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The nonprofit Center for Community Self-Help (or Self-Help) combines several organizations that together provide financing, technical support, consumer financial services and advocacy for those left out of the economic mainstream. We help borrowers nationwide build wealth by providing fair and responsible loans to businesses, consumers and prospective homebuyers. We strengthen under-served communities by financing nonprofits, child care centers, community health facilities, public charter schools, and residential and commercial real estate projects. We provide responsible financial services through our network of state- and federally-chartered credit unions. Over time we have demonstrated that low-income borrowers pose no greater credit risk than other borrowers. The Center is a charitable nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization that develops and coordinates Self-Help's programs, raises resources, and advocates for economic opportunity. Self-Help Credit Union is a member-owned, federally insured, state-chartered credit union in North Carolina. Self-Help Federal Credit Union is a member-owned, federally chartered and federally insured credit union.
The Ventures Fund is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) loan fund capitalized with loans and grants from foundations, religious organizations, corporations, and government sources.
The Center for Responsible Lending is a national nonprofit, nonpartisan research and policy affiliate. When I finished graduate school in 1994, I wanted to build a meaningful career using my training in law and public health. In 2011, when I came on board as Self-Help’s first-ever Sustainability Director, Self-Help gave me an explicit challenge: implement sustainability solutions across every business unit of the organization, inside our walls and outside with construction partners, borrowers and allies. In a short time, we have increased investments in green projects and become more strategic about integrating environmental sustainability into our day-to-day work, from encouraging more car-pooling among our staff to incorporating major energy conservation in multi-million dollar projects. In the past three years, Self-Help has closed more than $75 million in loans to utility-scale solar farms, and we expect that amount will more than double by the end of 2015. While it has been a heady experience to be part of the solar industry in North Carolina, I take particular pride in sharing stories of the remarkable borrowers we serve. When Rush Creek’s leaders sought financing, they wanted a lender who shared their commitment to triple bottom-line goals—people, planet and profit.
Together with capital partners like Self-Help, the owners of Rush Creek have pushed the boundaries of traditional hotel development while maximizing positive environmental and social outcomes. In addition to working with individual businesses to support exemplary practices, Self-Help also relishes opportunities to collaborate with other like-minded financial institutions.
Craft3, another peer CDFI serving Oregon and Washington, provides home energy-efficiency (EE) loans in partnership with a nonprofit called Enhabit.
Craft3 approached Self-Help with a groundbreaking proposition: Would we help establish a “secondary market” for their EE loans? I’ve been Sustainability Director here for almost six years, and I sometimes still pinch myself when I look at my business card. Self-Help’s work is fueled by the passion of our members and depositors who believe that impact capital can change the world. Article by Melissa Malkin-Weber, Sustainability Director, Self-Help Credit Union. Melissa has worked across a broad span of hands-on sustainability practices.
Search Engine Optimization Drive more traffic to your website by infusing valuable content. Self-Help Credit Union Strategy, Design, Technology Visit site August 2015 Self-Help Credit Union is a North Carolina-based institution that endeavors to create and protect ownership and economic opportunities for all members through traditional financial services and specialized products.


These entities include: Self-Help Credit Union, Self-Help Federal Credit Union, Self-Help Ventures Fund and the Center for Responsible Lending.
Our borrowers have proven their determination to repay their loans, build their businesses, improve their communities, and build wealth through home ownership and home equity. As a nonprofit entity, its mission is to increase access to responsible and affordable financial services in underserved communities, initially in California.
It manages Self-Help's higher-risk business loans, real estate development, and home loan secondary market programs.
CRL is dedicated to protecting home ownership and family wealth by working to eliminate abusive financial practices. Please fill out the form below and provide as much information as possible about updates to this event or venue. More specifically, I had two major goals: to create a more sustainable planet, and to invest my money in a way that was consistent with my social justice values. I had a head start on the challenge because of the foundation laid by an internal Environmental Stewardship Committee, a longstanding group of enthusiastic volunteers.
We developed processes to weigh the benefits of energy upgrades against expenses, and we selected the most practical, cost effective options for our buildings. We were delighted to find that we had greened Self-Help activities to the tune of $1.7 million (net present value) when we totaled projected energy savings, program benefits and new green loans. A huge number of solar farms have been installed across North Carolina in recent years, fueled by state tax credits and other policies. One of our notable partners is Rush Creek Lodge, an eco-lodge now under construction in Yosemite National Park.
Thanks to an introduction by RSF Social Finance, a peer CDFI, Self-Help was fortunate to become that partner. When it opens this spring, Rush Creek will have the largest commercial grey water system in the state of California, followed in size by Evergreen. Our alliance with Craft3 breaks new ground in financing home improvements to amplify positive environmental and community impact. The program allows a homeowner to finance energy efficiency upgrades, such as insulation, duct-sealing and high-efficiency heat and hot water.
In other words, Craft3 was looking to sell its loans in order to recycle capital and make more loans with the proceeds from the sale. Together, Craft3 and Self-Help packaged a first-of-its kind transaction, allowing Craft3 to sell its EE loans to Self-Help. Our organizational culture celebrates the internal advocate who jumps in with two feet to champion new opportunities where mission impact and financial sustainability overlap. Every day I’m stretched to find the most creative and effective ways to save energy for our operations, to support our borrowers and communities where we work, and to learn new energy sectors so that we can make smart investments. Funds invested in Self-Help’s Green Certificate of Deposit and other accounts support sustainability work by providing capital for the kind of loans described in this piece.
At Self-Help Credit Union, she integrates the triple bottom line into the organization’s financial products, operations, and buildings portfolio. HUD offers a substantial incentive in the form of a discount of 50% from the list price of the home. As paychecks started coming in, I also became a member of Self-Help Credit Union, a community development financial institution (CDFI) that offered more than the usual checking and savings.
They continued to provide legwork and a sounding board as we began to broaden and deepen the organization’s sustainability efforts.


We received grants to supplement our own efficiency investments, updated our energy tracking and benchmarking, and engaged vendor partners in improving their environmental practices.  At the same time, we worked on environmental awareness among all of our staff, emphasizing that even small actions count—such as using one paper towel instead of two. We at Self-Help saw a unique opportunity to make a big impact in a short time, and we worked together to harness some of Self-Help’s strengths: an innovative spirit, a willingness to learn fast, and a committed staff that responds to a call for “all hands on deck” whenever necessary.
It will become a certified B Corporation, which means it operates for profit and also to benefit society.
A key innovation is that homeowners are able to access financing without putting any money down. Through two loan sales in 2013 and 2015, Self-Help has purchased 1,716 loans originated by Craft3 totaling $22 million. We hope this partnership with Craft3 will help spawn similar programs around the country to bring greater energy efficiency through OBR financing. As the examples here demonstrate, we have developed a culture that constantly says yes to new ideas and new ways to pull together smart capital and measure success by a triple-bottom line.
She led Self-Help to realize over $1.7 million in net present value from initiatives in this sector, including $180,000 energy savings in our own operations.
Its members include individuals, nonprofit and religious organizations, and other socially responsible people and institutions. Self-Help has long been known for its innovation, from its early days of helping worker-owned businesses to cutting-edge work in mortgage lending for low-income families. When complete, Rush Creek will be the first new resort in Yosemite in over 25 years, offering more than 143 beautiful rooms and operating in ways that promote sustainability and social justice.
In underwriting the project, Self-Help particularly valued Rush Creek’s focus on workforce development through a self-funded program developed and already in operation at Rush Creek’s sister property, the Evergreen Lodge. They repay the loan through their regular utility bills, a mechanism known as on-bill repayment (OBR).
Melissa previously directed the residential energy efficiency and indoor air quality research program at Advanced Energy and worked in industrial pollution prevention at RTI International. We will cover bankruptcy,Low Credit Score, Judgments, Liens, Foreclosures, Credit Bureaus and more. As a new member, I invested in a Green CD and watched with appreciation as Self-Help expanded its green focus, making more loans to land trusts and recycling businesses and adopting energy efficiency standards for its new residential developments, while my deposit earned a steady financial return. These counties earn personal property taxes on solar farms, providing hundreds of thousands of dollars in new county revenue that can fund economic development, infrastructure and vital services. Working with agencies throughout the San Francisco Bay Area, the lodges provide internship opportunities and full-time social service staff to help high-potential young adults develop strong employment and life skills. She earned her law degree from University of Michigan, and her Masters from UNC’s School of Public Health. Landowners who lease their land to solar farms get double or triple the income generated from farming, while retaining possession of the land and putting it to a productive use with a negligible environmental impact. This program has helped over 200 youth prepare for successful futures, often while exposing them to the great outdoors for the first time in their lives.
The program also includes a workforce agreement with participating contractors that helps build energy-efficiency expertise among minority- and women-owned businesses. The new design also features clear calls-to-action from each page to aid in user experience, and a Related Content section to facilitate user interaction with more pages of the site.



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