As part of the Alliance’s Women-Led Initiative, 18 Black Women Leaders in Finance, receive $20-25k capacity-building grants to support their organizations
10.25.22, Orlando, FL –Today, the Alliance announced that it has awarded $445k in grants to 18 community development financial institutions (CDFIs) led by Black women. The funds are a part of the Alliance’s $1M Women-Led Initiative, established to address the unique challenges and scale the impact of Black women-led CDFIs within the Alliance membership and in underserved communities.
CDFIs play a crucial role in serving disadvantaged communities, providing flexible credit and financial products and often dedicating more time and resources to technical assistance programs than traditional banks. Despite the impact they have on underserved BIPOC communities, Black Women-led CDFIs are often underfunded and have limited resources compared to other CDFIs.
“By intentionally supporting our Black women CEO members, we’re creating a pipeline of greater investment in marginalized communities. This investment recognizes the importance of Black women-led CDFIs and their unique ability to serve their communities. This capacity-building grant will strengthen the Alliance’s mission to address racial and gender inequities in the CDFI Industry,” said Lenwood V. Long, Sr., President & CEO of the Alliance.
Each grantee received between $20,000-25,000 to support one-time capacity building projects or general operating costs for one year period. Funded projects include the creation and expansion of products and services, professional development, fundraising activities, and projects to improve organizational effectiveness.
“This grant will help Community First Lending to expand its capacity by hiring a consultant to assist with grant applications. CDFIs seem to be perennially under-resourced, so it is extremely meaningful to receive assistance that directly addresses our needs,” said Monica Edwards, Director of Investing and Lending at Community First Lending. “The Alliance has provided so much value to our organization, and we have only been members for a year. I cannot overstate how appreciative we are to have the Alliance as a partner.”
The grant recipients are the following Black Women-led CDFIs and Alliance members:
- ACT! Albany Community Together, Inc.
- AmPac Business Capital
- Appalachian Community Capital
- Baltimore Community Lending, Inc.
- Black Business Investment Fund
- Business Investment Growth (BiG AUSTIN)
- C3 Fund, LLC
- Central County Community Development Corporation
- Community First Lending
- FSC First – Prince George’s Financial Services Corporation
- Greenwood Archer Capital Inc.
- Legacy Redevelopment Corporation
- Neighborhood Development Center
- Neighborhood Housing Services of South Florida
- NewCorp Inc.
- ProsperUs Detroit
- Steppingstones Community Federal Credit Union
- Village Capital Corporation
“The $25,000 grant, provided by the African American Alliance of CDFI CEOs through the generous support of Capital One, underscores an important commitment to women-led Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs). Having served FSC First as President and CEO for over two decades, I see this funding as a unique opportunity for our organization to further invest in transformative technology that will enhance processes. All of this helps us continue to improve our ability to provide access to capital for those most in need. Additionally, our current management team of women leaders will have the opportunity to participate in innovative executive-level professional development and be better positioned to lead FSC First to new levels of service related to both our lending and technical assistance initiatives,” said Shelly M. Gross Wade, President and CEO of FSC First.
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About The African American Alliance of CDFI CEOs
Founded in 2018, the African American Alliance of CDFI CEOs (The Alliance) is a coalition of more than 69 CEOs of Black-led Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs), comprising loan funds, credit unions, venture capital firms, and non-profit developers that serve 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 its programs at http://www.aaacdfi.org.