Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

For additional information, please review our webinar: NCIF MCDE Webinar

As NCIF implements the 2015-17 Minority CDE Training and TA Program, we welcome your questions and will respond to such feedback here in our Minority CDE Training and TA Program FAQ webpage. 

Question 1: Who is the prime contractor?

Answer: The National Community Investment Fund (NCIF), a certified Community Development Financial Institution and CDE that has more than ten years’ experience with the NMTC Program, has been selected by the CDFI Fund to manage and implement this training initiative. NCIF was selected based on the strength of its experienced staff, as well as the involvement of subject matter experts who will bring extensive NMTC experience and needs assessment capabilities to the project.

Question 2: What is a CDE?

Answer: A Community Development Entity (CDE) is certified as such by the CDFI Fund, and it is a domestic corporation or partnership that is an intermediary vehicle for the provision of loans, investments, or financial counseling in a Low Income Community (LIC). Benefits of being certified as a CDE include: (1) being able to apply to the CDFI Fund to receive a New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) allocation to offer its investors in exchange for equity investments in the CDE and/or its subsidiaries; or (2) to receive loans or investments from other CDEs that have received NMTC allocations. 

Question 3: What’s the definition of a Minority CDE?

Answer: The CDFI Fund defines Minority CDEs as one of the following:

  • Minority-owned for-profit entity: A for-profit entity that is not a Minority Depository Institution (MDI) and that has at least 51 percent of its equity ownership interest owned by individuals who identify themselves as Black American, Asian American, Hispanic American, or Native American;
  • Minority-controlled not-for-profit entity: A not-for-profit entity with at least 51 percent of its Board of Directors comprised of individuals who identify themselves as Black American, Asian American, Hispanic American, or Native American; or,
  • Minority Depository Institution (MDI): An entity that is designated by the FDIC as a Minority Depository Institution.

Question 4: What are the goals and expected outcomes of the Minority CDE Training and Technical Assistance initiative?

Answer: The CDFI Fund’s New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) Program was established to help economically distressed communities attract private investment capital by providing investors with a Federal tax credit. Investments made through the NMTC Program are used to finance businesses and real estate projects to reinvigorate neglected, underserved low-income communities.

The CDFI Fund recognizes Minority-owned or controlled CDEs and MDIs often face very specific challenges, such as lower profit margins, riskier borrower profiles, and difficulties raising capital due to serving individuals, organizations, and/or businesses in communities that have traditionally been underserved by financial institutions. 

In an effort to better connect Minority CDEs to the benefits of accessing NMTCs, the CDFI Fund has contracted with National Community Investment Fund (NCIF) to inform Minority CDEs on how they can participate in the NMTC Program (e.g., leverage lender, investor, allocatee, non-allocatee, and/or secondary CDE). Through NCIF, the CDFI Fund aims to disseminate better tailored information and strategic insights to the Minority CDEs that are attempting to effectively participate in the NMTC program.

Question 5: What is the focus of the training workshops?

Answer: The initial phase of the contract involves assessment of challenges and needs that Minority CDEs face with the implementation of the NMTC Program. The content and format of the training and technical assistance provided by NCIF will be organizationally and culturally relevant and responsive to the identified challenges and needs of Minority CDEs and the communities they serve.

In addition to the group training, through this contract individual technical assistance will be provided with specific attention paid to assisting Minority CDEs identify (through a self-assessment), the specific challenge(s) that each Minority CDE may face in participating in the NMTC Program, as well as provide technical assistance that would best address the self-identified challenge(s).

Question 6: Who will conduct the training?

Answer: NCIF and a team of NMTC experts will synthesize industry insights and results of the assessment phase to develop and deliver the training curriculum.

Question 7: Who is eligible to receive training?

Answer: All Minority CDEs that submitted a NMTC Program application to the CDFI Fund during the calendar year 2012-2015 application rounds.

Question 8: Can my CDE still participate if we did not apply for New Markets Tax Credits in the particular time period that the CDFI Fund considered? 

Answer: The assessment of challenges and needs will be performed among the Minority CDEs that submitted a NMTC Program application during the 2012-2015 application rounds. After NCIF determines the scope of the training needs for the eligible entities and assesses space availability for additional participants, we may consider requests for training from other Minority CDEs and organizations.

Question 9: How will the training needs be assessed?

Answer: NCIF will assess the training needs in two stages. The first stage will be informed by the initial research of the existing data, analysis and literature, and interviews with industry representatives including: dominant trade associations for Minority CDEs, a subset of Minority CDEs, and other entities which have in-depth experience with the NMTC Program and Minority CDEs. The results and findings of the first stage will be used to design the capacity self- assessment questions in the Training and Technical Assistance Intake Form.

The Intake Form will be conducted during the second stage. Minority CDEs that want to participate in the training initiative are required to complete the Intake Form.

Question 10: What is the format of the training?

Answer: The Minority CDEs who submit their Intake Forms will be offered an opportunity to participate in an intensive training workshop curriculum. For traveling convenience, there will be up to four workshops conducted in four large national markets during the 1st quarter of 2017 (these dates are tentative). The workshops will cover the following areas: (i) role and responsibilities as a leverage lender; (ii) role and responsibilities as a direct lender to the qualified business; (iii) role and responsibilities as an investor; (iv) role and responsibilities as a recipient CDE; (v) other ways Minority CDEs can participate in the NMTC Program; and, (vi) any other topics that follow from the Intake Form.

The purpose of the training workshops is to strategically respond to the needs of the Minority CDEs identified in the assessment phase and provide a forum for discussion, and the opportunity to interact with experienced NMTC stakeholders within the industry.

Following the workshops, NCIF and the project team will deliver multifaceted on-site technical assistance to key staff members at organizations that have completed the Minority CDE workshop curriculum and have expressed an interest in receiving follow-on technical assistance. The goal of additional technical assistance is to provide customized support to Minority CDEs who have communicated specific challenges they face in participating in the NMTC Program, reinforced by the NCIF’s evaluation of the particular Minority CDE through this point in time of the training initiative.

Over the course of the contract, NCIF and CDFI Fund will make training materials and other resources available electronically.

Question 11: How should my CDE apply for the training workshops?

Answer: In order to participate in the training workshop, minority CDEs are required to complete the Training and Technical Assistance Intake Form. All eligible CDEs will be contacted by NCIF in the fall of 2016. 

Question 12: How should my CDE apply for technical assistance?

Answer: In order to participate in the technical assistance, minority CDEs are required to complete the Training and Technical Assistance Intake Form and attend the training workshops. All eligible CDEs will be contacted by NCIF in the fall of 2016. 

Question 13: How much does the training cost?

Answer: The training workshops and technical assistance are free. As part of the project, the CDFI Fund (via NCIF) will provide up to 60 travel scholarships to Minority CDE participants in order for them to attend the training. 

Question 14: How many representatives from my CDE can participate in the training? 

Answer: The maximum number of in-person participants is one per Minority CDE for all training workshops. Other Minority CDE participants may participate remotely or access the training materials, which will be posted to the CDFI Fund’s website at a later time.

Question 16: Who can I contact for more information?

Answer: To submit a question or make a comment, please contact MCDE Desk, MCDEDESK@ncif.org