From the Blog
August 16, 2017 | Looking for Engines of Opportunity in Indian Country? See Our Just-Released 2017 Annual Report.
Native community development financial institutions (CDFIs) are dynamic and trusted...
June 30, 2017 | How Do You Expand Opportunity in Indian Country? Partner with a Native CDFI.
Native CDFIs are dynamic and trusted financial partners, opening doors to loans, credit,...
January 14, 2016 | How Safe Loans from Taala Fund Lead to Thriving Children
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Native Community Development Financial Institutions (Native CDFIs) are dynamic and trusted financial partners, expanding economic opportunity and opening doors to loans, credit, jobs, and much more.
Rooted in the cultural and historical context of Native communities, Native CDFIs are weavers, connecting the elements necessary to build thriving local economies anchored in culture.
We are committed to Native CDFIs, which cultivate the partners, funding, and networks necessary for Native communities to prosper—growing jobs, supporting small businesses, and bringing dreams to life for multiple generations.
Native CDFIs Build Relationships and Opportunities for a Variety of Stakeholders
Native CDFIs help tribal governments achieve their goals by offering expertise that advances economic development and concrete results within their communities. They connect families and communities with the financial resources necessary to bring dreams to life for multiple generations.
Native CDFIs can help banks be responsive to Native communities while meeting CRA requirements. Native CDFIs have a long history of producing strong returns and building assets in Native communities.
Native CDFIs build a powerful multiplier effect in tribal communities, creating jobs and self-sufficiency that expand tax bases and lead to more stable and prosperous communities.
Tribal communities know what is best for their futures. Native CDFIs are led by people with deep knowledge of their own communities; most Native CDFIs operate on tribal lands, and many are managed and staffed by tribal citizens. Native CDFIs support ideas generated by the community; they follow the community’s lead.
Native CDFIs are Engines of Change Within Our Access to Capital Funding Portfolio, Driving Investment and Prosperity in Tribal Communities
Native CDFIs weave culturally informed relationships that bridge traditional cash economies and the financial mainstream, making financial education and services available to tribal members. They help tribal members open bank accounts, access credit, and make savings plans. Families can purchase their homes, Native-led businesses can secure loans, and communities can build long-term wealth.
Native CDFIs are led by people with deep knowledge of their communities. Most Native CDFIs operate on tribal lands, and many are managed and staffed by tribal citizens. They’re anchored in local culture and passionate about creating opportunities for investment and prosperity.
Helping Communities Build Assets, Strengthen Financial Know-how, and Overcome Barriers to Credit
Communities have often established their own lending and credit systems, especially when traditional banks haven’t met their needs. Although the term “CDFI” is relatively new, the concept is grounded in a rich history of strong, self-determined community leadership.
It’s not uncommon for people living in Native communities to drive for hours to reach the nearest bank or even an ATM. Many Native entrepreneurs and Native-led businesses can’t gain the capital and services necessary for their businesses to succeed. Native CDFIs connect tribal governments to new investment opportunities. They build stronger ties between local enterprise and funding from banks, investors, and government agencies that haven’t always been available in sovereign tribal nations.
Meeting the Opportunity for Economic Growth
Native CDFIs build a powerful multiplier effect in tribal communities, creating jobs and self-sufficiency, which in turn leads to more stable and prosperous communities. Most Native CDFIs function as independent nonprofits—separate from tribal governments—opening the door to new market tax credits and incentives to support Native-owned businesses.
In many areas, Native CDFIs provide the only affordable alternative to predatory financial service providers. They’re straining to keep pace with the growing need for their services. Native communities are among the fastest growing segments of the US economy, and the need for a loan to start up or expand a business or to buy a home is outstripping the financing available in the markets served by Native CDFIs. Nationwide, financing demands are projected to double over the next five to seven years in Native communities.*
To meet community needs, Native CDFIs will require stronger organizational structures, more advanced skills, and greater availability of technical assistance for entrepreneurs. We’ve made deep investments in Native CDFIs for five years, evolving from our commitment to invest 40 percent of our Foundation’s grantmaking in Native-led organizations. In total, we’ve made $33.4 million in grants to Native-led organizations between 2012 and 2016.
* Native Nations Institute. 2016. Access to Capital and Credit in Native Communities, digital version. Tucson, AZ: Native Nations Institute.