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Community Development’s Function & Mission

The Philadelphia Fed’s Community Development Studies and Education Department supports the Federal Reserve System’s economic growth objectives by promoting community development in low- and moderate-income communities and fair and impartial access to credit in underserved markets. Through meetings, conferences, and research, the department encourages financial institutions to provide credit and other banking services to all communities, including traditionally underserved markets.

The department also facilitates cooperation among community organizations, government agencies, financial institutions, and other community development practitioners, and through research promotes a better understanding of the processes and resources that support successful community development programs. The department also helps create greater public awareness of the benefits and risks of financial services products, consumers’ rights, and the economic and personal financial literacy of educators, their students, and the general public.

As part of its outreach efforts, the department hosts a biennial conference on reinventing older communities. This conference brings together community developers, bankers, researchers, funders, planners, and government representatives to share best practices and current research. Community Development also maintains a strong educational effort for the professional development of financial educators of low-income adults and economic education programs to train teachers how to incorporate economic concepts into lessons in K-12 classrooms.


Philadelphia is the home of the First and Second Bank of the United States, the nation’s early attempts to establish a central bank. The Philadelphia Fed has captured the story of central banking in the United States with its permanent exhibit Money in Motion. The exhibit, which opened in July 2003 to broaden the Bank’s public outreach and take advantage of its unique tourist location on Independence Mall, is free and interactive. It offers a fun and informative way for visitors to explore the nation’s financial history, learn about the evolution of the U.S. payments system, test their knowledge of the banking industry, and trace the life cycle of U.S. currency.