NFF CEO Aisha Benson Reelected to Opportunity Finance Network’s Board of Directors
New York, New York – November 7, 2023 – Nonprofit Finance Fund (NFF) is pleased to share that President and CEO Aisha Benson was elected to serve a second full term on the Board of Directors of the Opportunity Finance Network (OFN).
“Growing up in low-income housing in Harlem, I was surrounded by people who worked tirelessly to support those they loved and carry on the cultural legacy of the community. But they faced so many barriers to doing so,” said Benson. “Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) were founded to address those barriers. That's what brought me to this work. And that's what guides me as I continue in this role at OFN.”
OFN is the nation's leading network of CDFIs – specialized lenders that back the aspirations of community nonprofits and businesses that might otherwise lack fair access to funding. NFF has been a member of OFN since OFN's founding in 1990.
Since 2019, Benson has served on OFN’s Board of Directors, leveraging her extensive networks in business, government, and the CDFI sector. As a member of the Board, Benson helped guide OFN’s advocacy and policy work through the Board's Public Policy subcommittee and advised OFN as it launched the Finance Justice Fund and applied to the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund.
“I’m thrilled that Aisha was re-elected to OFN’s board of directors,” said Donna Gambrell, CEO of Appalachian Community Capital and Chair of OFN’s Board of Directors. “She is a committed and savvy community and economic development lender; a leader in issues related to racial, economic, and environmental justice; and a staunch advocate for the underserved communities that are the focus of NFF’s work. She brings a collaborative sprit to the board, and I look forward to working with Aisha on the many exciting OFN priorities going forward.”
Benson is committed to building on OFN’s work to spur ongoing investment into the CDFI sector and to make OFN a place where all CDFIs are equitably represented in OFN’s convenings, curriculum, and advocacy work. She is also eager to support OFN's efforts to transform clean energy finance in low-income and disadvantaged communities through their application to the Environmental Protection Agency's Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund.
“OFN channels resources into our sector at a scale that none of us could achieve on our own,” said Benson. “It provides invaluable education for leaders and employees of CDFIs. It creates opportunities for CDFIs to collaborate instead of competing. OFN is such a valuable organization, and I believe in its mission wholeheartedly.”
About NFF: 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 https://nff.org.
About OFN: Based in Washington, D.C., Opportunity Finance Network (OFN) is a leading national network of more than 400 community development financial institutions (CDFIs) nationwide. Their network of community development loan funds, banks, venture capital funds, and credit unions works to ensure communities underserved by mainstream finance have access to affordable, responsible financial products and services. OFN is a trusted intermediary between CDFIs and public and private sector partners — foundations, corporations, banks, government agencies, and others. For more than 30 years, their team has helped OFN partners invest in CDFIs to catalyze change and create economic opportunities for people and places traditional finance doesn’t reach. To learn more, visit https://www.ofn.org.