1. What is CIF’s track record?
As of Q1 2023:
- # of partners (Funding Institutions to have partnered with CIF): 19
- Total $ of Impact Loans Distributed: Over $1,136,500
- # of Impact Loans Issued: 550
- % of Applications denied – 5%
- What is the Loan Payback rate? 80% *Estimated from CIF’s current payback and other similar loan programs)
2. How is CIF set up and governed?
The Community Impact Fund is a 501(c)3 non profit organization established in 2019 to prosper “communities” worldwide.
3. How does CIF fund its operations?
As a nonprofit we fund our operations through charitable grants and donations along with a 10% all inclusive fee for every dollar disbursed to applicants.
4. What is the loan application process like?
Applications are hosted on your custom branded microsite. The application is a one page electronic form that includes the description of need from the applicant to link a bank account and upload a tax form. Most applications take less than 20 minutes to complete. We also qualify applicants based on an A.L.I.C.E. calculation of adequate standard of living for their location.
5. What if our applicants don’t have internet access?
The loans do require a simple and automated electronic application process and an email account. If individuals are having issues we offer support through a number of channels including chatting with us on our website, email, and phone. Our website is also a mobile compatible site so loans can be applied for using a smartphone.
6. How does CIF determine who is eligible for a loan?
We look to see if the applicant has financial hardship (through bank statements, tax return, application data) as well as an ability to pay back the loan (soft pull credit report, uploaded bank statements).
7. What happens when a loan is denied?
We don’t actually use the word denied at all, we only refer an applicant to a redirected resource. We strive to speak with anyone being referred via phone but we also provide an email with the reason for the referral and provide information on next steps (e.g. financial counseling).
- Can those who are referred be directed to other resources? Yes, see below (7.3)
- Can those who are denied be referred back to us for additional help?
- We can encourage them to reach out to you if you instruct us to do so. However, we can not pass their information on to you for privacy reasons. One of our core values is dignity, and one way we respect the applicants’ dignity is to keep their needs private.
8. What are the suggested participation requirements for employees?
Our suggestion is that you offer this program immediately. However, some CIF partners handle this in a similar manner to their other benefits – ex: if employees are eligible for benefits after 30 days, stay consistent with your existing guidelines.
*Note: you provide us a census file of who is eligible to receive loans from your fund. If an applicant’s information is in that file we will loan to them if not, we do not offer them a loan.
9. What reporting does CIF provide?
We provide monthly reports in two categories:
- Loan Program Reporting
CIF provides information on the loan program, including the number and amount of loans, loan repayment amounts, application date, and client fund balance through an online report that is updated 3 times a week.
- Donation Reporting
The donation system will ask the donor if they wish to be anonymous allowing the donor to control the reporting on their donation. If they choose this we can only share anonymous information like the donation time and amount. If the donor is ok with being identified we can disclose all of their information.
- Tax Receipts
CIF issues an annual tax receipt to donors that lists their donations made in a calendar year.
10. How do the loan amounts work?
- What is the suggested Loan amount?
We suggest loan amounts ranging between $500 to $3000. You can adjust your loan amounts within that range or stay with the recommended range.
- Can we do a different amount for our loans? Say up to $5000?
Higher loan amounts are on a case by case basis only and may cost extra for setup.
- Are the loans all or nothing…Can an applicant be denied for $3000 but still get $1000 instead?
11. Does CIF offer financial wellness education to loan recipients?
YES – we typically offer education in one of two ways:
- If you have your own resource for financial wellness education we can direct them to that resource.
- We are also have a partnership with Green Path Financial Wellness a nonprofit that offers Financial Counseling Services. We are able to make a connection for your organization or refer your loan applicants to them if desired.
12. Can we start the fund at one amount and add to it as needed?
Yes – Part of the CIF program is the ability for any community member to donate to your fund at any time using the donation link on your microsite. If a fund originating entity is looking to add funds to their account, they will need to use the same ACH wire transfer instructions used to create the account.
13. What happens if a fund runs out of money?
- Is there a low balance notification?
Yes, you will get a notification once your balance is less than $10,000. Once your loan fund is less than $5,000, we will pause your program.
- Can I add more funds later?
Yes – See #11
14. What happens to the money in our fund if we decide to stop the program?
The money you donate to CIF is a tax deductible donation and cannot be returned to you. We will respect your preferences, and there is the possibility of CIF donating the remaining funds to the CIF general operating budget or another charity.
15. Do you have a reference of a current client I could speak with?
Yes, upon request.
16. Is an Impact Loan given to employee considered compensation that is deemed taxable income?
Since,you the employer, are not making the loans, but we (CIF, a nonprofit at our own discretion) make the loan, it is not considered taxable income. This is not like a standard benefit made to an employee that is taxable income. This is one of the main benefits of working with us as a nonprofit for your impact loan program.