CFNE loans are available only to organizations operated on a cooperative or nonprofit basis. Applicants must also be located within the New England states of Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, Connecticut and Rhode Island or within the adjacent parts of New York state.
CFNE considers an organization to operate on a "cooperative" basis if it exhibits most of the following characteristics:
To be considered as operating on a "nonprofit" basis an applicant organization must:
Eligible recipients of the assistance provided by CFNE encompass the entire spectrum of cooperatives and nonprofits serving basic human needs. These include:
Communities can organize cooperatives to meet any of their goods and services needs. The function of CFNE is to encourage and assist this type of community economic development, particularly for organizations that are resource poor but otherwise sound and promising.
The financial assistance provided by CFNE is intended primarily to benefit borrowers of greatest need. Priority among eligible organizations is therefore accorded to low-income co-ops and others with special problems of access to needed financial resources. Low-income status is defined by CFNE to include organizations meeting any of the following standards:
Low-income co-ops and nonprofits are provided a number of benefits and prerogatives by the Fund in addition to being given priority over other applicants for available funds. For example, their application fee might be reduced and they receive the lowest practicable interest rates on their loans. As the resources of the Fund permit, they may also be provided technical assistance services on a low-fee or gratis basis.