Community investing is capital from investors that is directed to communities underserved by traditional financial services. It provides access to credit, equity, capital, and basic banking products that these communities would otherwise not have. In the U.S. and around the world, community investing makes it possible for local organizations to provide financial services to low-income individuals, and to supply capital for small businesses and vital community services, such as child care, affordable housing, and healthcare.
Community Investment Institutions (CIIs) can give priority to people who have been denied access to capital and provide them with opportunities to borrow, save, and invest in their own communities. In addition to supplying badly needed capital in underserved neighborhoods, CIIs provide important services, such as education, mentoring, and technical support. They also build relationships between families, nonprofits, small businesses, and conventional financial institutions and markets.
Community Investment Institutions (CIIs) are often referred to as Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs). While CDFIs are a key type of CII, we recognize a growing number of supporting activities and institutions that are helping to stimulate investment and provide services in lower-income or underserved communities. We have tried to standardize the use of CII, but sometimes the pages and resources on this website will use the term CDFI due to its acceptance in the community investment industry.
Learn more about the Community Investment Industry and Community Investment Products
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