Growing the
Lending Circles Communities


Our greatest strength lies in community. We come together to learn, share, support – and rise to the oncoming challenges as one.

Today, we are strengthening our community: we are looking for new partners across the country to join the Lending Circles Network. Lending Circles partners bring zero-interest, credit building loans and financial education to their communities, offering tools to help people save money, pursue financial goals, and improve their financial well-being. 

Join us!

The Plan

What are we trying to address?

Millions of low income people across the country lack access to basic banking services and credit. Without bank accounts or credit scores, these communities are locked out of the financial system, preventing them from building a life of safety and security for themselves and their families. It’s a momentous challenge, but it’s one challenge we can tackle together.

What can we do about it?

We are bringing together a nationwide network of nonprofits to offer better solutions. Different people need different things – there is no one size fits all. To support the challenges, journeys, and dreams of different communities across the U.S., we’ll work with partners to find the programs that are right for their community, whether it’s Lending Circles, Immigration Loans, or Business Loans. All of our programs will be supported by MyMAF, our own financial coaching app.

Who are we looking for?

We’re in search of nonprofits in San Diego, Phoenix, Houston, Atlanta, Charlotte, and New York who are interested in bringing Lending Circles programs to their local community. There is no such thing as a typical Lending Circles partner. We welcome applications from organizations serving diverse communities with diverse missions. The best candidates can demonstrate a clear programmatic fit and show how the Lending Circles program will act as a complement to their current work.

So how do we do it?

Thanks to our sponsors, selected applicants will receive the following benefits – an estimated value of up to $63,000.

  • Ongoing trainings and technical assistance from MAF
  • Access to our platform that makes enrollment, loan management and credit reporting a breeze for your staff
  • Free access to online and mobile-accessible financial education (English/Spanish)
  • A toolkit to help your organization market the program and spread the word


Launch Events

Lending Circles Communities Launch Events were opportunities to dive deep into MAF’s signature Lending Circles program, explore all the unique benefits of joining our national network through the campaign and connect with MAFistas and community champions. Check out photos from the Launch Events in San Diego, Phoenix, Houston, New York, Atlanta, and Charlotte!


January 29, 2020 


February 5, 2020


February 13, 2020


February 19, 2020


February 25, 2020


February 27, 2020


Unable to join us for an in-person event?

Join one of our 3 webinars on February 3, March 2 or April 6 at 11 AM Pacific.

Eligible Applicants

Applicants must be an established 501 C(3) non-profit organization.

Applications will be evaluated according to the following criteria:

  1. Cohesion: A clear understanding and description of how the Lending Circles model aligns and integrates with your current programmatic activities and organizational priorities;
  2. Capacity: The capacity to carry out a mutually-defined set of milestones and deliverables, especially as it relates to enrolling participants;
  3. Community: A demonstrated and clearly articulated community need and/or target population;
  4. Commitment: An intention to and experience with maintaining long-term partnerships

A complete application will include the following attachments:

  1. Your organization’s IRS 501(c)3 determination letter;
  2. Organizational budget for the current fiscal year;
  3. Most recent audited financials;
  4. Fully executed mutual non-disclosure agreement if not received already (this will be sent to you to sign by MAF);
  5. Overview of financial education curriculum offered through your organization (if any). This includes details regarding lesson topics, number and length of sessions, and any samples of lesson plans.

Submission Guidelines

Please submit an interest form to receive a link to the Lending Circles Provider Application. All applications are due on Friday, June 26th at 5 pm PDT (late submissions may not be considered). Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis, so interested organizations are strongly encouraged to submit an application as soon as you feel ready.

Awardee must successfully fulfill the following:

  1. At least 35 clients served through financial education;
  2. At least 35 clients participate in Lending Circles per year;
  3. Utilize client management systems and evaluation tools for tracking client progress and program outcomes;
  4. Work closely with MAF to disseminate findings of the project, and influence dialogue on financial capability, with a broader audience including local media, other asset building practitioners, federal agencies and elected officials;
  5. Is dedicated to initiating a long-term partnership and signing a partnership agreement.

Want to learn more?

Attend a webinar

Sign up for a
#LendingCirclesCommunities webinar

Am I a good fit?

Talk to a MAFista to learn if your organization is a good fit

Ready to join?

Submit an interest form to start the application process. 

“Lending Circles are a game changer for our community. We serve community members, many undocumented and mostly women, who face difficulties getting access to bank accounts. Lending Circles makes participating in a credit building program possible for so many in our community. Some of our members and families still stay connected to those in their circles because they shared their goal.”
Allie Olson, Executive Director
LIFT – Los Angeles

Partner Testimonial

Funding for the Lending Circles Communities campaign is provided through a generous grant from Wells Fargo Foundation.



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