The CRA Podcast

The CRA Podcast was created to elevate Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) concepts and inspire industry leaders to consider new approaches to their economic and community development reinvestment pursuits.

Join me for these lively and deeper conversations with today’s community development leaders as they embark upon innovative collaborations.

CRA Podcast Episodes

This episode interviews Lynette Bell, President of the Truist Foundation, Armeer Kenchen, Executive Director of CornerSquare Community Capital, “HP” Harold Pettigrew, CEO of Wacif and Jerrell “J” Deaver, Board Member and Investment Committee Chair of Natural Capital Investment Fund.  The podcast highlights the power of bank and CDFI partnerships in serving racially and ethnically diverse small business owners, women, and individuals in low- and moderate-income communities.

CRA TODAY
SHOWNOTES: The Catalytic Impact of a $40 Million Investment in the CDFI Sector

This episode interviews the following leaders in community development:

  • Lynette Bell, President of the Truist Foundation
  • Armeer Kenchen, Executive Director CornerSquare Community Capital and the NC Rural Center’s State Small Business Credit Initiatives
  • Harold Pettigrew, CEO Wacif
  • Jerrell “J” Deaver, “retired” banker from First Citizens Bank, Board Member and Investment Committee Chair Natural Capital Investment Fund

BB&T and SunTrust formed Truist with a shared purpose – to inspire and build better lives and communities equally and equitably across all geographies. By providing grants in support of nonprofit organizations through the Truist Foundation, we can help grow their impact. In the first half of this episode, we will hear from Lynette Bell, President of the Truist Foundation. Learn more about why Truist decided to invest $40 million in the CDFI sector and how banks, both large and small, should go about approaching CDFIs in their respective markets.

In the second half of this episode, we will hear from three members of the new CornerSquare Community Capital Team – Armeer Kenchen (Executive Director CornerSquare Community Capital and the NC Rural Center’s State Small Business Credit Initiatives), Jerrell “J” Deaver (Board Member and Investment Committee Chair Natural Capital Investment Fund), and Harold Pettigrew (CEO Wacif). Launched by the NC Rural Center and Truist, CornerSquare emerged from the BB&T and SunTrust merger and is a new resource for the CDFI sector. Through this innovative program, one hundred percent of funding will be allocated to racially and ethnically diverse small business owners, women, and individuals in low- and moderate-income communities, with a focus on Black-owned small businesses.

Modeled after the NC Rural Center’s Loan Participation Program, CornerSquare Community Capital will be a long-term, sustainable solution to support CDFIs working with small businesses at the local level. By purchasing a portion of loans made by a CDFI to historically underserved entrepreneurs, CornerSquare will enable the participating CDFIs to increase their lending capacity with their existing capital, ultimately expanding their reach and support to more small businesses in their operating areas. It will also enable CDFIs to lower transaction risk through the program’s subordinate position, allowing participating lenders to support high mission projects that otherwise might not have fit their credit criteria.

CornerSquare Community Capital will initially focus on CDFIs located in Truist’s footprint, which includes the following states: North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, West Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Indiana, Texas, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Arkansas, Mississippi, and Washington, D.C.

There are currently five CDFI partners in the program: ACE,NCIFund, Pathway Lending, Wacif, and BBIF. CornerSquare Community Capital is accepting additional CDFIs, as well as Minority Depository Institutions (MDIs) into the program. Interested organizations should contact Julia Malinowski, Director of Strategic Initiatives at jmalinowski@cornersquare.org. CornerSquare will operate as a subsidiary of the NC Rural Center, a nonprofit that has worked for more than 30 years to support small business owners and entrepreneurs in low- and moderate-income communities. For general inquiries, contact info@cornersquare.org.

The Washington Area Community Investment Fund’s (Wacif) mission is to promote equity and economic opportunity in underserved neighborhoods in the Washington, D.C. region. Their mission is driven by three strategic pillars: inclusive entrepreneurship, community wealth building, and equitable economic development, and is fulfilled by providing access to capital products and services, and capacity building technical assistance to low- and moderate-income entrepreneurs.

The Natural Capital Investment Fund (NCIFund) specializes in triple-bottom-line enterprises—those that address the “3 E’s”:

  • Economy: Generates a viable financial return, either by maintaining or creating profits, return on investment, or a tangible asset.
  • Equity: Provides an opportunity for disadvantaged groups to access information, financial resources, vital community services, or livelihoods/employment.
  • Ecology: Benefits or lessens impact on the natural world by improving stewardship of natural resources, or reducing energy use, waste, pollution, or materials use.

For general inquiries about Natural Capital Investment Fund, contact Marten Jenkins at mjenkins@conservationfund.org or 681-252-4276.

CRA Today and the CRA Hub

Linda Ezuka, Founder, CRA Today and the CRA Hub

www.cratoday.com

www.cratoday.com/hub

The CRA Hub is a new way to connect and forge community development impact through our CRA programs. The CRA Hub is an exclusive membership for bank professionals to connect with fellow colleagues, find inspiration and master the art of the CRA.

No matter where you are on your CRA journey, the CRA Hub has something for you. This membership is for you if:

  • you are new to CRA due to a promotion, new job or position or were never formally trained on CRA;
  • you understand key CRA program elements and have navigated through your first CRA exam cycle and want to deepen your understanding of CRA best practices;
  • you are making progress on the integrity of your bank’s CRA data collection, maintenance and/or reporting and want to ensure enhanced data integrity;
  • you want to learn from experts about refreshing your CRA programs, and discover innovative programs to consider in your assessment areas;
  • you are navigating CRA regulatory reform or you suspect reform is on the horizon;
  • you want to vet an idea and discuss your approach to CRA decisions with CRA colleagues who understand the unique challenges in your programs; or
  • you want to forge potential partnerships for impact in a broader regional area.

Questions?  Reach out to us at info@cratoday.com

This episode interviews Brett Simmons, Fund Manager, and Joyce Klein, Chair of the Board of the EBA Fund and Director of Business Ownership Initiative, a program of the Aspen Institute. The podcast highlights the launch of Entrepreneur Backed Assets (EBA) Fund.

CRA TODAY
SHOWNOTES: Episode 10: EBA Fund: Converting the promise of entrepreneurship into assets that build economic inclusion and equity

CRA Podcast Episode: EBA Fund: Converting the promise of entrepreneurship into assets that build economic inclusion and equity

This episode interviews Brett Simmons, Fund Manager, and Joyce Klein, Chair of the Board of the EBA Fund and Director of Business Ownership Initiative, a program of the Aspen Institute.  The podcast highlights the launch of Entrepreneur Backed Assets (EBA) Fund, is a new nonprofit creating a secondary market for microloans, a new tool to help capitalize CDFI lenders doing amazing work to serve entrepreneurs of color, small businesses in low-income communities, and the millions navigating through the pandemic. 

The EBA Fund has been made possible thanks to the Citi Foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Microsoft Corporation, and Woodforest National.

More information can be found at ebafund.org and at https://lnkd.in/g65muHd

Link to EBA Fund Presentation

Microenterprise Primer and Information: https://www.aspeninstitute.org/topics/microenterprise/

Brett Simmons, Fund Manager, EBA Fund

brett@ebafund.org

Brett Simmons is the Managing Director and Principal with Revolve and leads fund management for EBA Fund. He has more than a decade of program, planning, and entrepreneurial experience across industries. As Director of Programs and Policy, he was instrumental in Accion Chicago’s efforts to expand lending more than 150% during the aftermath of the financial crisis. Since that time, he has worked with several start-up engineered systems companies and in operations strategy and planning for Cummins Power Systems, a fortune 200 manufacturing firm. Brett earned a joint B.A. in Economics and History from Xavier University and has both a Master of Business Administration and Master of Philosophy of Religion from Yale University.  

Joyce Klein, Chair of the Board, EBA Fund

joyce.klein@aspeninstitute.org

Joyce Klein is the director of the Business Ownership Initiative, a program of the Aspen Institute, which advances business ownership as an economic opportunity strategy. Ms. Klein assumed the leadership of BOI (formerly FIELD) in 2012, after working as a senior consultant since the program’s inception in 1998. She is recognized as a leading expert on the field, speaking at national and regional industry conferences and being quoted in a variety of news media including The New York Times and National Public Radio’s Marketplace. Joyce has more than 20 years of experience studying and supporting microenterprise and entrepreneurial development programs in the United States, and has authored or co-authored numerous publications, including funder brief and strategy guides, evaluation and research reports, case studies and policy briefs. She has also designed and managed grant programs aimed at supporting innovation in the practice of microenterprise development in the United States.

Under Ms. Klein’s leadership FIELD launched the Microfinance Impact Collaborative, helped to create the Small Business Borrowers’ Bill of Rights and the Responsible Business Lending Coalition, and launched new research into the role of platforms and networks in expanding the scale and impact of the US microenterprise field. BOI’s work includes examining the potential role of business ownership and the microenterprise field in addressing the challenges of financial inclusion, the racial wealth gap, and career development for youth.

Ms. Klein also has worked as a consultant in the microenterprise field, providing assistance to clients including the Community Development Financial Institutions Fund of the US Department of the Treasury, and CFED (formerly the Corporation for Enterprise Development). Prior to her work with BOI, Ms. Klein led CFED’s work in microenterprise development. She holds a master’s in public policy from the University of California at Berkeley and a B.A. in economics from Boston College.

CRA Today and the CRA Hub

Linda Ezuka, Founder, CRA Today and the CRA Hub

www.cratoday.com

https://cratoday.com/Hub 

The CRA Hub is a new way to connect and forge community development impact through our CRA programs. The CRA Hub is an exclusive membership for bank professionals to connect with fellow colleagues, find inspiration and master the art of the CRA. 

No matter where you are on your CRA journey, the CRA Hub has something for you. This membership is for you if: 

  • you are new to CRA due to a promotion, new job or position or were never formally trained on CRA;
  • you understand key CRA program elements and have navigated through your first CRA exam cycle and want to deepen your understanding of CRA best practices;
  • you are making progress on the integrity of your bank’s CRA data collection, maintenance and/or reporting and want to ensure enhanced data integrity;
  • you want to learn from experts about refreshing your CRA programs, and discover innovative programs to consider in your assessment areas;
  • you are navigating CRA regulatory reform or you suspect reform is on the horizon;
  • you want to vet an idea and discuss your approach to CRA decisions with CRA colleagues who understand the unique challenges in your programs; or
  • you want to forge potential partnerships for impact in a broader regional area.

This episode interviews find CRA Co-Founders, Ben Loehle and Brian Waters, and Ted Gerbick, Director of Marketing & Philanthropic Giving and Emily Gardner, Senior CRA Analyst of First Western Trust. Together we explore tools for modern day CRA programs, regulatory reform and philanthropic priorities during the pandemic. We end on a lighter note sharing our hopes for a fresh new year putting COVID behind us and looking forward to in-person convenings and more high impact community development work.

CRA TODAY
SHOWNOTES: Episode 9: findCRA and First Western Trust-Partnering for Impact

CRA Podcast Episode:  findCRA and First Western Trust-Partnering for Impact

This episode interviews findCRA Co-Founders, Ben Loehle and Brian Waters, and Ted Gerbick, Director of Marketing & Philanthropic Giving and Emily Gardner, Senior CRA Analyst of First Western Trust. Together we explore tools for modern day CRA programs, regulatory reform and philanthropic priorities during the pandemic. We end on a lighter note sharing our hopes for a fresh new year putting COVID behind us and looking forward to in-person convenings and more high impact community development work.

findCRA

findCRA is a national software and CRA consulting company, supporting banks of all sizes in the smallest communities to the largest cities.  findCRA’s software is designed with a “CRA first” approach to provide powerful data, search tools and support services that help banks research and connect with CRA-qualified nonprofits and better understand their communities. Learn more at www.findCRA.com 

Ben Loehle, CEO & Co-Founder

Brian Waters, President & Co-Founder

Links to findCRA’s Software Solutions:

Community Qualifier

Contexter

Request a Demo

First Western Trust

Our mission is to be the best private bank for the Western wealth management client and our integrated business model distinguishes us from other banks and non-bank financial services companies in the markets in which we operate. We believe that the “Western wealth management client” shares our entrepreneurial spirit and values our sophisticated, high-touch wealth management services that are tailored to meet their specific needs. https://myfw.com/

Community Involvement and Philanthropic Pillars

https://myfw.com/community/

Ted Gerbick, Director of Marketing & Philanthropic Giving 

Theodore joined First Western in April of 2019 as Director of Marketing. In this role, Theodore develops and delivers First Western’s strategy and approach for marketing, advertising, public relations, communications, and philanthropic giving activities.  Theodore works directly with senior leaders across the organization to infuse everything First Western does with the promise of our brand for our clients, associates, and stakeholders.

Previously, Theodore served in leadership roles focused on strategy, marketing, analytics, and product management for KeyBank and CoBank, headquartered in Ohio and Colorado, respectively. Theodore brings with him nearly 20 years of working knowledge related to the development and marketing of payments, commercial card, cash management, and real estate services.

Credentials: BA, Marketing – Kent State University, MBA, Leadership and Business Management – Kent State University

Emily Gardner, Senior CRA Analyst

Emily joined First Western in June of 2017 and currently serves as CRA Analyst. In this role, Emily administers and oversees the daily operation of the Bank’s CRA program, maintains CRA documentation, and delivers organization-wide CRA training. Emily is also responsible for the preparation of analyses and reporting related to First Western’s CRA compliance and oversight committees.

Additionally, Emily works closely with other members of our CRA Committee and our associates to ensure that First Western continues to reach our CRA goals each year.

Prior to First Western, Emily successfully launched and owned a small online business, for which she was awarded Entrepreneur of the Year by the Young Americans Center for Financial Education.

Credentials: BS, Business Administration: Marketing and Information Management – University of Colorado 

CRA Today and the CRA Hub

Linda Ezuka, Founder, CRA Today and the CRA Hub

www.cratoday.com

https://cratoday.com/Hub 

The CRA Hub is a new way to connect and forge community development impact through our CRA programs. The CRA Hub is an exclusive membership for bank professionals to connect with fellow colleagues, find inspiration and master the art of the CRA. 

No matter where you are on your CRA journey, the CRA Hub has something for you. This membership is for you if: 

  • you are new to CRA due to a promotion, new job or position or were never formally trained on CRA;
  • you understand key CRA program elements and have navigated through your first CRA exam cycle and want to deepen your understanding of CRA best practices;
  • you are making progress on the integrity of your bank’s CRA data collection, maintenance and/or reporting and want to ensure enhanced data integrity;
  • you want to learn from experts about refreshing your CRA programs, and discover innovative programs to consider in your assessment areas;
  • you are navigating CRA regulatory reform or you suspect reform is on the horizon;
  • you want to vet an idea and discuss your approach to CRA decisions with CRA colleagues who understand the unique challenges in your programs; or
  • you want to forge potential partnerships for impact in a broader regional area.

In this episode of the CRA Files, Ron Brooks interviews Linda Ezuka: Consultant. Community Advocate. Committed to transforming communities through the power of economic development and CRA. Listen to hear Linda describe her vision for the CRA Hub and other community development thoughts.

CRA TODAY
SHOWNOTES: Episode 8: Demystifying Community Reinvestment

In this episode of the CRA Files, Ron Brooks interviews Linda Ezuka: Consultant. Community Advocate. Committed to transforming communities through the power of economic development and CRA.  Listen to hear Linda describe her vision for the CRA Hub and other community development thoughts.

CRA Partners is a turnkey CRA compliance program powered by the Senior Housing Crime Prevention Foundation. The Foundation operates Senior Crimestoppers, a nationwide crime prevention program educating and safeguarding against theft, abuse and neglect. Senior Crimestoppers is funded exclusively by the banking industry.

Partner with us and you will satisfy your bank’s CRA requirements, boost your community relations profile and develop new business relationships, while ensuring safe, secure senior living environments, HUD communities and state veterans homes.

https://shcpfoundation.org/cra-partners/

This episode interviews Jenny Flores, who leads the Wells Fargo Foundation as their Head of Small Business Growth Philanthropy. Jenny joins me in a community development conversation and Wells Fargo’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion in their programs supporting small business. This episode highlights the power of diversity, equity and inclusion in our collective community development work.

CRA TODAY
SHOWNOTES: Episode 7: The Power of Diversity in Community Development

This episode interviews Jenny Flores, who leads the Wells Fargo Foundation as their Head of Small Business Growth Philanthropy. Jenny joins me in a community development conversation and Wells Fargo’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion in their programs supporting small business.  This episode highlights the power of diversity, equity and inclusion in our collective community development work. 

Jenny Flores, Head of Small Business Growth Philanthropy

Jenny Flores is Head of Small Business Growth Philanthropy for the Wells Fargo Foundation, one of the largest corporate foundations in the U.S. In 2018, the Wells Fargo Foundation donated $444 million to accelerate economic opportunity and success in underserved communities with a strategic focus on housing affordability, small business growth, and financial health.

With more than two decades of experience in philanthropy, employee engagement, and corporate citizenship, Flores is responsible for combining financial resources with business expertise to help underserved and diverse entrepreneurs expand their impact on the economy and ability to provide jobs. Most recently, she served as Head of Community Affairs and Corporate Social Responsibility at Bank of the West, where she led the company’s strategy for small business engagement and impact, including the creation of a new $30 million investment fund with community development financial institutions. Prior to her role with Bank of the West, Flores spent a decade in community development at Citigroup and also held roles at the Congress of California Seniors, Greenlining Institute, and the California State Legislature.

An active community leader, Flores is based in San Francisco and serves on the Board of Directors for the Ocean Conservancy and volunteers as a mentor for start-up entrepreneurs through the Nasdaq Entrepreneurial Center’s Milestone Maker program.

She received a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of California–Berkeley and an MBA from the FW Olin Graduate School of Business at Babson College in Wellesley, Massachusetts.

Wells Fargo Open for Business: Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) Program

https://www08.wellsfargomedia.com/assets/pdf/about/corporate-responsibility/open-for-business-fund.pdf

Wells Fargo will donate processing fees generated from the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) to support nonprofits, including Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs), helping small businesses recover from the economic, health and social crises of 2020. We anticipate awarding approximately $250 million in grants to CDFIs, CDFI intermediaries and special‐purpose funds formed by CDFIs for rapid response to small business. The size of grants will depend on an organization’s capacity, geographic scope and alignment with the program selection criteria as provided below. Grants, generally ranging from $250,000 up to $5,000,000 will be awarded.

As the CEO of Wells Fargo, I can commit that our company will do all we can to support our diverse communities and foster a company culture that deeply values and respects diversity and inclusion. …I firmly believe a diversity of insights and perspectives will drive Wells Fargo to the best ideas and outcomes possible. Part of our journey is about being able to listen to the experiences of others and having honest, open dialogue across differences.    ~Charlie Scharf 

Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) is a diversified, community-based financial services company with $1.97 trillion in assets. Wells Fargo’s vision is to satisfy our customers’ financial needs and help them succeed financially. News, insights, and perspectives from Wells Fargo are also available at Wells Fargo Stories. https://stories.wf.com/

This podcast interviews Kenneth Thomas, Ph.D., of Community Development Fund Advisors, one of our pioneers of the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) to share a high-level overview of CRA Reform now that the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) released its final rule. This episode highlights CRA modernization, interagency positions, politics and coronavirus recovery efforts.

CRA TODAY
SHOWNOTES: Episode 6: CRA Modernization and COVID Recovery Efforts Collide

This podcast interviews Ken Thomas, Ph.D., of Community Development Fund Advisors, one of our pioneers of the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) to share a high-level overview of CRA Reform now that the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) released its final rule. This episode highlights CRA modernization, interagency positions, politics and coronavirus recovery efforts.  

As so many of us are working with our banks to support our local communities recover and re-open yet CRA Reform is now at the forefront, especially for the OCC regulated entities. This episode is focused on 4 key elements, starting with a little politics, and then shifting to solutions and impact:  

  1. CRA Reform-Timing and Political Considerations 
  2. OCC’s Final Rule Framework 
  3. FDIC FRB OCC Interagency Future Considerations
  4. Community Development Impact and COVID Recovery Thoughts 

Here are a few links to take a deeper dive into key concepts and resources: 

Office of the Comptroller of the Currency Press Release, Comptroller of the Currency Joseph M. Otting Resignation Announcement 

https://www.occ.treas.gov/news-issuances/news-releases/2020/nr-occ-2020-66.html

Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, Community Reinvestment Act Final Rule 12 CFR Parts 25 and 195

https://www.occ.gov/news-issuances/federal-register/2020/nr-occ-2020-63a.pdf

Community Development Fund Advisors https://communitydevelopmentfund.com/

Ken Thomas Ph.D. LinkedIn https://barefootbeachcafe.com/menu/

CRA Today https://cratoday.com/

Linda Ezuka LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/linda-ezuka-cra-today/

Click here to access a free download “30 Creative Ways Beyond Forbearance and Forgiveness Programs to Support COVID Recovery

Just when we were all getting ready to sit down and draft our OCC and FDIC CRA Comment Letters in preparation for our April 8th deadline, the unfathomable happened: our world shifted to all things COVID-19. Linda shares her thoughts around bank’s role in recovery efforts and provides details of the interagency regulatory response under the CRA.

CRA TODAY
SHOWNOTES: Episode 5: Community Action and Partnerships Prevails as Banks Mobilize to Respond to COVID-19

Community Action and Partnerships Prevails as Banks Mobilize to Respond to COVID-19

Just when we were all getting ready to sit down and draft our OCC and FDIC CRA Comment Letters in preparation for our April 8th deadline, the unfathomable happened: our world shifted to all things COVID-19.  Linda shares her thoughts around bank’s role in recovery efforts and provides details of the interagency regulatory response under the CRA.
 
CRA Comments Letters are due April 8, 2020-Click here to learn more and to submit your comments:    https://www.regulations.gov/docket?D=OCC-2018-0008
 
On March 9, 2020, the federal financial institution regulatory agencies (THE FRB, OCC AND THE FDIC) and state bank regulators issued a statement to encourage financial institutions to meet the financial services needs of their customers and members in areas affected by COVID-19.  Click here to learn more and review the formal statement: https://www.occ.treas.gov/news-issuances/bulletins/2020/bulletin-2020-19.html
 
The Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC) also issued a recent press release to support banks during this unprecedented time:  https://www.ffiec.gov/press/pr032520.htm

Troubled Debt Restructurings Interagency Supervisory Guidancehttps://www.fdic.gov/news/news/financial/2013/fil13050.html 

 

So, as we continue to navigate these unprecedented times, let continue to be curious… Let’s not forget to pause and ask ourselves as bankers, community development advocates and nonprofit leaders:  WHAT ELSE IS POSSIBLE?  

  • How can we partner with CDFIs to extend the traditional boundaries of capital where it is most needed? 
  • How can we leverage programs and services provided by social service agencies, federal health clinics and community action agencies to meet the foundational needs of the most economically vulnerable?  
  • How can we further lift local Community Foundation and philanthropic emergency response funds to invest capital for the greatest good? 

This pandemic is an unprecedented challenge for the entire country and the world, but especially for our most economically fragile people, our local organizations and businesses in our communities. And it is natural about now to also ask what we can do as families, as individuals and just as a good human… What else can we do to support our most vulnerable? 

Although we need all businesses, large and small to come through this crisis as a going concern, now more than ever, the small business community needs your support. If you can, shop small and local.  Heck, even let those kids and teenagers chose which restaurants they want to take turns supporting with a swift take out order for your next family meal.   Support the people and businesses you love… and above all else, be thankful for those walls that surround you and the roof that hovers over those you hold the most dear (even though they may be driving you a bit crazy…!) 

Our guest for this episode is Richard Woo, retired CEO of the Russell Family Foundation. During his tenure at the foundation, he learned first-hand the power of impact investing and shares his early explorations, community partnership and impressive ROI results.

CRA TODAY
SHOWNOTES: Episode 4: Impact Investing and How Powerful It Can Be For The Community

Impact investing, which seeks to generate social and/or environmental benefits while delivering a financial return, is expanding as a promising tool for both investors and philanthropists.   Stakeholders in community development have much to gain from learning more about this tool to fund mission critical projects in their communities. Some estimates value the current impact investing market at nearly $9 trillion in the U.S. alone.

 

Our guest for this episode is Richard Woo, retired CEO of the Russell Family Foundation.  During his tenure at the foundation, he learned first-hand the power of impact investing and shares his early explorations, community partnership and impressive ROI results. 

 

Richard starts with an overview of social impact investing and then shares the importance of curiosity and exploration as entities explore their roles in impact investing and the importance of aligning your portfolio with your values and purpose.  

 

And it is important to note, that while he outlines examples on how financial institutions, CDFIs and nonprofits are involved in this space, any investor, philanthropic, enterprise, individual, government entities, or commercial enterprises (banks, small businesses etc.) can engage in social impact investing.

 

Here are the links to the projects mentioned and follow up resources to learn more about social impact investing:

 

The Russel Family Foundation

The Russel Family Foundation – The Impact Investing Case Study 

LinkedIn-Richard Woo  

Mission Investors Exchange – Impact Investing, share deals and practices 

Confluence Philanthropy 

Greater Tacoma Community Foundation

Canopy – a group of 15 impact investing foundations from Washington, Oregon, Alaska, and newly Hawaii 

Puyallup Watershed Initiative 

 

I leave you with these related questions: 

 

What do you value and what would like your capital to do in this world? 

What actions are you taking for the greater good? 

Is there a way to invest your financial capital to pilot, expand, and leverage for community impact?

Looking beyond financial returns, do you know where your personal 401k retirement accounts are invested and what impact they have in the world?   

 

Mark shares a few stories of his CDFI journey and will share his new CDFI Friendly Cities initiative and his deep thoughts about community development.

CRA TODAY
SHOWNOTES: Episode 2: CDFI Friendly Cities with Mark Pinsky

Mark Pinsky shares “CDFI Friendly Cities” a fresh approach to community development

Mark Pinsky shares a few stories of his CDFI journey and will share his new CDFI Friendly Cities initiative and his deep thoughts about community development.

Mark will share his insights on how communities gain access to valuable and financing for small business, commercial real estate and housing and how you facilitate and lower the costs for CDFIs to expand their coverage and increase their financing activity into new, underserved CDFI markets. He will also share how CDFI investors expand opportunities and attract new investors who have previously lacked knowledge of and opportunities to invest in CDFIs.

Join us on a CDFI journey to transform communities through the power of economic development and the Community Reinvestment Act. Get ready for a fun and meaningful listen!

Here are a few highlights and links to explore:

Mark Pinsky

Five/Four Advisors White Paper on the CDFI Friendly City Model

Bloomington Urban Enterprise Association

Opportunity Finance Network

Community Foundation Bloomington & Monroe County

Mayor John Hamilton of Bloomington, IN

Chuck Matthei, Equity Trust 

CDFI Fund, What are CDFIs?  

CRA Today – https://cratoday.com/

Maurice Jones of LISC shares an overview of the “new” Opportunity Zone program and the hopes of real community development impact.

CRA Tips is a weekly series of quick podcast episodes for busy CRA practitioners to revisit core CRA concepts and implement best practices.

The CRA Tips

Episode 21: Creative Items to Add to Your CRA Committee Meeting Agenda

Are you looking for creative ways to reinvigorate your CRA committee meetings?

It is crucial to foster communication and collaboration during these meetings, so people leave inspired and are motivated to get involved in your CRA program. But, this is easier said than done.

Episode 20: Three Documents You Must Have for Your CRA Program

When it comes to CRA program governance, there are three documents that every CRA program should have: a CRA policy, a CRA program plan and a CRA self-assessment.

The CRA Policy: This document explains what you stand for, how you run your CRA program from the highest level, and how the program fits into your overall governance.

Episode 19: Repurpose Your CRA Self Assessment To Build Awareness and Buy-In

Once you have a solid self-assessment document, now it is time to socialize it. Not only will you increase awareness of your CRA program, but you will also be using it as a training tool. Make sure you break it down to the discrete applicable parts to avoid overwhelm.

Episode 18: Five Key Resources To Inform Your CRA Self Assessment

Does a blank page make you nervous? Yes, us too.

Here are some documents you may want to reference (and even borrow the framework of!) to get you started on your CRA self assessment.

Episode 17: Choices. Make One and Let’s Get to Work!

There just aren’t enough hours in the day. We get it. Many institutions believe they don’t have time to perform a self-assessment. What you may not know is that there are many types of self-assessments, some easier than others. Check out this list of assessment types to determine what kind of assessment will best fit your institution’s needs. Having a CRA self assessment is a best practice and a must have.

Episode 16: Look Back to Learn How to Look Forward

Many banks make the mistake of spending too much time over-analyzing their performance history without giving equal airtime to formulating new strategies to address performance gaps within their CRA programs.

Episode 15: Strategy Is a Commodity, Execution Is an Art

Do you know what your bank’s strategy is? If this is not something that has been shared with you, reach out to leaders within your organization’s hierarchy to learn more. Ask questions like, “What are your division’s key priorities?” and/or “What is the major initiative you are focusing on this year?” Take this information and brainstorm ways that you can align their strategies and initiatives with your CRA program priorities.

Episode 14: Don’t Leave This for the Examiners to Decide

The single most important CRA exam prep tool for you to consider is a CRA self-assessment.

CRA self-assessments are assessments you perform on your own institution to understand your CRA strengths and performance gaps. If done correctly, the self-assessment mirrors an examiner’s approach to assessing your performance under the CRA. This assessment helps you understand how you’re currently performing, so you can prepare your performance context and story for your next CRA examination.

Episode 13: CDFIs Are Changing The World. Will You Join Them?

Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) were created to deliver responsible, affordable lending to help low-income, low-wealth and other disadvantaged people and communities join the economic mainstream.

Episode 12: $2.2 Billion Is at Stake for Low-Income Taxpayers

Join the network of thousands of volunteers that ensures millions of low-income taxpayers receive billions of dollars in refunds, a network that helps the community meet their civic obligations as taxpayers and supports them on the path to financial security and opportunity.

Episode 11: The Average American Has $90,460 In Consumer Debt

According to Experian data, if you have a credit card or two in your wallet, you’re not alone. There is over $756 billion in outstanding credit card debt in the U.S., and approximately 95% of adults have a credit card account open in their name, according to Experian data from the third quarter (Q3) of 2020.

Episode 10: One Super Simple Community Development Service You Might Be Under-Reporting

The low-hanging fruit of community development services is…boards and committees!

Many bank executives and employees are or could be serving on nonprofit boards and committees. These service hours and activities count towards the majority of community development services for most banks.

Episode 9: Can the Countless Hours We Spent on the SBA PPP Count? You Might Be Surprised…

Can the countless hours you’ve spent on the SBA Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) count as a community development service?

The answer is yes and no! Although your bank worked seemingly around the clock last year to stand up the SBA PPP, none of the hours spent internally creating the loan application portals, working on underwriting and compliance or deploying loans under the program count towards your CRA program.

Episode 8: Three Community Development Services You’d Be Surprised Don’t Count

On this week’s CRA Tip episode, we explore three community development services you might be surprised don’t count as CRA activities. Here is a brief overview:

Episode 7: Are You Unintentionally Under-Serving Low- and Moderate-Income (LMI) Communities?

Take a second look at the retail distribution of your branches, ATMs and deposit-taking ATMs. Sometimes, it is helpful to map these data points to visualize how far away your branches and ATMs are from the next closest low- or moderate-income area. Now that you’re looking more closely, does your retail distribution arbitrarily exclude LMI geographies?

Episode 6: Three Ways To Inspire More Community Development Loan Activities

Last week, we talked about community development loan identification best practices – the low-hanging fruit that may already exist at your institution.

Now, we switch our attention to proactive measures! Here are some best practices to increase the number of community development loan prospects that come across your desk.

Episode 5: Internal Stakeholders: Who They Are And Why They Matter

You can’t do this work alone. In fact, the best CRA programs are built around key stakeholders working together towards the same CRA goals.

As you know, mining for community development loans (CDL) can be a very manual and time-consuming process. This is especially true given that the subjective and technical definitions of a CDL aren’t often necessary within each credit approval memorandum write-up.

Episode 4: Community Development Loans… How Much Is Enough?

Regulators are currently revisiting the way they define a community development loan (CDL) through CRA modernization efforts. So until there is more regulatory certainty, how do you determine how many CDL qualified loans are enough? While you can’t guarantee anything during the iterative swirl of CRA reform, this episode aims to give you a good idea of reasonable targets when executive management asks “how much is enough.” Here’s where you should start:

Episode 3: Community Development Loan Mining Strategies You Don’t Want To Miss

When looking through your loan portfolio for qualified community development loans, it is essential to have a strategic approach given limited time and resources to conduct a 100% review. A tactical approach can save you time and help you qualify more loans to support your bank’s lending performance.

Episode 2: Five Must Have Strategy and Implementation Documents to Guide Your CRA Program

As you start building or refreshing your CRA program, these internal documents can serve as a guiding light. Gather these core documents and make sure you revisit them often as you initiate new programs and build your CRA culture throughout the bank.

Episode 1: CRA TIPS – A Series Created for CRA Practitioners

Managing the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) program for your financial institution can be challenging, especially if you’re new to the CRA. To support you in your CRA journey, CRA Today and Kadince have partnered to provide informative content to highlight CRA best practices and ideas to guide your CRA program.