Technical Assistance

Intro Opportunity Zones Finance Course
Daily: 12:00 - 5:00 PM Eastern


Opportunity Zones, a federal economic development tool that provides tax incentives for investments in low income communities, is one of the most exciting and catalytic development finance tools in decades. However, just having an Opportunity Zone in your community may not be enough to draw in investments from Opportunity Funds. Tool utilization is complex, complicated, and requires a deep level of understanding. Communities and practitioners with the greatest understanding of key strategies and deployment mechanisms will feel the biggest impact from this creative financing program.

The Intro Opportunity Zones Finance Course will bring together program designers, fund managers, communities, investors, and policy experts to educate and review strategies on how to maximize Opportunity Zone designations and attract zone investments. This interactive webcourse will help communities bring all economic development stakeholders to the table, and have a firm understanding of how the development finance toolbox can both encourage and supplement Opportunity Fund investments.

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

Course Objectives

  • Learn the basics of Opportunity Zones
  • Understand the many players in the Opportunity Zone industry
  • Interact with fund managers and investors
  • Discuss best practice principles for Opportunity Zones and Opportunity Funds
  • Learn how to identify funders and how to market zones
  • Discuss how Opportunity Zones could fund community revitalization
  • Examine best practices
  • Create networks and project nexus for potential future investment

Topics Covered

  • Basics of Opportunity Zones
  • Attracting investment
  • Engaging stakeholders and the community
  • Rural and urban Opportunity Zone approaches
  • Opportunity Zone impact investing
  • Community, zone, and investment case studies
  • When and where Opportunity Funds invest
  • Fund managers perspectives on zone investment
  • State Opportunity Zone approaches
  • Debt financing mechanisms to support fund investment

Who Should Attend?

  • Economic development professionals
  • Community development professionals
  • Real estate developers
  • Investors and fund managers
  • Non-profit leaders
  • Elected officials
  • Legal counsel
  • Policy makers
  • Accountants and tax professionals
  • Commercial bankers
  • Financial advisors

Course Advisor

Katie Kramer Katie Kramer
Ohio Statewide Development Corporation
Executive Director


Day 1

12:00 PM - 12:15 PM
Welcome & Overview
Welcome to the Intro Opportunity Zones Finance WebCourse. During this time we will introduce CDFA, explain how to use the online software, and discuss the framework for the two-day course.
12:15 PM - 2:00 PM
Fundamentals of Opportunity Zones
This first session will focus on the basics of the Opportunity Zones incentive. Topics to be discussed include a breakdown of where OZs are located, the tax benefits to investors, and the types of investments that are eligible for tax benefits.
2:00 PM - 3:15 PM
Partnerships, Asset Mapping, and Building a Prospectus
Although the OZ incentive is a market-based tool, communities have an important role to play in connecting projects with potential investors. Attendees will learn strategies for building community partnerships, designing a comprehensive asset map, and marketing local OZs through the creation of an investment prospectus.
3:15 PM - 3:30 PM
3:30 PM - 5:00 PM
Leveraging OZ Projects Through Development Finance
Project developers and business owners will consider locating a new venture in an Opportunity Zone because of possible tax benefits that improve chances of finding an equity partner. However, the inclusion of additional equity in a project does not eliminate the need for debt financing. In this session, attendees will learn how traditional development finance tools can be used to support projects in Opportunity Zones.
5:00 PM

Day 2

12:00 PM - 12:15 PM
Revisiting Day 1
12:15 PM - 1:30 PM
Fundamentals of Opportunity Funds
Opportunity Funds are the mechanism through which equity investments are made into OZs, and are the only vehicle through which OZ tax benefits may flow to investors. In this session, attendees will learn the basics of Opportunity Funds and the various factors prospective fund managers must consider prior to establishing an Opportunity Fund.
1:30 PM - 2:30 PM
What Opportunity Funds Want
Opportunity Funds have been established to invest in dozens of project-types and commercial sectors including: real estate, business start-ups, and energy infrastructure. But what influences Fund decision-making? In this session, attendees will learn about the economic and social factors that drive Opportunity Fund investments, and gain insight into how to structure projects and incentives that will attract the right Opportunity Fund.
2:30 PM - 2:45 PM
2:45 PM - 4:15 PM
Working with Federal Partners
Many federal agencies have developed Opportunity Zones engagement strategies to help prepare communities for investment and increase project development. During this session, attendees will hear from federal agency representatives about how communities can use targeted federal programs alongside local Opportunity Zones investment strategies.
4:15 PM - 5:00 PM
Case Studies
As the marketplace matures, there are numerous OZ projects moving forward around the country. Speakers will present OZ case studies to demonstrate the types of projects that are possible.
5:00 PM


The Intro Opportunity Zones Course is not currently on the schedule. Please check back for updates.


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.

CDFA permits only one person to login and participate in the course. If multiple people are accessing the course without paying to attend, we will terminate the connection and access to GoToWebinar. CDFA offers group discounts for organizations that wish to register multiple people.

Register before ______ for Early-Bird Rates.
Early Bird Rates
(Ends April 2)
CDFA Member: $550
Non-Member: $825
Standard Rates
(After April 2)
CDFA Member: $600
Non-Member: $875