Awards Overview

The Wells Fargo NEXT Awards for Opportunity Finance have celebrated innovation by the nation's most promising CDFIs by awarding more than $66 million through a competitive awards process over the last eight years (2007-2014).

The goal of the NEXT Awards for 2012–2016 is to recognize the NEXT generation of CDFIs working towards expanding coverage in underserved communities.

2015 NEXT Awards for Consumer Financial Services

More than 25% of U.S. households are unbanked or underbanked, and growing numbers of households are turning to high-cost alternative financial products and services such as payday loans and check cashing services. These trends present a need and an opportunity for CDFIs to expand their role and provide this market with affordable and responsible products. Therefore, in 2015, the NEXT Awards will focus on consumer financial services for the growing number of low-income, low-wealth, and other disadvantaged people.

Consumer financial services includes loan products—auto loans, mortgage loans, small dollar loans, and credit building loans—as well as other financial services such as short- and long-term savings products, debit and checking products, financial education, and programs focused on consumer liquidity or income-expense timing.

Award Types

There are three Wells Fargo NEXT Awards categories in 2015:

Information Calls

NEXT Awards Information Call
February 5, 1:00–2:00 PM EST
View the webinar recording to learn about the NEXT Awards process and guidelines.

NEXT Awards Information Call for Credit Unions
February 11, 1:00–2:00 PM EST
View the webinar recording to learn about the NEXT Awards process and guidelines, including differences for credit union applicants.

2015 Consumer Financial Services Webinar Series

Webinar #1: Current Trends in Consumer Behavior and Financial Products
January 15, 2015, 1:00 - 2:00 PM EST
OFN is collaborating with the Center for Financial Services Innovation (CFSI) to present an overview of consumer challenges and the underserved marketplace. View the webinar recording.

Webinar #2: Lessons Learned in Developing, Innovating, and Scaling Consumer Financial Products and Services
February 18, 1:00 - 2:15 PM EST
OFN is collaborating with CFSI and Filene Research Institute to present lessons learned from working with credit unions, loan funds, and other nonprofits. Topics include behavioral economics, technology innovations, and consumer trends which are helping to shape the next generation of high quality consumer financial products and services. View the webinar recording.

Webinar #3: Strengthening CDFI Borrowers through Credit Reporting
August 11, 1:00 - 2:00 PM EDT
This webinar will discuss the importance of credit building for CDFI borrowers. Presenters from Credit Builders Alliance will talk about the process of reporting both personal and business credit to the major credit bureaus. View the webinar recording.

Webinar #4: Building a Small-Dollar Loan Product
September 15, 2015, 1:00 – 2:00 PM EDT
This webinar will discuss core components and considerations CDFIs should know when developing a small-dollar loan product. Presenters from the Center for Financial Services Innovation will discuss the Compass Guide to Small Dollar Credit. Register now.