The California Endowment Awards Multi-Year Grant

Multi-year grant aims to develop innovative programs and support Black-led CDFI CEOs

The California Endowment has awarded $900,000 grant funding over three years to the African American Alliance of CDFI CEOs (The “Alliance”), the only Black-led membership organization for Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) CEOs in the nation. This multi-year grant will allow The Alliance to develop innovative programs and provide critical resources that empowers Black CDFI CEOs to increase their capacity as well as support the development of the African American Equity Impact Scorecard and mentorship training program for Women-Led CDFIs within its membership.

“We are deeply grateful to the California Endowment for this show of confidence in our work and mission at such a pivotal time,” said Lenwood V. Long, Sr., President and CEO of The African American Alliance CDFI CEOs. “The Alliance is committed to economic growth and improved quality of life for Black communities across the nation.”

The Alliance is a newly formed membership-driven intermediary organization that aims to: build the capacity of member organizations; build bridges to economic stability, well-being and wealth for Black individuals, families and communities; and build power in Black communities by challenging and influencing financial sectors to operate more equitably.  It is the only organization leveraging African American CDFI CEOs’ decades of expertise, relationships, and intellectual capital to change the odds and the outcomes for African Americans in underserved communities.

This grant also allows The Alliance to continue its work to address the racial capital gap that continues to plague the balance sheets of Black Led CDFIs and the communities they serve. The Alliance is committed to increasing sustainability and capacity for disinvested Black-owned businesses and communities across the country. This includes a focus on affordable housing and creating pathways to homeownership for underserved populations. 

The Alliance is pleased to receive this grant award to create meaningful impact for Black-led CDFI’s and the communities they serve,” said Donna Gambrell, Board Chair and President & CEO of Appalachian Community Capital. We’ve seen firsthand the urgent need to support these institutions and are confident our initiatives will address and provide long-term systemic solutions.”

“We are deeply grateful to the California Endowment for allowing us to pursue this important work at such a critical time,” said Calvin Holmes, Board Vice President, Board Vice Chair and President/CEO of the Chicago Loan Fund. “The Alliance is uniquely positioned to address economic growth and improved quality of life for African Americans in underserved communities across America.”

About The African American Alliance of CDFI CEOs

The African American Alliance of CDFI CEOs (The Alliance) is a coalition of 53 CEOs of Black-led Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs), which include loan funds, credit unions, venture capital firms, and non-profit developers. Since 2018, The Alliance has represented all 50 states and the District of Columbia. As a result, members are uniquely positioned to address issues related to housing and access to capital for African American populations and communities. Learn more about the Alliance and initiatives at  

About The California Endowment

The California Endowment, a private, statewide health foundation, was established in 1996 to expand access to affordable, quality health care for underserved individuals and communities and promote fundamental improvements in the health status of all Californians. Headquartered in downtown Los Angeles, The Endowment has regional offices in San Francisco, Sacramento, Fresno, and San Diego, with program staff working throughout the state. From 2010-2020, The Endowment will focus the majority of its resources on its 10-year strategic plan Building Healthy Communities.