Application Guidelines

The following is a complete list of the materials you will need to submit an application for the 2011 Wachovia Wells Fargo NEXT Awards. For CARS™ rated organizations, the current CARS™ Rating and CARS™ report will cover much of the required information.

Details on the information required for each of the items listed below may be found in the Application Guidelines section that follows.

2011 Application Checklist

*All items except #1 Organizational Information, must be uploaded. The Organizational Information section is an online questionnaire.

Items 1-4: Required for all applicants.
1. Organizational Information Online questionnaire
2. Wachovia Wells Fargo NEXT Awards Statement Word document; Max. 3,000 words
3. Current Business or Strategic Plan PDF format preferred; No max. length
4. Latest Interim Financial Statements PDF format preferred; No max. length
Items 5-12: Required for all applicants without a CARS™ Rating. **
**If you have a CARS™ Rating, then for each item only submit an update if material changes have occurred since the last CARS™ report or you have additional information to report on that topic.
5. A) Financial Strength and Performance Statement and B) Impact and Policy Statement Word document; Combined max. 5,000 words
6. Three Years of Audited Financial Statements PDF format preferred; No max. length
7. Corporate Entity Chart PDF format preferred; No max. length
8. Mission Statement(s) PDF format preferred; No max. length
9. Organizational Chart PDF format preferred; No max. length
10. Key Staff PDF format preferred; No max. length
11. Board of Directors PDF format preferred; No max. length
12. IRS Tax-Exempt Determination Letter(s) or CDFI Fund proof of certification PDF format preferred; No max. length
Item 13: All applicants are invited to provide additional information that would be helpful in evaluating their organization and its qualifications for the 2011 Wachovia Wells Fargo NEXT Awards.
13. Additional Information Word document; Max. 800 words

Application Guidelines

The following are complete guidelines for submitting the materials and information required to apply for a 2011 Wachovia Wells Fargo NEXT Award. As noted above, only online applications will be accepted.

1. Organizational Information

The application will prompt applicants to enter the legal name and address of the headquarters of the entity seeking to receive an award. Email addresses and phone numbers will be requested for a lead Contact Person, the Executive Director (or Equivalent) and the Chief Financial Officer or Controller.

Applicants also will need to specify:

  • the name of the CDFI that will be the borrower of the loan..
  • the organizational structure of the CDFI seeking this award (e.g., loan fund, bank, credit union, venture fund)..
  • the organization’s Tax Status (e.g., 501(c)(3), other non-profit, for-profit)..
  • the year in which the organization began to make investments or provide financing as a means of accomplishing a community development mission.

Applicants also will need to complete a summary financial information table with figures taken from the organization’s three most recent audits: total capital dedicated to lending/investing; total loans/investments originated; net write-offs, delinquency % > 30 days (loan fund/banks); delinquency % > 90 days (loan fund/banks); delinquency % > 2 months (credit unions); delinquency % > 12 months (credit unions). Please see Glossary of Financial Terms for more information.

Finally, applicants will need to certify that they are currently in compliance with all financial covenants, reporting requirements, and performance obligations stipulated by private, public, and philanthropic providers of capital and grants.

2. Wachovia Wells Fargo NEXT Awards Statement

A statement (maximum 3,000 words) which addresses the following questions:

Vision:

  • What is your organization’s bold, long-term vision?
  • How will this vision translate into valuable benefits for the populations, markets, and communities directly served by your organization? What are its wider implications?
  • How will this vision enhance not just your organization and the populations, markets and communities you serve, but also the opportunity finance industry?
  • How will you achieve this vision?
  • If you are proposing a new product or a significant expansion, briefly describe the market analysis you've conducted to support it.
  • What potential internal and external challenges must your organization overcome in order to achieve this vision?

Use of Funds:

  • Please note that the CDFI applying for the award must state clearly what legal entity would be the borrower of the loan portion of the award, and the flow of funds if the loan will be used by a subsidiary or affiliate of the borrower.
  • What are the sources of funds that would be used to repay the debt portion of the award? Please be very specific (using numbers and projected revenue/income) about the sources used to repay the debt.
  • How do the proposed use of funds relate to the achievement of one or more charitable purposes?
  • How would a Wachovia Wells Fargo NEXT Award propel the organization forward on its next trajectory of growth and significantly enhance its ability to achieve its vision?
  • Describe your organizationís readiness to act on your vision and strategy in a short period of time if awarded a Wachovia Wells Fargo NEXT Award.

Note: Potential uses of grant and loan funds may include but are not limited to one or more of the following: staff salaries, facilities, technology improvements, loan loss reserves, lending/investing capital, purchases of other assets; start or expansion of business lines, etc.

Leadership:

  • How does your organization demonstrate its management capacity and commitment to mission to fulfill its strategy and achieve its vision?
  • How does the leadership of the organization demonstrate the ability to successfully adapt to market and organizational changes?
  • How does the management team demonstrate its breadth and depth to match the ambition of its goals and strategies?
  • What are the most difficult challenges your organization will need to overcome and how will your leadership meet these challenges?

Innovation:

  • What role does innovation play in your organization, the accomplishment of its mission, and its long-term success?
  • How is your organization likely to be the most innovative in future years? Or In what ways will your organization be more innovative in future years?
  • What impact is this innovation likely to have on your organization’s target market, the wider Opportunity Finance Industry or other potential beneficiaries?
  • How would this award significantly enhance your organization’s ability to sustain or expand its capacity for innovation over the next 10+ years?

3. Current Business or Strategic Plan

Please provide a copy of the applicant’s current business plan and/or strategic plan. This document should have been created or updated within the last five years.

4. Latest Interim Financial Statements

Please provide interim financial statements for your most recently completed quarter or month.

5A. Financial Strength and Performance Statement

(For the Financial Strength and Performance and the Impact and Policy Statements, the combined word limit is 5,000 words.

Please provide a financial self-assessment that addresses the following questions or identify the pages of your business plan or strategic plan that address these questions.

  • How does your current capital structure support your activities and manage investor risk?
  • How do you see your capital structure changing over the next three to five years?
  • Describe portfolio performance and trends over the past three years.
  • Describe growth in loan originations during the past three years.
  • How do you manage the risk inherent in your lending activities?
  • Describe the appropriateness of your management, board and staff’s skills and experience relative to your organization’s size, complexity and risk profile.
  • Explain turnovers in any key position within the last three years.
  • Describe operating results (for non-profits, focus on changes in unrestricted net assets) during the last three years?
  • How do your ensure the reliability of revenue needed to support your financing activities?
  • How do you ensure adequate operating and loan fund liquidity?

CARS™ Rated Applicants: The Financial Strength and Performance Statement is required only if material changes have occurred since your last CARS™ report. Please indicate changes and updates from the CARS™ report.

5B. Impact and Policy Statement

Impact: Provide an impact performance self-assessment that addresses the following questions or identify the pages of your business plan or strategic plan that address these questions.

  • How does your organization’s mission align with its strategies, products and the information you track and analyze to assess your impact performance?
  • What information does your organization track and analyze to assess its impact performance?
  • Describe the volume of impact your organization has had in its market. Compare this volume to the overall need in your market: does your organization have significant market share?
  • What key output data does your organization track for internal purposes and how does your organization use that data to a) determine how well it is meeting its mission, and/or b) increase its own effectiveness?
  • How does your organization ensure that it is using available financing resources effectively, including off-balance sheet resources if applicable? Provide your organization’s deployment rates for the three most recent fiscal years.

Policy: Describe your organization’s role in influencing policies beyond those that might increase its own access to resources. Specifically, describe your organization’s participation and results in efforts to change government policy, civic life, private sector business activity, or other areas that have resulted in structural and/or systemic changes that have benefited disadvantaged people or communities.

CARS™ Rated Applicants: This document is required only if material changes have occurred since your last CARS™ report or you have additional information regarding policy work that was not covered in your CARSô analysis. Please indicate changes and updates from the CARS™ report. Please note that CARS™ Policy Performance analysis only examines changes in government policy. If your organization has engaged in efforts to influence civic life, private sector business practice or other activities that led to policy and system changes benefiting disadvantaged or underserved communities and people, please submit a statement that describes them.

6. Three Years of Audited Financial Statements

Audited financial statements for the three most recently completed fiscal years. Please note that credit unions cannot substitute NCUA Statements of Financial Condition (5300 report) for audited financial statements.

CARS™ Rated Applicants: This item is not required unless your organization has not yet submitted audited financial statements for any of its three most recently completed fiscal years.

7. Corporate Entity Chart

A current corporate entity chart that clearly shows all related corporate entities, their tax status, and their relationship to the applicant organization.

CARS™ Rated Applicants: This item is not required unless material changes have occurred since your last CARS™ report.

8. Mission Statement(s)

A mission statement(s) for the applicant organization and for each of its related entities.

CARS™ Rated Applicants: This item is not required unless material changes have occurred since your last CARS™ report.

9. Organizational Chart

A current organizational chart showing position titles and reporting relationships must be provided. Vacant positions, if any, should be clearly identified, and the date when the vacancy began should be clearly noted.

CARS™ Rated Applicants: This item is not required unless material changes have occurred since your last CARS™ report.

10. Key Staff

A document listing key staff (name and position) with a summary of their experience and qualifications.

CARS™ Rated Applicants: This item is not required unless material changes have occurred since your last CARS™ report.

11. Board of Directors

A list of the members of the Board of Directors with institutional affiliations, and brief biographies.

CARS™ Rated Applicants: This item is not required unless material changes have occurred since your last CARS™ report.

12. IRS Tax-Exempt Determination Letter(s) or Proof of CDFI Fund Certification

If applicable: provide copy(ies) of 501(c)(3) and 509(a), determination letter(s) from the U.S. Internal Revenue Service regarding the applicant organizationís charitable purpose and tax-exempt status.

If applicable, provide proof of CDFI Fund certification (letter or other correspondence from the CDFI Fund)

Note to entities without 501(c)(3) tax status: The Opportunity Finance Network must comply with relevant government rules and regulations for charitable giving and adhere to the policies and restrictions of The Wachovia Wells Fargo Foundation and MacArthur Foundation, which are jointly funding these awards. If your organization does not have a current 501(c)(3) tax status it may need to submit additional documentation to substantiate the charitable nature of the activities that your organization intends to carry out if it receives a Wachovia Wells Fargo NEXT Award. Please do not submit additional information with your online application. We will contact each organization individually to request specific information as needed.

13. Additional Information

All applicants are invited to provide additional information (maximum 800 words) that would be helpful in evaluating their organization and its qualifications for the 2011 Wachovia Wells Fargo NEXT Awards.

Note: Application Guidelines are subject to change without notice. Check back regularly for the most current guidelines.