The Jessie Ball duPont Fund has announced that it is partnering with the Opportunity Finance Network, a national umbrella organization for community development financial institutions, to encourage colleges and universities to invest in their communities by working with CDFIs.
Through a series of presentations and a new report, the two organizations will work to encourage leaders in higher education and community development finance to collaborate around innovative approaches to community development opportunities. The newly published report, Partnerships for Community Impact: Higher Education and CDFIs Working Together (16 pages, PDF), highlights examples of partnerships between CDFIs and institutes of higher education in five regions, ranging from development of childcare facilities, housing, and grocery stores to encouraging small business development and providing research and evaluation support for community projects.
"These partnerships have multiplied opportunities for low-income and low-wealth people to access education, to open a small business, to eat healthy, affordable food, and to own a home," said Opportunity Finance Network president Mark Pinsky. "We appreciate the Jessie Ball duPont Fund's leadership in identifying and actively highlighting these collaborations as examples CDFIs and schools can emulate across the country."
"The work of building more vibrant and equitable communities demands creativity, knowledge, and a commitment to place — qualities that are abundant in institutions of higher learning," said Jessie Ball duPont Fund president Sherry Magill. "It also requires capital that is not intimidated by innovation and that is committed to the greater good — qualities that community development financial institutions exemplify."