Essays on People, Place & Purpose

Investing in What Works for America's Communities

Portfolio Tag CDFIs

The Past, Present, and Future of Community Development in the United States

For more than a century, American reformers have struggled to remedy the problems of poverty in the places where low-income people live. At first, these social improvers could muster only a few isolated solutions, but by the end of the twentieth century, they had expanded their effort…

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Crossing Over to an Improved Era of Community Development

The field of community development is at an inflection point, poised to achieve scale, impact, and integration of the many lessons learned over the past 40 years. It is on the threshold of entering a new phase capable of meeting the twin goals of revitalizing low-income neighborhoods …

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Future of Community Development: How CDFIs Can Best Ride the Impact Investing Wave

Think of the community development finance industry as a small boat with an outboard motor. For four decades, pioneering leaders have helped to build this boat, take it out of port, and chart new waters. This boat has served as a lifeline, bringing essential resources to previously cu…

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The Future of Community Development

This volume offers a series of views on the future of community development. The future entails developing effective ways to increase human development. Over the last three decades, our industry has made dramatic strides in rebuilding the physical fabric of neighborhoods. It has mobil…

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What Problem Are We Trying to Solve?

What is the problem that community development was created to solve? What is the problem it is solving today? And will it be able to solve the problems of tomorrow? I think I know the answer to the first question. Community development emerged as a product of the War on Poverty to giv…

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About The Project

Investing in What Works for America’s Communities is a joint project of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco and the Low Income Investment Fund.

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The views expressed in this book and on this website do not necessarily reflect the views of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, the Federal Reserve System, or the Low Income Investment Fund.

Tell Us What Works

The ideas in Investing in What Works for America’s Communities are just a start. We want to hear about what’s working in your community. Tell us about innovative ideas for addressing poverty and share examples of people and places that inspire you. We want to share these ideas and spark conversation about how to create opportunity and prosperity for all Americans. Tell Us What Works

Funding for this project was generously provided to the Low Income Investment Fund by the Citi Foundation.