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Fundamentals of the Opportunity Finance Industry

Time limit: 30 days
3 credits

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Full course description


Opportunity Finance Network and the UNH Carsey School Center for Impact Finance have partnered to bring to you the Fundamentals of the Opportunity Finance Industry certificate course. This three-week course will take you through three modules focused on the following topics:

  • History, Context and Current Status of the CDFI Field
  • Financial Analysis of CDFIs and CDFI Loans
  • Impact Measurement and Public Policy

Live virtual classes, readings, guest speakers, and assignments will develop your knowledge and capacity of community development finance to productively contribute to expanding your organizations' capacity and impact.

Course Objectives:

The goal of this certificate course is to develop the knowledge and capacity of community development finance professionals so that they can productively contribute to expanding their organizations’ knowledge and effectiveness. The primary objectives are to:

    • Provide participants with an understanding of the history, models, products, and players in the opportunity finance field.
    • Expose participants to best practices and trends in financing, capitalization, and operations of community development financial institutions (CDFIs).
    • Inform participants about impact measurement and evaluation as well as key policy issues impacting the industry.
    • Increase participants' understanding of portfolio policies and management as well as underwriting loans to CDFI borrowers.

Course Instructor:

Michael Swack, Director, Center for Impact Finance / University of New Hampshire 

Weekly Virtual Classes

Class will meet on Wednesdays from 1-2:30pm EST

May 3, 2023

May 10, 2023

May 24, 2023 (note: no class May 17)


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About OFN

Opportunity Finance Network (OFN) is the national association of community development financial institutions (CDFIs). We provide capital, advocacy, and capacity building to help OFN member and non-member CDFIs create impact in rural, urban, and Native communities nationwide. OFN is also a CDFI. But what are CDFIs and what kind of impact do CDFIs make? CDFIs are community development loan funds, banks, venture capital funds, and credit unions that help people realize their full potential and create thriving communities.  

We provide fair, transparent financing and financial education to small businesses, community-based projects, and consumers that mainstream finance considers too risky or not profitable enough. CDFIs invest in potential and promise and support future successes. We lend where it counts. Learn more at: to an external site. 


About University of New Hampshire’s Carsey School of Public Policy Center for Impact Finance

The Carsey School of Public Policy's Center for Impact Finance (CIF) at the University of New Hampshire addresses the role that access to capital plays in turning the tide on widening income inequality. CIF engages in both the practical aspects of developing financing tools, products, and institutions and the public policy connected to promoting the ability of individuals, businesses, and communities to gain full access to the financing that is critical to economic opportunity. Learn more at to an external site..