PRO Neighborhoods Case Study: Midwest Nonprofit Lenders Alliance

Alexander von Hoffman, Matthew Arck

In 2013 three CDFIs — IFF (originally named the Illinois Facilities Fund), Nonprofits Assistance Fund (NAF), and Cincinnati Development Fund (CDF) — formed the Midwest Nonprofit Lenders Alliance to issue facility loans to nonprofit agencies that help low-income people. With the help of an award from the JPMorgan Chase & Co. Partnerships for Raising Opportunities in Neighborhoods (PRO Neighborhoods) program, the MNLA partners have been able to provide long-term facility loans to nonprofits in the Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota and Cincinnati and Dayton, Ohio metropolitan areas to purchase or upgrade their places of operation. By sharing capital, underwriting expertise, and knowledge of local markets, MNLA has so far lent out more than $13 million and helped 14 nonprofits secure their future. This successful and surprisingly complex partnership holds numerous lessons in the art of collaboration for CDFIs and others in the community development field.