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  • CU Strategic Planning

Acting CDFI Director’s First Message Provides Update on 2023 and 2024 Grant Rounds

CDFI Fund Acting Director Marcia Sigal
CDFI Fund Acting Director Marcia Sigal

In her first official statement as acting director of the Community Development Financial Institutions Fund, Marcia Sigal announced two key pieces of information for CDFI-certified institutions and good news for those who have been waiting to apply for certification due to the pause.

First, the good news: The CDFI Fund intends to implement a one-time process change for the 2023-2024 Program Award Application round (the FA Awards) to permit organizations with pending CDFI Certification Applications to apply, rather than requiring certification to already be in place. As the Certification process has been on hold since October of 2022, this means the Fund plans to re-open the Certification Application portal before this fall before accepting Program Award Applications.

Which brings us to those Program Awards. The Notice of Funds Availability (NOFA) marks the beginning of the period when these grant applications are accepted. Sigal’s statement describes the timing of this as late fall. CU Strategic Planning has been hard at work on our credit unions’ FY 23/24 grants for the past year to be ahead of the curve for the upcoming grant round.

CDFI Certification Update

Acting Director Sigal acknowledged that the CDFI certification revisions have piqued the interest of the entire community, and said a revised version still is expected to be released this fall. CU Strategic Planning and many other industry players have been providing input on the matter and working to keep our clients apprised of the situation. We recently learned that the CDFI Fund advisory board took credit unions’ issues to heart and recommended some of our suggestions to the Fund.

As we await the final results for the certification process update, know that it will go into effect immediately for new CDFIs, according to the acting director. Existing CDFIs will receive a grace period before they must submit the newly revised application for recertification.

Acting Director Sigal suggested, and we concur, that existing CDFIs use this time to assess their ability to meet the revised criteria. Know that we are on top of this with our credit unions and will continue to keep yours up to date on the changes that may be needed to ensure continued certification.

Additionally, CU Strategic Planning received a communication from the CDFI Fund affirming our compliance and reporting methodologies earlier this year. Credit unions can continue to rely on CU Strategic Planning to guide your credit union to remain in compliance with CDFI requirements.

Acting Director Sigal also shared that detailed information regarding the deadlines, guidance material and information on the new Application, Annual Certification and Data Collection Report (ACR) and abbreviated Transaction Level Report (TLR) will be provided. CDFI Fund staff will also offer training opportunities.

Over our 15 years and more than 200 credit union certifications, the CU Strategic Planning team has seen first-hand that these changes are never straightforward. Our credit unions have come to rely on us to understand and translate the jargon in the Fund’s communications and provide guidance through areas that are not easily defined. When the new materials are released, we will provide a complete analysis as it pertains to credit unions.


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