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Community Development Financial Institutions Fund
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CDFI Certification
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A certified Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) is a specialized financial institution that works in market niches that are underserved by traditional financial institutions. CDFIs provide a unique range of financial products and services in economically distressed target markets, such as mortgage financing for low-income and first-time homebuyers and not-for-profit developers, flexible underwriting and risk capital for needed community facilities, and technical assistance, commercial loans and investments to small start-up or expanding businesses in low-income areas. CDFIs include regulated institutions such as community development banks and credit unions, and non-regulated institutions such as loan and venture capital funds.

CDFI certification is a designation conferred by the CDFI Fund and is a requirement for accessing financial and technical award assistance from the CDFI Fund through the CDFI Program, Native American CDFI Assistance Program, and certain benefits under the BEA Program to support an organization's established community development financing programs.

What do CDFIs do? Listen to former CDFI Fund Director Gambrell talk about the work of CDFIs in this podcast with the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta. A transcript is also available.


To apply to become certified as a CDFI an organization must submit a CDFI Certification Application to the Fund for review. The application must demonstrate that the applicant meets each of the following requirements for the applicant to become certified:

  • Be a legal entity at the time of certification application;
  • Have a primary mission of promoting community development;
  • Be a financing entity;
  • Primarily serve one or more target markets;
  • Provide development services in conjunction with its financing activities;
  • Maintain accountability to its defined target market; and
  • Be a non-government entity and not be under control of any government entity (Tribal governments excluded).

For more detailed information, please refer to the application and the Revised Interim Regulations found in the sections below.

Recertification Conference Calls

In February and March 2013, the CDFI Fund conducted a series of conference calls regarding the recertification initiative. Potential CDFI Recertification Applicants had the opportunity to review recertification requirements and ask specific questions. Click the listings below to listen to the recorded conference calls.

Recertification Conference Calls – February and March 2013

Monthly Conference Calls

The CDFI Fund conducts monthly CDFI Certification Conference Calls which are intended to serve as a forum for potential CDFI Certification Applicants, certified CDFIs, and other CDFI certification stakeholders to ask questions and discuss CDFI certification and the CDFI certification process.

CDFI Certification Conference Call Schedule

  • Thursday, April 16, 2015 – 3:00pm – 4:00pm Eastern
  • Thursday, May 21, 2015 – 3:00pm – 4:00pm Eastern
  • Thursday, June 18, 2015 – 3:00pm – 4:00pm Eastern
  • Thursday, July 16, 2015 – 3:00pm – 4:00pm Eastern
  • Thursday, August 20, 2015 – 3:00pm – 4:00pm Eastern
  • Thursday, September 17, 2015 – 3:00pm – 4:00pm Eastern
  • Thursday, October 15, 2015 – 3:00pm – 4:00pm Eastern
  • Thursday, November 19, 2015 – 3:00pm – 4:00pm Eastern
  • Thursday, December 17, 2015 – 3:00pm – 4:00pm Eastern

Access Instructions
To access any of the conference calls, participants need to call the toll-free number (888) 677-5132 and dial in the numeric Participant Passcode 1250799. No prior registration is necessary. Please note the dial in process is automated. The conference call will have a moderator to direct the questions and answers.


  • CDFI Certification Application Available:
  • Currently available
  • New CDFI Certification Application Deadline:
  • May be submitted year-round
  • CDFI Recertification Application Deadline:
  • Varies by CDFI (See Table of Due Dates in “Supplemental Resources” section below)

    Contact Us

     Application Materials    
     Certified CDFIs    
     Supplemental Resources    
     Program Materials Archive
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