Wells Fargo announces a $20 million commitment to advance economic opportunities in Native American communities working with Native-led organizations. The Invest Native initiative aims to address housing, small business, financial health, and sustainability among Native American communities in Arizona, Montana, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming. The program is designed as a grant-making initiative – to support a more equitable and prosperous future for Native Americans.
The announcement serves as a continuation of philanthropic support of Native American communities, building on the company’s five-year, $50 million commitment to address American Indian/Alaska Native communities’ unique economic, social and environmental needs, which launched in 2017 and was completed in 2022.
Over the next two years, Invest Native will:
- Create positive outcomes for families, small businesses, and communities, including more single- and multi-family housing construction, access to capital for small businesses and consumers, and financial health programs.
- Strengthen infrastructure for Native-led organizations by funding projects that improve their technology and systems so groups can be more efficient in assisting families and small businesses.
- Invest in asset-building tools, peer-to-peer learning and training, and research that sheds light on the distinctive needs of Native communities and prepares staff to utilize best practices in their work.
Putting intent into action with nonprofit organizations
Invest Native begins with three grantees, each of whom will receive $500,000 grants:
- Lakota Funds will work with South Dakota Native Homeownership Coalition, or SDNHOC, on expanding access to housing and preserving community housing to significantly increase homeownership in Native communities across South Dakota.
- Native Community Capital is partnering with New Mexico Tribal Homeownership Coalition to strengthen homeownership throughout the state. The long-term objective is to build a campaign around model mortgage lending and homeownership activities that address the unique status of tribal trust lands. The New Mexico Tribal Homeownership Coalition’s sole purpose is to advance homeownership in tribal communities.
- Four Bands Community Fund will team up with Mountain | Plains Regional Native CDFI Coalition to increase capital to Native entrepreneurs and drive small business growth.
Wells Fargo is also working with Enterprise Community Partners and its Native-led and experienced Tribal Nations team. Enterprise is the longest-standing national intermediary working with Tribes, Tribally Designated Housing Entities, Native community development financial institutions, and Native nonprofits with a national footprint to make home and community places of pride, power, and belonging. Enterprise will provide thought leadership and strategic guidance, technical assistance and training, peer convening, and program evaluation to support this multi-year effort and foster maximum impact.
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