IFF launches new strategic plan focused on systems change and community transformation January 9, 2018

Dear IFF community,

We’re pleased to announce that IFF has adopted a new strategic vision for 2018-2022: “Accelerating Social Impact” [pdf].

This plan recognizes in bold new ways IFF’s growing status as a systems change and community transformation leader. With the right combination of investment, development, partnerships, and actionable knowledge, IFF is forging into deeper, systems-focused, community-driven, collaborative ways of achieving positive impact for low-income communities in the Midwest. As part of this effort, we will be deepening our commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion both in the way we operate internally and the way we impact change in the world.

Past plans have focused on broadening our market base, deepening our sector expertise, and growing our loan portfolio — and we have had tremendous success. Over the last two strategic plans spanning 10 years, IFF has grown from about 45 employees working in Illinois to nearly 100 employees in seven Midwest offices serving nine states and the adjacent metropolitan areas of Louisville and Northern Kentucky. Our total assets have grown from $175 million in 2009 to over $600 million at the end of 2016.

Going forward, our challenge is to transform this steady growth into an even more efficient, effective engine of social change. Our core lending tools — those that make a CDFI a CDFI — will always remain a central part of IFF’s DNA; but we’ve known for a long time that IFF is no ordinary CDFI. This new plan ramps up IFF’s social impact engine to be as strong and powerful as our core lending and real estate consulting tools. What’s more, it calls for a significant investment in IFF’s organizational infrastructure — including our commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion — to ensure that the right foundations are in place to support our broader, deeper work.

In line with this plan, we are pleased to announce that two long-time IFFers will serve in new President-level capacities. Matthew Roth will serve as President of Core Business Solutions, overseeing the CDFI side of the business, as well as our core real estate consulting business. Kirby Burkholder will serve as President of our Social Impact Accelerator, managing our deep social impact work throughout the region.

Bottom line: IFF is strengthening our infrastructure internally in order to achieve more impact externally. In this way, our strategic plan isn’t like a lot of other plans. It’s not about growing the size of our territory, loan volume, or staff; instead it’s about growing our impact by ensuring the suite of tools we offer is correctly blended and balanced for nonprofits to succeed, communities to thrive, and social service systems to achieve positive change.

We hope you’ll join us for the journey ahead. Please download our new 10-page summary of our strategic plan for more details.


Joe Neri,               John Sassaris,
IFF CEO               IFF Board Chair