St. Louis Community Development Financial Institution Coalition

The St. Louis CDFI Coalition is a partnership among seven Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) that offer an array of capital, development, and consulting services and share a common mission to empower a comprehensively healthy St. Louis community through support for nonprofits, small businesses, and low-income communities.

Watch this video to learn more about the St. Louis CDFI Coalition’s work and vision for the St. Louis region.

What is a CDFI?

CDFIs, which are designated by the U.S. Department of the Treasury, provide financial services to underserved areas where commercial banks and lenders leave gaps. Some specialize in midsize to large loans to community-serving agencies; others provide small, individual loans and other credit and financial services.

Coalition Priorities

The Coalition was founded in 2016 and has come together to:

  1. Promote positive financial policies for underserved communities.

  2. Drive strong partnerships with key community stakeholders, including policy makers, banks, and practitioners.

  3. Raise awareness of the critical role that CDFIs play in community development and the services offered.

  4. Collaborate to drive innovative financial tools for high-impact community investments.

By nature of their nonprofit status, all Coalition members offer mission-driven loans and other resources that tend to be more flexible and accessible than traditional financing. Loans and resources are deployed across the region into some of St. Louis’ most economically distressed communities.

CDFIs and the Ferguson Commission Report

The Ferguson Commission Report explicitly highlights the work of CDFIs and calls for enhanced access to banking in order to build equity via four recommendations:

  1. Build the capacity of CDFIs.

  2. Invest in high functioning CDFIs.

  3. Greater assignment of CRA credit to CDFI activities.

  4. Embed public banking models into CDFIs.

 

Coalition Members