NFF and Empire State Team Up to Help NY Community Organizations Secure Low-Cost Capital

April 2, 2024

NEW YORK, April 2, 2024 – Nonprofit Finance Fund (NFF) has been tapped by Empire State Development (ESD) to help New York’s small businesses and nonprofits access the loans they need to launch, grow and stabilize their operations.  ESD awarded NFF a $80,000 grant from its Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) Assistance Program, a $200,000 grant from its CDFI Access to Financial Services Program, and $2 million in investment capital.  

“Community wealth-building requires fair access to capital,” said Aisha Benson, President and CEO of NFF. “Too often, communities of color and people earning low incomes have been excluded from banking and lending opportunities because of structural racism and other systemic barriers. Expanding access to capital is an investment in the future of New York.”  

Empire State Development President, CEO and Commissioner Hope Knight said, “Small businesses and nonprofits are the backbone of the state’s economy and CDFIs such as Nonprofit Finance Fund are an essential part of their growth, especially for organizations that have had difficulties accessing capital.  ESD is proud to partner with Nonprofit Finance Fund, so they have the tools to give New York’s small businesses and nonprofits the boost they need to succeed.” 

New York-based organizations considering loans will benefit from low-cost capital as well as dedicated assistance throughout the lending process. NFF will provide tailored guidance to help borrowers understand the opportunities, risks, and obligations that accompany debt. To supplement in-person meetings, NFF has developed a range of online resources, such as guides, templates, free recorded webinars, and tutorials. ESD’s support will fund a new series of live and recorded debt-readiness webinars throughout 2024.  

As a national CDFI headquartered in New York City, NFF was founded to provide capital and expertise to frontline NY organizations to mitigate the effects of the energy crisis. For more than 40 years, NFF has offered financing – including pre-development, acquisition, construction, and working capital loans – and financial consulting in New York.  

Since 2015, NFF has provided over $104 million in core lending to New York-based borrowers, supporting close to $700 million in total projects. This deeper partnership with ESD extends NFF’s work with local government to ensure communities of color and anyone facing barriers can access capital.  

If you are interested in supporting NFF’s work in New York or elsewhere, please reach out to [email protected] 

About Nonprofit Finance Fund 

Nonprofit Finance Fund®️ (NFF®️) is a nonprofit lender, consultant, and advocate. For more than 40 years, we’ve worked to strengthen nonprofit organizations and improve the way money flows to social good. We believe that alongside others we must build a more equitable and just social sector, and are committed to helping community-centered organizations led by and serving people of color access the money and resources they need to realize their communities’ aspirations. To learn more, visit

About Empire State Development 

Empire State Development (ESD) is New York’s chief economic development agency ( The mission of ESD is to promote a vigorous and growing economy, encourage the creation of new job and economic opportunities, increase revenues to the State and its municipalities, and achieve stable and diversified local economies. Through the use of loans, grants, tax credits and other forms of financial assistance, ESD strives to enhance private business investment and growth to spur job creation and support prosperous communities across New York State. ESD is also the primary administrative agency overseeing the Regional Economic Development Councils and the marketing of “I LOVE NY” the State’s iconic tourism brand. For more information on Regional Councils and Empire State Development, visit and  

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