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The 2017 OFN Conference saw a record-shattering 1,450 CDFI practitioners, funders, investors, students, and more—from all 50 states!—come together for two days of learning and networking in Washington, D.C.

Together we learned how CDFIs Invest—in communities, in innovation, in our nation’s future. And we left with a renewed energy and spirit, intent on delivering on our promise to align capital with social, economic, and political justice.


With 1,450 attendees, more than 60 breakout sessions, three tours, and our annual fun run, the 2017 OFN Conference was one for the record books! Some highlights:

  • The Conference kicked off on a with an uplifting performance by the Howard University Gospel Choir.
  • We heard addresses from four Members of Congress: Senator Jeff Merkley (OR) and Representative Tom Graves (GA-14) on Wednesday; and Senator Steve Daines (MT) and Representative Keith Ellison (MN-5) on Thursday. A taped welcome message was also delivered by Federal Reserve Bank Chief Janet Yellen as well as remarks by Senator Shelley Moore Capito (WV).
  • Our Opening Plenary panel, Closing the Gap in Communities Left Behind, provided a rousing, in-depth conversation that explored what it will take for CDFIs to generate macro-level impact in our nation’s most economically challenged areas. The Plenary was moderated by former Chair and CEO of Carver Bancorp, Debbie Wright and the panel was comprised of Nancy Andrews of LIIF, Bill Bynum of Hope Enterprise Corporation, and Tom De Simone of Genesis LA.
  • OFN’s new President and CEO Lisa Mensah kept the momentum going in her keynote speech. Titled Walking Together, the address paid homage to OFN’s past—in the spirit of Sankofa—and looked ahead to how the industry must continue to walk together to support social, economic, and political justice. Read the transcript here.
  • The CDFI industry honored its own with Wednesday’s Ned Gramlich Lifetime Achievement Award for Responsible Finance, this year awarded posthumously to Linda Davenport and John Berdes. Wednesday evening featured the annual Native Awards, honoring Angie Main with the Visionary Leader Award, The Sequoyah Fund with the Circle of Honor Award, and Rodger Boyd with the Rodger Boyd Nat’aanii Award for Advancing National Policy Inclusion. Finally, the Justice Grant Awardee, Capital Area Asset Builders (CAAB), was honored on Thursday.
  • CDFI Fund Director Annie Donovan addressed the crowd on Thursday, providing insights through data on the impactful work of CDFIs, and the need to continue to grow the industry.
  • Our Closing Plenary, CDFIs: How Far We’ve Come, How Far Can We Go?, moderated by Donna Gambrell, featured leaders from four CDFI industry membership organizations—NFCDCU, CDVCA, CDBA, and OFN—discussing the industry’s relationship to mainstream finance and possibilities of the trade associations finding new ways of collaborating moving forward.


It’s not too soon to start planning for the 2018 OFN Conference in Chicago, IL! The OFN Conference provides an unparalleled platform for Sponsors and Exhibitors to connect and do business with the opportunity finance industry. The CDFI industry’s heightened visibility—and increasing relevance to today’s economic challenges—offers opportunities to increase awareness of your organization’s brand and strengthen your reputation for leadership.

Sponsors are front-and-center at the Conference, and the marketing and publicity that surrounds the event is the best opportunity to reach thousands of CDFI industry practitioners, investors, and supporters.

Contact Amanda Joseph at 215.320.4323 to learn more about becoming a Sponsor.


Our Lead Sponsor








BB&T / Federal Home Loan Bank System / SunTrust Bank / Surdna Foundation

Opportunity Leader

Fifth Third Bank / HSBC Bank USA, N.A. / ImpactUs Marketplace / Morgan Stanley / NeighborWorks America / Northern Trust / PNC Bank, NA / Sam’s Club / TD Bank

Opportunity Partner

Amalgamated Bank / Baker Tilly Virchow Krause, LLP / Bank of the West / Capital Plus Financial / Charles Schwab Bank / Cinnaire / CohnReznick, LLP / Deutsche Bank / Fannie Mae / Ohio Capital Finance Corporation / RSM US LLP / S&P Global Ratings


Building Hope / Capital Impact Partners / City First Enterprises / Enterprise Community Loan Fund / Housing Assistance Council / Housing Partnership Fund / Latino Economic Development Corporation / Local Initiatives Support Corporation / Low Income Investment Fund / National Housing Trust Community Development Fund / NeighborWorks Capital / Partners for the Common Good / Self-Help



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