What We Do

Lend for America helps student leaders to build their communities through the creation of campus microfinance institutions (Campus MFIs). Our national platform supports students practicing microfinance in the U.S. by providing training, networking, funding, and research. We believe campus MFIs are a game-changer for the country because:

  • they offer students a chance to make a real difference beyond traditional community service which aren’t satisfying to results-driven students
  • they equip students with skills to solve real-life problems
  • they give students real responsibilities that last beyond the academic calendar

About the LFA Membership

Members represent 22 universities across 18 states. Since 2009, they have helped people in their communities by offering microloans, financial coaching, tax prep and other financial services. The emerging leaders in the membership are students at the undergraduate or graduate level eager to spark change in their communities.

Campus-based microfinance institutions, ‘Campus MFIs,’ join the LFA membership to network with like-minded peers and access trainings and resources to grow their initiative. As a result of LFA’ support, campus MFIs create deeper imact. The annual membership fee for 2015-16 membership is $400.

Eligibility

Members are Campus MFIs are teams of college students that go off-campus and find people who need help. They spend time and motivate, give basic financial advice, and lend small amounts of money they have raised. Examples of campus MFIs: The Intersect Fund, Capital Good Fund, Elmseed Enterprise Fund. Serving your first client is mandatory for joining Lend for America. If you need advice, read Lend for America’s Start-Up Kit and contact us.

Top Member Benefits

  • Annual Review: A written report with recommendations and comments about your campus MFI and is created based on an in-depth review of your group’s systems, processes, and case studies of clients served. The Annual Review is required for all members and serves as a way for LFA to gauge your student group’s level of commitment to its campus MFI.
  • Annual Conference: Members receive a free hotel room and 4 free tickets to attend LFA’s annual conference. The annual conference is a chance to meet other campus MFIs and students interested in microfinance in the U.S.
  • Online tools and resources: Members can access to LFA’s resource library to retrieve downloadable documents such as loan closing agreements and promissory notes, examples of legal documents, loan applications, and other docs shared with members only.
  • Impact Data Collection: LFA tracks and measures quantitative metrics such as growth in microlending portfolio, clients served, types of training offered to clients, and others on a quarterly basis. A one-page profile is created for each member organization that attends the annual conference.
  • Site Visits: Members are invited to apply to receive a 2-3 day visit from microfinance consultants. Site visits are intensive full day training opportunities to improve your campus MFI.

Download the full list of membership benefits here.