Community Reinvestment Fund, USA Receives $2.7 Million Grant from Wells Fargo Foundation

Multi-year grant will help CRF reach and serve thousands of new, diverse small business owners 

MINNEAPOLIS – March 11, 2019 – Community Reinvestment Fund, USA (CRF) – a mission-driven non-profit lender dedicated to improving communities and transforming lives – is proud to be the recipient of a $2.7 million, three-year Activator Grant from the Wells Fargo Foundation as part of its Diverse Community Capital program.

Part of a $100 million commitment to Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) across the country, the grant funding supports small business financing strategies with the potential for widespread industry change. CRF will use the funds to empower its national network of CDFI partners to reach and serve diverse business owners more effectively, with first-class customer experience and an emphasis on businesses that face challenges when accessing conventional financing. Additionally, the funds will strengthen CRF direct small business lending, contributing to the $2.4 billion that CRF has invested in communities since 1988.

“We are delighted to be working with the Wells Fargo Foundation to achieve our shared goal of leveling the playing field for diverse business owners,” said Frank Altman, co-founder and CEO of CRF. “Our mission and position as a national small business lender will allow us to drive even greater scale and geographic scope across the entire community development finance ecosystem.”

Technology and research are driving many of the strategies CRF employs to create wide-ranging impact for underinvested communities. In addition to its work as a direct small business lender, CRF has developed innovative ways to deliver capital. CRF’s online Connect2Capital platform simplifies the research and lender selection process by connecting business owners seeking affordable and responsible financing, particularly those who may be deemed ineligible for traditional financing options, with mission-driven lenders across the country.

“Small businesses are essential to a vibrant community, no matter where you live,” said Darin Zielsdorf, Wells Fargo Business Banking manager. “These ‘activator grants’ are designed to drive inclusive economic growth and significantly scale resources that help underrepresented entrepreneurs grow and stay resilient in the face of economic challenges. Community Reinvestment Fund, USA is an important partner in cultivating small business growth, and they have a long track record of success and leadership in the communities they serve.”

 About Community Reinvestment Fund, USA (CRF)

Founded in 1988, Community Reinvestment Fund, USA (CRF) is a national non-profit organization with a mission to empower people to improve their lives and strengthen their communities through developing innovative financial solutions. A leading Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), CRF supports other mission-driven organizations, increases economic mobility, and builds strong local economies through the development of solutions aimed at creating an equitable financial system. CRF has injected more than $2.4 billion to stimulate job creation and economic development and support community facilities. For more information, visit

About Wells Fargo

Founded in 1852 and headquartered in San Francisco, Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE:WFC) provides banking, investment and mortgage products and services, as well as consumer and commercial finance, through 7,800 locations, more than 13,000 ATMs, and the internet ( Wells Fargo’s vision is to satisfy customers’ financial needs and help them succeed financially. With approximately 259,000 team members, Wells Fargo serves one in three households in the United States. Wells Fargo & Company was ranked No. 26 on Fortune’s 2018 rankings of America’s largest corporations. In 2018, Wells Fargo donated more than $444 million to nearly 11,000 nonprofits in support of affordable housing, small business growth, financial education, and sustainability, among other community needs. For 10 consecutive years, Wells Fargo has held the honor of No. 1 in workplace giving by United Way Worldwide. Wells Fargo team members also make a difference by donating more than 2 million hours of volunteer time in the last year. News, insights and more information on the company’s corporate responsibility are available at Wells Fargo Stories.

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