“Access to Capital and Credit in Native Communities” Report is Released

May 26, 2016

A couple of years ago, the CDFI Fund set off on a journey to update the Native Lending Study that was published in 2001. In partnership with the Native Nations Institute, the new study, titled “Access to Capital and Credit in Native Communities,” has just been released.

This comprehensive study covers topics such as:

  • Successes and opportunities for Native CDFIs
  • Financial education & capability
  • Native entrepreneurship
  • Housing finance
  • Capital & credit for tribal governments
  • Tribal legal infrastructure

We encourage our members to use this critical data to increase access to capital and credit in their Native communities.

Download Report

The Native CDFI Network hosts bi-monthly webinars designed to help Native CDFIs build capacity, facilitate peer-to-peer learning, and unite the industry on critical policy issues. To learn more about our member meetings, download meeting handouts and notes below. Recordings of past webinars can be accessed by members through our learning center.

June 16, 2016 – Examining the “Access to Credit & Capital in Native Communities” Report

The Native CDFI Network’s Executive Director, Tanya Fiddler, examined the newly-released and highly-anticipated “Access to Credit and Capital in Native Communities” report. Ms. Fiddler pointed out critical data points and explained how the information contained in the report can be used by Native CDFIs to create economic opportunity in the communities they serve.

Download the meeting handout.

April 28, 2016 – Funding Opportunities for Native CDFIs in Rural Communities

This informative webinar was co-presented with USDA Rural Development. Under Secretary for Rural Development, Lisa Mensah, along with USDA Rural Development State Directors shared the latest information about funding available for Native CDFIs in rural communities.

Download the meeting handout.

April 21, 2016 – Financial Literacy Strategies in Native Communities

As the signature event for the Native CDFI Network’s observation of Financial Literacy Month, and co-presented with Hunkpati Investments and the National Congress of American Indians, this webinar shared best practices, client success stories, and helpful tools to highlight and accelerate Native financial literacy efforts.

Download the meeting handout.

March 1, 2016 – Applying for FY 2016 NACA Funding

At the end of February 2016, the CDFI Fund released the FY 2016 funding availability announcement for the Native American CDFI Assistance (NACA) program. $15.5 million was made available for Native CDFIs. To support Native CDFIs in preparing a successful application, the Native CDFI Network and the CDFI Fund Native Initiatives staff presented an illuminating webinar about the new round of NACA funding. During the webinar Amber Kuchar-Bell and David Scherler from the CDFI Fund:
  • Presented critical information about how to apply for this significant source of Native CDFI funding
  • Gave attendees a demonstration about the new electronic proposal system they will be using
  • Spent a significant amount of time answering questions posed by webinar attendees

Download the meeting handout.

December 17, 2015 – Making the Most of Your Network Membership

Becoming a member of the Native CDFI Network comes with several benefits. This webinar posed a critical question to our members: Are you taking advantage of all of them? Attendees of this webinar found out how to leverage their Native CDFI Network membership to learn from other members, access resources, and inform policy that will positively affect Native CDFIs.

Download the meeting handout.
Download the member benefits info sheet.
Download the learning center info sheet.

October 29, 2015 – Successful Native CDFI Policy Strategies

This webinar opened with an introduction of the Native CDFI Network’s new Executive Director, Tanya Fiddler. This was an opportunity for our members and partners to get to know Tanya, and hear about her vision and goals for the Network.

Following that, webinar attendees heard from other Native CDFIs about their policy and advocacy efforts. This peer sharing platform fostered information exchange about policy strategies that are making progress on federal, state, and tribal levels. Cindy Middlestadt from Community Financial, Inc. in Alaska shared about her board member’s meeting with President Obama, and Loren White from Native American Development Corporation shared about their partnership with the state of Montana to develop a loan fund.

Download meeting handout.

August 20, 2015 – Breaking Into New Markets

Often located in rural and remote, low-income areas of the country, starting up or expanding a Native CDFI is an uphill challenge. The fact that many residents in Native American communities have little or no experience with banking or credit and are unfamiliar with the concept of entrepreneurship compounds the challenge. For many Native CDFIs breaking into a new target market often translates into creating a target market.

This webinar was facilitated as a peer-to-peer learning exchange, and provided valuable insight for Native CDFIs seeking to break into new target markets, whether through establishing a new organization or expanding an existing one. Panelists represented a range of experience levels – from newly certified to well-established organizations – and openly shared their successes and challenges associated with tapping into new customer markets.

Download the meeting handout.

June 18, 2015 – Native CDFI Policy Developments & Discussion

This interactive webinar provided attendees with an update on recent policy events that are critical to Native community development financial institutions (CDFIs), followed by an opportunity to share challenges and successes in an open-dialogue platform. An update on the Network’s recent policy activity was provided, as well as critical information about the FY2016 appropriations for the CDFI Fund’s Native Initiatives. Meeting attendees walked away with a handful of tools to use in their advocacy efforts.

Download the meeting handout.
Download the Native CDFI Network’s 2015 Policy Brief.
Download a list of Members of Congress.
Download a policy letter template.
Download a suggested telephone script.

April 16, 2015 – Building Partnerships with National Cooperative Bank

Attendees of this webinar found out how the National Cooperative Bank is utilizing innovative financing strategies to increase access to capital in Alaska Native and Native American communities. The National Cooperative Bank is dedicated to strengthening communities nationwide through the delivery of banking and financial services, complemented by a special focus on cooperative expansion and economic development. National Cooperative Bank provides financial products and services for the nation’s cooperatives, their members, and socially responsible organizations.

Download the meeting handout.

February 19, 2015 – NCN 101

To kick off 2015, the Native CDFI Network hosted an informative webinar, titled “NCN 101,” that:

  • Explained the structure of the Network and how we function;
  • Shared our recent policy & advocacy victories;
  • Demonstrated the benefits of tapping into our member network;
  • Provided an overview of membership benefits; and
  • Outlined what our plans for the upcoming year are and how you can get involved.

Download the meeting handout.

June 19, 2014 – Becoming an Farm Service Agency Guaranteed Lender

Ms. Randi Sheffer, Guaranteed Loans Branch Chief of the Loan Making Division in USDA Farm Service Agency, shared information about how Native CDFIs can use the FSA Loan Program to help meet the agriculture business financing needs of their customers. She discussed the types of eligible loans, becoming a guaranteed lender, and the eligibility and application process.

Download the meeting handout.

April 24, 2014 – Native Asset Building Assessment Initiative Listening Session

Native CDFI Network Board Member Kim Pate from CFED provided the background about the initiative, which is funded by the Northwest Area Foundation (NWAF) and will contribute to a broader and deeper vision for financial capability in Native American communities across the NWAF eight state region.  This session covered asset-building needs and opportunities in Native communities with the goal of informing the Assessment.  After a series of six sessions, CFED and NWAF will develop a white paper with a theory of change, recommendations on the most promising Native American asset-building strategies, how to most effectively promote these strategies, and ways to connect the efforts for peer learning and networking across the region. Participants in this listening session had the opportunity to provide valuable feedback for the initiative.

Download the meeting handout.

December 4, 2013 – Understanding the New NACA Application

Participants of this webinar were able to gain a better understanding of the CDFI Fund’s new Native American CDFI Assistance application! Amber Kuchar-Bell and David Scherler of the CDFI Fund explained the new CDFI FA/TA application and provided an overview of the changes related to Native CDFIs. Immediately following the presentation, there was an opportunity for Q&A.
Download the meeting handout.

August 15, 2013 – How You Can Engage in the Congressional Appropriations Process

For the first time since 2009, there was a proposed increase in appropriations for the CDFI Fund’s Native American CDFI Assistance (NACA) Initiative on the table. Attendees of this informative webinar found out more about the appropriations process and how they could help in the passing of the proposed increase from $12 million to $15 million. Our presenter, Joanna Donohoe of Seven Sisters Community Development Group, also provided attendees with a step-by-step process for contacting policy makers.
Download the meeting handout.

June 20, 2013 – Preview of the 2013 Native CDFI Financial Analysis & Community Impact Report

This informative webinar presented a preview of the 2013 Native CDFI Financial Analysis & Community Impact Survey. Information from this report is designed to help Native CDFIs identify how their organization measures up against their peers and discover trends in the Native CDFI industry.
Download the meeting handout.

April 18, 2013 – How Native CDFIs are Building Financial Capability in the Communities they Serve

With April as Financial Literacy Month in full swing, this webinar showcased best practices that are helping to build the financial capability of individuals residing in Native communities. Themes focused on collaboration and relationship building to develop innovative asset-building strategies.
Download the meeting handout.
Download the Crow Creek Tribal Resolution that mandates financial education.

February 21, 2013 – NCN 101

For our first webinar in 2013, the Native CDFI Network provided an overview of the benefits of membership and information of how to get involved so members can start having greater impact within the community they serve as well as in our Native CDFI industry.

Download the meeting handout.

September 27, 2012 – Building Organizational Sustainability

The Native CDFI Network’s September 2012 webinar served as a platform for interactive peer learning as three experienced Native CDFI practitioners shared their experiences in building their organizational sustainability.

Download the meeting notes.

July 19, 2012 – Governance

This interactive webinar will discussed the topic of governance. Two field experts covered board roles and responsibilities, expectations, composition, and recruitment. Case studies were presented to demonstrate how to build a trust relationship between board members in order to come to successful outcomes in potential conflicts.

Download the meeting notes.

May 17, 2012 – Financial Capability & Responsible Lending

The focus of this Native CDFI Network meeting was financial capability and responsible lending. Panelists included: Diane Standaert of the Center for Responsible Lending, Sarah Dewees of First Nations Development Institute, and Sherry Salway Black of National Congress of American Indians and the President’s Advisory Council on Financial Capability.

Download the meeting notes.

March 15, 2012 – Rural Community Assistance Corporation Loan Fund

Michael Carroll of Rural Community Assistance Corporation presented on their loan fund. An update of the Native CDFI Network’s visit to Washington DC was provided. The President’s Advisory Council on Financial Capability was introduced, and an NCAI resolution regarding predatory lending was discussed.

February 16, 2012

The Native CDFI Network opened this meeting with a brief review of upcoming activity for 2012. A description of the working committee structure was provided, and members volunteered to join committees. A Washington DC visit was discussed and planned to align with the CDFI Institute and the NCAI Executive Session.

Download the meeting notes.

September 15, 2011

Jon Panamaroff of Oweesta presented on the CDFI Bond Program and discussed its implications to Native communities. The Annual Member Gathering was announced.

Download the meeting notes.

July 21, 2011

Robin Danner of Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement presented their member profile and shared insight to the organization with other members. Various policy issues such as CDFI Fund appropriations and HUD program funding were also discussed.

Download the meeting notes.

May 19, 2011

Native CDFI Network members discussed various policy issues, including New Markets Tax Credits, the Indian Energy Bill, the 2011 national budget, and hill visits that took place during the OFN board meeting. Meeting attendees also discussed the Native CDFI Network Annual Gathering.

Download the meeting notes.

March 17, 2011

Chris James of the CDFI Fund announced an update on the Native Lending Study was underway. Sarah Dewees of First Nations Development Institute revealed preliminary findings on a study of federal funding usage among Native CDFIs. Bill Spurlin of Salt River Financial briefed meeting attendees on the CDFI Coalition’s annual event, the CDFI Institute.

Download the meeting notes.

January 20, 2011

The Native CDFI Network reviewed activity that took place during 2010 and discussed upcoming activity for 2011. The annual member survey was announced.