Frequently Asked Questions

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What does findCRA do?

Founded in 2013 and headquartered in Louisville, Kentucky, findCRA provides software and consulting services for banks and nonprofits throughout the nation. All our products and services are focused on making CRA research and relationship-building easy and intuitive.

Banks utilize our services for market research and outreach efforts to meet their requirements under the federal Community Reinvestment Act.  Our powerful SaaS solutions – Community QualifierContexter, and ComplyAnswer – help banks streamline their success under CRA.  We also offer a variety of traditional CRA consulting services, including CRA program and activities review, exam preparation, staff training and others.

Nonprofits can claim their findCRA nonprofit profile on our platform or request to be added for free.  We also offer an independent, paid CRA Certification for nonprofits to help them prepare to tell their CRA Story during their bank outreach efforts.  With each CRA Certification, nonprofits receive customized CRA Tools that illustrate their CRA alignment.

What is CRA?

The Community Reinvestment Act or CRA is a federal regulation that was signed into law in 1977.  It is designed to encourage banks to help meet the credit needs in all segments of the communities where they operate. The regulation arose out of discriminatory redlining practices conducted by some lenders against low-income borrowers and low-income neighborhoods.

The CRA requires banks to demonstrate sustained performance in meeting the needs of their communities.  Dependent on the bank’s size, banks are evaluated in three areas.  All banks are reviewed on their lending activity which can include mortgage, small business, and community development loans.  Banks over a certain asset size must also show how they are meeting their communities’ needs through qualified investments and community development services.

Every insured financial institution is examined periodically by their federal regulator to measure their performance with the requirements of the CRA.  After the completion of this examination, the regulator issues a CRA Rating and a CRA Public Evaluation.  This rating will range between Outstanding, Satisfactory, Needs to Improve, or Substantial Noncompliance.  It serves as a measure of how well the institution is meeting its communities’ needs.

To learn more about the CRA, visit the findCRA Learning Center Knowledge Base.

To keep up-to-date with changes in the CRA industry, visit our CRA Newswire.

What is low- and moderate-income?

“What is low- or moderate-income or LMI?” is one of the most common questions we hear at findCRA. Most people may have a general understanding of what it means to be low-income, but under the federal Community Reinvestment Act, defining low- and moderate-income can seem overly technical and confusing. More importantly, knowing what makes up low- and moderate-income groups and communities is key to understanding the purpose of CRA and which programs and activities may qualify for CRA support.

We’ve make it simple to know exactly what it means to be low- or moderate-income, as outlined in the CRA.  Read our full blog post about how to define low- and moderate-income here.

Download our helpful infographic below:

How does a bank work with findCRA?

Banks use our services for market research, compliance documentation, as well as outreach efforts to nonprofits and other community development partners, all to help meet their requirements under the federal Community Reinvestment Act.

Banks can use any of findCRA’s online, Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solutions by purchasing a subscription for their bank. Our SaaS solutions are designed with a “CRA first” mindset to make community research and outreach easier than it’s ever been. These solutions are unique in the marketplace and include the following products:

Community Qualifier enables banks to search for CRA-aligned nonprofits in any city, state, county or zip code.  Banks can view details profiles for each nonprofit and maintain those profiles as consistent records for their examiners.  Banks can also request introductions to nonprofits and message nonprofits through the Community Qualifier platform.

Contexter empowers banks to build CRA performance context instantly for any county in the nation. With Contexter, a bank can review nearly 200 data points organized into 10 key areas like housing, education, income, employment, and more.  Market reports can be shared, saved, and printed as needed to make performance context research instant and easy.

ComplyAnswer supports banks by allowing them to ask CRA questions as needed and receive consultant level responses without the traditional consulting proposal and engagement process.

In addition to our online solutions, we also offer a customized CRA consulting engagements for banks ranging from staff training to detailed CRA activities analysis and program review.

How does a nonprofit work with findCRA?

Nonprofits work with findCRA to educate, equip and empower their organization to build new relationships with banks in their community.

At findCRA, we developed CRANIA, our Community Reinvestment Act Nonprofit Identification Algorithm, which qualifies IRS-registered nonprofits in comparison to the requirements of the Community Reinvestment Act.  Once we qualify a nonprofit, we create a Nonprofit Profile for each nonprofit and list it on our Community Qualifier platform.

Nonprofits can claim their findCRA profile for free.  When a nonprofit claims it profile, it can add information about its mission and focus areas, who it serves and contact details.  Claim your nonprofit now.

The final step is to become CRA Certified.  findCRA independently certifies nonprofits based on their alignment with the Community Reinvestment Act.  CRA alignment is important information to share with banks when discussing nonprofit needs, requesting funding or creating a relationship.

Our paid CRA Certification provides your nonprofit with the tools and resources to confidently start the bank relationships you need.  We’ll ensure that you’re equipped to tell your CRA Story and empower you to build lasting, productive partnerships.  Start the CRA Certification process now.

Where is findCRA available?

We offer our services to banks and nonprofits in all 50 states.  You can learn more about our services at the following pages:

How does findCRA qualify nonprofits?

At findCRA, we created CRANIA, the Community Reinvestment Act Nonprofit Identification Algorithm.  This proprietary decisioning tool aggregates data from multiple sources to qualify our nonprofits based on their aligned with CRA.  We know that banks and CRA professionals rely on trusted government and industry resources to measure CRA performance.  That’s why we’ve compiled key data from over 20 sources including the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the U.S. Census Bureau, the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC), the Community Development Financial Institutions Fund (CDFI Fund), the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and more.

Using these sources, we aggregate nearly 1,400 data points and incorporate key data points into our nonprofit qualification process. Each nonprofit must be registered with the IRS and be current with their tax filing requirements.  Using CRANIA, we narrow the list of nonprofits down to the ones that are closely aligned with CRA.

From there, our CRA experts further curate the results.  We also ensure that each nonprofit’s information is accurate to assist in a bank’s research.  Only after a nonprofit passes our two-step process do we create its nonprofit profile on Community Qualifier.

Once a nonprofit has passed our review, we create a Nonprofit Profile for each CRA-aligned nonprofit on our website.  Each CRA-aligned nonprofit’s profile includes over 70 key data points from the same trusted sources as well as our own analysis, highlighting exactly how each is CRA-aligned.

Search for CRA-qualified nonprofits in your assessment area now.

What is CRA Certification?

CRA Certification is a great way for a nonprofit to build the knowledge and confidence to tell their CRA Story.

With thousands of nonprofits vying for a bank’s time and attention, findCRA provides the tools and resources to confidently start the bank relationships a nonprofit needs.  CRA Certification ensures that a nonprofit is educated and equipped to tell its CRA Story and empowered to form lasting, productive bank partnerships.

findCRA offers its independent, paid CRA certification for nonprofit organizations who meet the requirements of the CRA.  CRA alignment is important information to share with banks when talking about a nonprofit’s programs, requesting funding or developing a relationship.

Our CRA Certification process starts with an online application that must be completed by the nonprofit and requires a $300 initial application fee. We ask some a variety of questions about the organization including information about the nonprofit’s management, programs, services, financials, board, volunteers and more. Once a nonprofit has completed the application and submitted payment, our CRA experts review it to determine if the nonprofit meets the requirements for CRA Certification.

Apply for CRA Certification now.

How do I get started?

For Banks, the first step is to schedule a quick 15-minute call with our team to learn more about your bank’s needs and which of our solutions can best support your CRA goals.  Schedule a call now.

For Nonprofits, start by claiming your nonprofit.  Once you’ve claimed your nonprofit, the final step is to complete the paid CRA Certification application to become a CRA Certified Nonprofit.  You can learn more about our services for nonprofits here.

How much does it cost to use?

For Banks, we customize our pricing based on your bank’s needs and the services you’d like to use. To schedule a 15-minute call to start the process or request a pricing quote, click here.

Nonprofits can claim their findCRA Nonprofit Profile for free and can apply for CRA Certification for $300.  Each year after that, your CRA Certification costs $150 to maintain active status.  To learn more about our services for nonprofits, visit the findCRA for Nonprofits page.

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