CRF Launches Ignify Technologies, Inc., a New Public Benefit Corporation

Company will create and enhance digital solutions that support small business lending

MINNEAPOLIS – Oct. 26, 2020 – In order to support its vision of transforming the community development finance system, Community Reinvestment Fund, USA (CRF) has launched a new public benefit corporation – Ignify Technologies, Inc. – to scale SPARK, its cloud-based technology solution for small business loan origination.

The new company will be responsible for guiding market and product strategies for the SPARK small business loan origination platform. Ignify Technologies, Inc. is a subsidiary of CRF and has public benefit as a charter purpose, along with for-profit financial growth. The company will focus its efforts on digitizing lending processes and automating data and information collection to help the small business lending industry, including nonprofit lenders as well as banks, credit unions and other lender service providers.

“Ignify Technologies, Inc. will further CRF’s role as a connector and change-maker for the Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) industry,” said Frank Altman, co-founder and CEO of CRF and the Ignify Technologies, Inc. board chair. “CRF will continue to help mission-based lenders scale and grow their loan origination capabilities through a variety of small business lending support services. CRF and Ignify Technologies, Inc. will together provide a continuum of services and technologies that will help financial institutions digitize their lending processes and get capital to business borrowers quickly and efficiently.”

SPARK is a proven technology that has already been used by banks and CDFIs to originate more than $6 billion in small business loans, and it has also been instrumental in originating SBA Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans. The new company and CRF will create even greater community impact, using the SPARK platform to make more small business loans more efficiently to small business owners and lead the way toward a broader goal of digitizing both the CDFI industry and the small business lending ecosystem.

“Ignify Technologies, Inc.’s dedicated focus on the SPARK platform requires governance that supports the unique needs of a technology company,” said Nick Elders, longtime CRF employee and senior vice president, who will now become CEO of Ignify Technologies, Inc. “The current economy has expedited the need for robust and efficient digital solutions that serve the needs of small businesses. By launching Ignify Technologies, Inc., CRF is responding to a timely need for digital strategies and enhanced customer experiences in small business lending.”

Visit to learn more about the SPARK platform.

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 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 $3 billion to stimulate job creation and economic development and support community facilities. For more information, visit

About Ignify Technologies, Inc.

Ignify Technologies, Inc. is a public benefit corporation that helps financial institutions scale their small business lending operations through technology, including the company’s flagship innovation, SPARK, a cloud-based small business loan origination platform. Created by Community Reinvestment Fund, USA (CRF), Ignify Technologies, Inc. is a key solution provider for the financial industry and an innovator working toward a broader goal of digitizing small business lending. Visit to learn more.

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