The Washington Area Community Investment Fund, Inc. (WACIF) is a nonprofit community development loan fund whose mission is to empower underserved communities and individuals in the Washington, DC metropolitan area by providing access to capital and technical assistance to small businesses, childcare centers, affordable housing developers, and community organizations.
In 1986, the Center for New Creation located in Arlington, Virginia, investigated the need for an alternative source of funding for community development in the Washington, DC Metropolitan Area. Assisted by the George Washington University, the Center conducted an extensive survey among community organization leaders and individuals aware of community development needs. The results indicated that there was a definite need for a new source of capital for community development. A coalition representing the local business community, lending institutions, community-based organizations, local residents, and ecumenical organizations was organized as a development committee in December 1986. The Marianist Sharing Fund and the Campaign for Human Development of the Arlington Catholic Diocese provided initial support for the new loan fund, which was named the Washington Area Community Investment Fund. Its first Board met in September 1987. In 1996, WACIF was one of the first loan funds in the Washington metropolitan area to be certified as a community development financial institution (CDFI) by the U.S. Department of the Treasury. WACIF became an SBA Microlender in 2005.