Community Development Finance is a 501c3 nonprofit organization located in California. Our mission is to assist low-income and very low-income households, communities and businesses with increased access to capital and financial literacy by offering below-market rate financial services and products to low-income, underserved and unbanked people in communities everywhere. It is also our mission to create new partnerships and assist other institutions in increasing access to capital in these neighborhoods.
CDF opened the first and only nonprofit, full-service, stand-alone check cashing store in the country in May 2009, in the Fruitvale neighborhood of Oakland, California.
Our storefront, called Community Check Cashing (pictured, left), offers below-market rates, minimal fees, and a broad range of financial services, including financial coaching and small business services — all designed to help low-income families move out of poverty. We operate the store on a social enterprise model: a nonprofit check cashing institution in which the check cashing services component of the operations are financially sustainable through earned revenue while using donations and grants to support the coaching, social services and administration.
CDF’s programs have proven to save customers a great deal of money individually each year – we estimate an annual savings to the community of $150,000 to $200,000 from our lower prices and other services. This amounts to at least $1.5 million in savings in the neighborhood since we opened in 2009.
CDF has been involved in many innovative programs in its short history through partnerships and developing new programs. And, while CDF presently operates only one store, it has the potential for a much larger impact. We have extensive experience with lending programs, for example. Based on this experience, CDF has developed a two-tier lending program that, with the appropriate support, potentially can reach a large scale, be operationally self-sufficient once it reaches scale, and offer fair products to replace predatory payday, car title and installment loans. In addition, CDF is involved in various policy development efforts.
(by Matt Stannard, Occupy.com. Originally published at TruthOut, April 23, 2016)
Dan Leibsohn has been concerned about economic injustice and insecurity for a very long time. “I have tried to address issues of social justice in all of my work throughout my adult life,” says Leibsohn, founder of Community Development Finance, an Oakland-based […]
Interested in how Payday loans compare to the other financial issues faced by underbanked populations? You’re in luck! In the following draft PDF, CDF founder Dan Leibsohn shares draft research conclusions from data generated through CDF’s flagship Community Check Cashing nonprofit money services storefront.
Click to view or download via PDF: Payday Loans, Debt […]
Community Check Cashing, the only nonprofit check cashing store in the country located in the Fruitvale neighborhood of Oakland, California, offers much lower prices, provides financial coaching for individuals and groups, maintains ties to banks and credit unions for referring people for accounts and loans, and develops policy proposals. It has saved an estimated $1.2 million for its customers […]
written by Dan Leibsohn
The issue of payday lending and other high interest installment loans for mostly low income people with poor credit has become a large issue throughout the country recently. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has brought this issue into even greater focus recently with the announcement of its […]
There has been lots of controversy over the U.S. Postal Service’s plan to sell off dozens of post office properties across the country by a real estate firm chaired by the husband of the Senior U.S. Senator from California, presumably to raise money to save the agency. […]
Almost four years ago, I wrote about a new non-profit check cashing and payday lender that opened in the Fruitvale area of Oakland, California in the San Francisco Bay Area. This alternative to private sector financial parasites, for-profit check cashers and […]
Originally published on BankAct.org.
In January of this year, the Office of Inspector General of the U.S. Postal Service published “Providing Non-Bank Financial Services for the Underserved,” arguing that that the Post Office (PO) could provide financial services at significantly lower rates than check cashing and pay day lenders charge. These postal banking services, the […]
Originally published in Community Investment, San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank, Spring 2011, pages 9-11, archived on the Federal Reserve’s Community Development website (PDF).
Rita S. recently walked into a friendly, clean, check cashing store in the Fruitvale neighborhood of Oakland, California and began to talk to the teller about cashing her check. […]