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August 12, 2010
Wachovia Wells Fargo Next Award Finalists Announced
    by Robert Kropp

Two community development financial institutions (CDFIs) will share awards totaling $8.25 million in program-related investments and unrestricted grants.

The Wachovia Wells Fargo NEXT Awards for Opportunity Finance, funded through a $16.75 million grant by the Wachovia Wells Fargo Foundation and a $25 million loan to the Opportunity Finance Network (OFN) by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, announced this week that four community development financial institutions (CDFIs) are finalists for 2010.

This year, the program, which was launched in 2007 and is scheduled to continue through 2011, will award $5.5 million to a CDFI with more than $50 million in assets dedicated to lending or investing, and $2.75 million to a CDFI whose assets are between $10 million and $50 million. In addition, four $25,000 unrestricted grant awards will be awarded to "CDFIs of any size that have demonstrated excellence in Innovation, Advocacy, Financing, and Community Impact," according to a
press release.

Finalists this year for the $5.5 million award are the
Alternatives Federal Credit Union of Ithaca NY, chosen because of its development of a "scalable regional model to expand the availability of credit union products and services in low-income communities," and Boston Community Capital (BCC), chosen for its potentially replicable model to address the foreclosure crisis.

Finalists for the $2.75 million award are
Shorebank Enterprise Cascadia (SBEC) of Ilwaco WA, chosen for its regional financing program to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and Partners for the Common Good (PCG) of Washington DC, chosen because its "CDFI participation model has the potential to have substantial impact on CDFI liquidity and capitalization," according to the press release.

Mark Pinsky, President and CEO of the OFN, said, "These inspiring organizations have delivered real results for low-wealth and low-income communities and exemplify how CDFIs can drive economic recovery and growth in those markets."

Pinsky told, "All four finalists tell a compelling story about CDFIs quietly doing important work."


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