Technical Assistance

Fundamentals of Economic Development Finance WebCourse
August 5-6, 2024
Daily: 12:00 PM - 5:00 PM Eastern

Register Today


The Fundamentals of Economic Development Finance WebCourse is the foundation for all of CDFA’s educational offerings. This course will help attendees understand the variety of development finance tools available including bonds, tax credits, tax increment financing (TIF), RLFs, federal financing programs, and access to capital lending resources.

The Fundamentals of Economic Development Finance WebCourse is based on CDFA's Practitioner's Guide to Economic Development Finance, the only comprehensive reference guide dedicated to building and utilizing the development finance toolbox. The Practitioner’s Guide to Economic Development Finance provides the insight and practical information needed to critically understand how economic development is financed and the tools, strategies, and techniques used to build strong communities.

This course qualifies for the CDFA Training Institute's Development Finance Certified Professional (DFCP) Program. Join us online and start down the road to personal and professional advancement today.


Course Objectives

  • Learn the fundamentals of development finance
  • Interact with leading development finance professionals from around the country
  • Discuss best practices and case studies that can be implemented in your community
  • Gain a greater understanding of the diversity of development finance tools
  • Establish a foundation for attending future in-depth financing courses
  • Receive a copy of the Practitioner's Guide to Economic Development Finance

Topics Covered

  • Understanding development finance
  • The financing spectrum
  • Building the development finance toolbox
  • Bedrock tools: bonds and the basics of public finance
  • Targeted tools: tax increment and special district financing
  • Investment tools: tax credit programs
  • Access to capital lending tools: revolving loan and mezzanine funds, loan guarantee, innovation finance, and microenterprise programs
  • Implementing the toolbox approach
  • Trends in development finance
  • Development finance challenges and policy considerations

Who Should Attend?

  • Bond Issuers
  • Economic Development Professionals
  • Community Development Professionals
  • Broker/Dealers and Underwriters
  • Elected Officials
  • Government and Nonprofit Finance Officers
  • Attorneys
  • Accountants
  • Financial Advisors
  • Policy Makers

Course Advisor

Toby Rittner Toby Rittner
Council of Development Finance Agencies
President & CEO, CDFA and Chairman, CDFA Foundation
Toby Rittner is the President & CEO of Council of Development Finance Agencies (CDFA), a national association dedicated to the advancement of development finance concerns and interests. CDFA is comprised of the nation’s leading and most... (More)


Monday, August 5, 2024

Mon 12:00 PM - 12:15 PM
Welcome & Overview
Welcome to the course! This session will introduce CDFA, explain how to use the online software, and discuss the framework for the two-day Fundamentals of Economic Development Finance WebCourse.
Mon 12:15 PM - 1:15 PM
Understanding Development Finance & the Toolbox Approach
This session will set the stage for attendees to build their core knowledge of the roots and basic principles of development finance. Attendees will learn about the fundamental concepts of building a comprehensive financing strategy.
Mon 1:15 PM - 3:00 PM
Bedrock Tools
Bonds are the bedrock of development finance and are the cornerstone of most development finance projects. This session will address the basics of bond finance including the various types of bonds, what bonds can finance, how bonds are issued, and important legal elements to be considered.
Mon 3:00 PM - 3:15 PM
Mon 3:15 PM - 5:00 PM
Targeted Tools
Targeted financing programs are the most popular form of development finance. Attendees will learn the basics of several financing tools including tax increment financing, special improvement districts/business improvement districts, special assessment districts, and tax abatements as well as how they can be used to meet economic development goals and objectives.
Mon 5:00 PM

Tuesday, August 6, 2024

Tue 12:00 PM - 12:15 PM
Revisiting Day 1
Day 2 will begin with a review of key takeaways from Day 1 and the agenda for the second half of the course.
Tue 12:15 PM - 2:00 PM
Investment Tools
In this session, attendees will learn about the investment tools available for catalyzing job growth, real estate development, community revitalization, and entrepreneurial development. Presentations will cover several highly successful federal tax credit programs and how to effectively apply these programs to development opportunities.
Tue 2:00 PM - 2:15 PM
Tue 2:15 PM - 3:30 PM
Access to Capital Tools
Important components in any development finance toolbox are tools that address access to capital concerns such as revolving loan funds, mezzanine finance, credit enhancement models, linked deposit programs, and loan guarantee programs. Speakers will discuss the use of innovation finance mechanisms such as seed, venture, and angel funds for encouraging local growth.
Tue 3:30 PM - 4:00 PM
Federal Support Tools
This session will demonstrate the power of federal support tools and present the multitude of programs that exist within the various federal agencies. Attendees will learn about these programs and how to effectively apply them to development opportunities.
Tue 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Implementing the Development Finance Toolbox
Development finance agencies throughout the country are implementing the toolbox approach. This final session of the course will focus on case study examples of successful agencies utilizing the toolbox model and strategies for putting the toolbox in place at your agency.
Tue 5:00 PM


The Fundamentals of Economic Development Finance WebCourse will take place on Zoom. The course will meet each day from 12:00-5:00 PM Eastern. Attendees must have access to a computer and the internet to attend the course.


This training course qualifies for the CDFA Training Institute's Development Finance Certified Professional (DFCP) Program. Start down the road to personal and professional advancement today.

Scholarships are available to attend this event. Learn more about the CDFA Scholarship Program, and submit your application today.

When you register for four courses during CDFA Summer School, you will receive a $150 discount off the total registration fee.

CDFA permits only one person to log in and participate in the course. If multiple people are accessing the course without paying to attend, we will terminate the connection and access. CDFA offers group discounts for organizations that wish to register multiple people.
Standard Rates
CDFA Member: $375
Non-Member: $500