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The Future of the CDFI Fund Under President Trump

The CDFI Fund is over twenty years old. How will the election of a new president impact its future? That’s the question on the mind of everyone working in the field of community development. Credit unions certified as CDFIs are turning to CU Strategic Planning looking for answers. With so many things in D.C. being turned upside down, there are no guarantees, but here are our best insights.

CU Strategic Planning’s Top Insights on President Trump’s potential impact on the CDFI Fund:

1. Will CDFI grant funding still be available? We believe so, but all government programs are under review. The CDFI Fund has had broad bipartisan support for over 20 years. Congress has supported the continued appropriation of funds for the CDFI Fund in both Democrat and Republican administrations. We expect Congress to include the CDFI in future budgets based on past activity and funding that ends up in their districts/states.

2. The Trump Administration is promising stronger economic growth and even better job growth. The CDFI Fund is the type of program that can point to proven results in creating jobs. The Opportunity Finance Network's newest publication, Reducing Income Inequality: How CDFIs Promote Job Quality, does a great job of positioning the impacts of CDFIs in creating sustainable jobs.

3. Republicans, through the appropriations process, have increased the CDFI Fund's appropriations significantly in recent years.

4. As all government programs are under review, and CDFI is in the headlines, we must educate legislators about how the CDFI Fund reduces reliance on entitlement programs, creates jobs and is a public investment in the private sector's work to further self-help for people that want to participate in the economy.

5. The CDFI Fund’s newly adopted Five-Year Strategic Plan is heavily tied to measuring impacts. The plan calls for future CDFI grant award deployment to be tied to past grant performance. This is critical information to share with legislators.

6. With the administration's focus on job creation, the CDFI Fund has a strong role to play in the future of America.

CU Strategic Planning will work with credit unions to make sure that the new administration understands the role credit union CDFIs play, and the importance of increasing future CDFI funding for credit unions. CU Strategic Planning is the leading writer of CDFI grant applications for credit unions. It has secured over $70 million in funding for 52 credit unions in 19 states. Over 111,544 consumers are benefiting from the $753 million in loans credit unions are deploying as a result of their work with CU Strategic Planning.

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