Building Capacity

In order to become effective in the policy and advocacy arena and advance your community impact, it is important to build capacity within your Native CDFI. Consider the following points to develop an action plan for building your policy and advocacy agenda:

Advocacy Goals and Agenda

  • To what extent is advocacy a clear part of your organization’s mission, goals and strategy?
  • Do you have a written advocacy agenda?
  • What are your advocacy goals and objectives?


  • Which employees are responsible for advocacy?
  • What percentage of your operating budget is designated for policy advocacy?
  • In what ways are you challenged from a staffing or resource standpoint?


  • To what extent is your board engaged in and committed to advocacy?
  • To what extent is executive leadership engaged in and committed to advocacy?
  • What organizational structures are in place to support advocacy? (e.g., a public policy committee, an advisory committee, a board committee, etc.)

Strategy, Strategic Partnerships and Networks

  • What strategic partnerships, networks or coalitions are you involved with and what role do you play?
  • How do these networks help you meet your advocacy goals?
  • How does your policy agenda fit into the broader goals of these networks?
  • How do you engage and mobilize your constituents and other members of the community that are affected by or can influence this issue/policy?
  • How do you build and maintain working relationships with relevant policymakers (e.g., legislators and their staff, administrators, etc.)?