Last fall, we surveyed people to improve our partnership and collaboration with Native CDFIs.

To all of you who followed or took part in the survey, we say thank you!

We’re thrilled to have heard from over 170 people—nonprofit professionals, government employees, financial leaders, and others. Here are some key insights:

1. Native CDFIs are truly a best kept secret. Nearly 80 percent of respondents said they had zero to “some” knowledge about Native CDFIs. Only 8 percent said they had “in-depth” knowledge. That’s a tremendous opportunity to help people learn more about Native CDFIs.

2. Native CDFIs are inspiring. How so? Response rates were especially high on questions asking how Native CDFIs work within communities. It’s clear—the more you learn about Native CDFIs, the more energized and inspired you are about their work to expand economic opportunity in Indian Country.

3. People want to learn more. When we asked how we could help survey participants learn more about Native CDFIs, nearly half said that impact stories, news, and resources would be useful.

What’s inspiring about Native CDFIs?

It was clear that messages about the direct economic benefits and investments of Native CDFIs, along with messages about who benefits from those investments resonated with survey respondents. Following are a few themes that received high engagement:

Native CDFIs are:

  • Builders of assets in Native communities that produce strong returns and self-sufficient communities, and
  • Engines of change that expand economic opportunity in Native communities.

Native CDFIs offer:

  • Access to fair, affordable loans for hardworking families in Native communities; and
  • Economic strength and resiliency for entrepreneurs and businesses.

We’ll focus on these themes in 2018, bringing you more information about the economic benefits of Native CDFIs and spotlighting the stories of the people they serve.

We’ll get specific.

We heard from a variety of Native CDFIs stakeholders, each uniquely interested and positioned to champion their work. It’s clear that a few audiences would like to learn more, so we’ll focus on sharing information in ways directly tailored to the needs and interests of two key audiences:

Funders: banks; foundations; and federal, state, and local government agencies; and

Native communities: tribal governments, nonprofit organizations, and families and entrepreneurs living in Indian Country.

Stay tuned! We’ll keep in touch about Native CDFIs.

We’re taking to heart what we’ve learned.

As we continue to advance our work with Native CDFIs, you can anticipate hearing more of the stories that inspire us—and you—about these amazing organizations.

And, once again, we thank all of you who followed or took part in the survey for your feedback—it’s helping to make our engagement that much better!

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.

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