Community Development Financial Institution Pilot (Completed)

  • How much?

    $7.5 million 
  • Apply when?

    from 2/07/2010  to 13/08/2010 
  • Who to contact?

    Angela Clifford  Ph: 02 6244 7609  Email 

Short Description:

Call for Applications

Application guidelines and the application form for the Community Development Financial Institution pilot are now available. Please contact or Angela Clifford on 02 6244 7609 to register your interest and be sent an application pack.

The Australian Government invites applications from suitable community finance organisations to participate in its $7.5 million CDFI Pilot Project.

The pilot project will seek to test the potential of the community finance model to build the capacity and resilience of disadvantaged Australians who have difficulty accessing mainstream financial services and products.

The Australian Government will provide one-off grant funding for business development purposes to selected community finance organisations offering fair, affordable and appropriate products and services aimed at the financial inclusion of disadvantaged Australians.

The pilot will also facilitate possible access to capital and loan funding through the establishment of an Investment Circle that will independently consider those applicants seeking such funding as a part of their application.

Applications are closed.

Information Sessions

Three information sessions will be held at the following times:

Sydney - Monday 12th July 1.00pm, Level 9, 280 Elizabeth St, Sydney NSW

Brisbane - Tuesday 13th July 1.00pm, Level 2, 100 Creek St, Brisbane Qld

Melbourne - Wednesday 14th July 1.00pm, Level 3, Casselden Place, 2 Lonsdale St Melbourne Vic

Please contact us via the methods below two working days before your preferred information session. If you would like more information but cannot attend a session please contact us and we can organise teleconference facilities to connect to your preferred session or alternatively the information provided at the sessions will be placed on the website.

The power point slides used in the information sessions are now available. Please send an email to if you would like an electronic copy of the slides.

CDFI Information

The Australian Government’s Financial Management Program aims to build financial resilience and wellbeing amongst those disadvantaged Australians most at risk of financial and social exclusion.  As well as providing safety net measures such as Emergency Relief, the Program also aims to actively build capacity and lead to long-term financial inclusion.

An important aspect of capacity building and financial inclusion is appropriate access to fair, affordable and appropriate financial products and services. There is some evidence to suggest that despite the existence of well established banking and financial services in Australia there may be individuals, groups and organisations that are underserved by mainstream markets. This form of financial exclusion can lead to or exacerbate an inability to participate fully in society and an increased risk of financial stress and hardship, either through resorting to riskier forms of credit or going without goods or services that would facilitate their economic or social participation.

In response, the Government, through FaHCSIA, will run a $7.5 million Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) Pilot Program to test the potential of the community finance model to provide access to financial services and products to disadvantaged Australians. This model seeks to build on and complement the activities of mainstream financial institutions.

There are two key elements of the pilot namely:

  • The provision by the Government of one-off grant funding to selected community finance organisations for business development purposes; and
  • The establishment of a circle of investors that can make capital and loan funding available to the organisations potentially participating in the pilot. (See CDFI Pilot Project Guidelines for a further detail on the Pilot)

Investment Circle

The pilot will develop partnerships between the community development financial institutions and financial investors, known as the Investment Circle, who can provide capital funding to the eligible applicants who participate in the pilot project. Applications that nominate for capital funding will be forwarded to the Investment Circle.

The purpose of the investment circle is to facilitate access to capital funding that otherwise may not have been available to organisations.


Contact Information and Relevant Information

Please register your interest in this pilot to receive an application pack and the following information:

Angela Clifford on 02 6244 7609

Questions and Answers

This section will be updated periodically with answers to received questions including those answered at the information sessions.

Questions and Answers - CDFI 

Content Updated: 25 February 2014