREAS OF FOCUS:

INCLUSIVE ENGAGEMENT

Intentionally building opportunities and relationships for all stakeholders to grow and lead in the development finance community.

EQUITABLE ACCESS TO CAPITAL

Advancing research and best practices to help capital providers be proactive in reducing barriers to capital.

SHARED RESOURCES

Helping local communities engage public and private sources of capital.


OUR TEAM

STAFF

Noelle Sheets
Director

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Toby Rittner, DFCP
Chair, CDFA Foundation
President & CEO, Council of Development Finance Agencies

Brian Cooper
Treasurer, CDFA Foundation
Director, Baker Tilly

Kimberly Deardurff
Secretary, CDFA Foundation

Ruben Alonso
CEO, Alt Cap

Richard Frampton
Retired Executive VP, Illinois Finance Authority

Brenda Guess
Assistant Secretary, Louisiana Economic Development

Julia Phipps
Director of Due Diligence, CNote

Michael O'Donnel
Executive Director, Prairie Rose Development Corporation

CONTACT

🏛CDFA Foundation
100 E. Broad Street, Suite 1200
Columbus, OH 43215

614-705-1300