The Northcountry Co-operative Development Fund (NCDF) is a cooperatively owned financial intermediary serving Midwestern communities and cooperatives. NCDF advances its mission, "Investing in Economic Democracy through Cooperative Enterprise" through financial and technical assistance that helps communities develop and maintain cooperatively owned homes and businesses. Cooperatives offer tremendous potential to change lives economically and socially. NCDF has provided over 600 loans since 1978 to large and small consumer cooperatives in urban, suburban and rural communities.
Consumer Co-operatives: Typically, NCDF annually finances at least three major consumer co-operative start-ups or store expansions. The Fund also provides loans of as little as $2,000 to smaller co-ops.
Worker Co-operatives: NCDF is one of a few organizations actively working to encourage worker ownership, allowing members a degree of ownership and self-governance unavailable in any other business structure. Historically, approximately 10% of NCDF's loan portfolio has gone to worker-owned co-operative enterprises.
Housing and Land Co-operatives: NCDF creates homeownership opportunities by developing cooperative housing units in new markets. NCDF housing development projects have three primary elements; they convert existing urban and rural rental units, preserve significant buildings in urban and rural areas, or convert suburban and rural manufactured home parks to cooperative ownership.
Share Loan Program: Aimed at helping individuals finance the purchase of shares in cooperative housing. Financed housing units typically sell for a fraction of the cost of a single-family home in the area. The fastest growing sector in NCDF's portfolio is share lending and share equity lending to current members of housing cooperatives.
Northcountry Cooperative Federal Credit Union is currently restricted to making co-op housing loans, but has the potential to expand into all areas of cooperative lending.
NCDF makes loans to cooperative homeowners and businesses located in the Upper Midwestern states of Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, North Dakota, South Dakota, Kansas, Nebraska, Michigan, Montana, Indiana, and Illinois. NCDF is the largest multi-sector regional cooperative in the U.S.
In 2008, NCDF made loans totaling over $800,000 to thirteen cooperatives and four individual members in seven states. In 2007, NCDF passed $25 million in loans made to coops since inception.
NCDF’s Impact in 2007 included the following:
- Provided over to $10 million in financing to consumer, worker and housing cooperatives in three states.
- 51 loans in Cooperatives and 25 loans in Affordable housing are currently in the portfolio.
- No investor money has been lost.
- 78% of loan dollars go to economically underserved and low-income communities.
- Loans support cooperatives—operating based on the shared values of equity, democracy, and concern for the community.
- Assisted over 300 housing unites in 2007 alone.
NFF advocates the idea that community-based nonprofits have access to the same financial diet as the commercial sector. Nationwide, NFF provides capital and advice to help nonprofits plan sustainable growth and improve their capacity to deliver services to their communities. As of July 2004, NFF has provided over $92 million to nonprofits nationwide, leveraged its capital for total projects worth more than $303 million, and drawn support from 200 fund-providers. Full Story