RLF Community of Practice
The National Development Council (NDC) in partnership with Drexel University's Nowak Metro Finance Lab and the Community Reinvestment Fund (CRF) with support from EDA has launched a Community of Practice to strengthen the capacity of RLF operators. This initiative entails a robust schedule of training and professional development programs designed to enable RLF operators to better address the need for flexible, accessible, recovery and growth-oriented small business financing across the country. This Community of Practice (CoP) will build RLF organizational capacity, increase qualified high-impact deployment rates of RLF funding, and build an effective and sustainable RLF cohort. To see the schedule of future events and watch recordings of past workshops please visit their events page. For additional information and resources, please visit the NDC Community of Practice page.
Equitable Lending Leaders
EDA awarded a nationwide Research and National Technical Assistance grant to the Institute for Local Self-Reliance and Recast City. This grant centered on providing direct technical assistance to support RLF Grantees with strategies to promote equitable lending strategies and outcomes via the Equitable Lending Leaders program. The Equitable Lending Leaders training program is available as an online, at-your-own-pace course for your RLF. This on-demand program covers the same training topics as the in-person/zoom cohort. This resource can help your organization assist historically excluded and under-served communities by providing best practices for small business lending within the framework of your RLF. The training provides a free 12-session course with strategies, video lessons, worksheets, and tools to help implement changes to your outreach, marketing, and underwriting. Any of your RLF staff can register here: Equitable Lending Leaders On-Demand Course.
CDFA EDA RLF Best Practices
Through a National Technical Assistance cooperative agreement, the Council of Development Finance Agencies (CDFA) worked with EDA to develop an innovative technical assistance approach to better support and improve the more than 500 EDA funded Revolving Loan Funds in the United States. The CDFA EDA RLF Best Practices Program includes a diverse set of offerings that encourage learning, best practice collaboration, evaluations of service efficiencies and improvements, and a comprehensive resource collection and dissemination process.
- Revolving Loan Fund Best Practices Handbook: Characteristics of High Performing RLFs (PDF)
This handbook includes eight best practices along with key takeaways and additional resources. It's a great resource for any RLF and also applicants for an RLF award.
- EDA Revolving Loan Fund Resource Center
The EDA Revolving Loan Fund Resource Center hosts a collection of EDA Revolving Loan Fund resources including presentations, best practices, case studies and archives of learning materials from webinars and training sessions.
- Key program elements include:
- EDA Revolving Loan Fund Webinar Series
Understanding that not all RLF recipients have the resources or ability to attend in-person training, the CDFA EDA RLF Best Practices Program offers an online learning environment through CDFAs established webcast system. This learning module included twelve, ninety-minute, webinars focused on specific RLF program management practices.
- Exploring the Role of Revolving Loan Funds in Economic Development
- Maximizing Revolving Loan Fund Impact
- Designing a Revolving Loan Fund Program to Meet Your Community's Needs
- Strategies for Addressing Non-Performance and Loan Defaults
- Solutions for Revolving Loan Fund Servicing
- Developing a Loan Committee and Monitoring Their Involvement
- Staffing and Day to Day Management Approaches
- Utilizing the Toolbox Approach
- Best Practices in Revolving Loan Fund Marketing
- Partnerships to Maximize Your RLF Impact
- Revisiting Your Revolving Loan Fund Plan
- Fund Recapitalization and Expansion
- EDA Revolving Loan Fund Training
CDFA presented its Intro Revolving Loan Fund Finance Course for each of EDA’s six regions. The course curriculum was tailored to address the specific needs of EDA RLF recipients with a focus on introductory elements related to program design, marketing, management, decision making, pre- and post-loan closing processing, disclosure and monitoring, underwriting strategies, program expansion, evaluations and program risk strategies. The workshop included an overview of EDA RLF risk rating and reporting requirements.
- EDA Revolving Loan Fund Peer-to-Peer Learning Exchange
CDFA matched loan funds with partner loan funds over the duration of the program in order to encourage learning from best practices. CDFA staff led conversations and pairings with most exchanges occurring as scheduled web meetings. Peer-to-Peer learning participants were encouraged to attend the regular webinars and hold follow-up meetings for a peer exchange on the same topic.
- EDA Revolving Loan Fund Webinar Series