Here are four big reasons why investing in Native CDFIs leads to strong, thriving communities.
Native community development financial institutions (CDFIs) are proven and promising partners for financial institutions and other investors who want to make a positive difference in Indian Country successfully and sustainably. As engines of change, they are sparking economic growth and meeting capital demands in their communities.
Native CDFIs offer win-win investments for their financial partners because:
- Native CDFIs allow financial institutions to reach new potential customers. Native CDFIs serve a large unbanked population. To help families reach financial stability through education, credit building, and savings, staff will frequently refer program participants to a nearby bank or credit union to open their first account and deposit money as part of a savings plan.
- Native CDFIs have strong net asset ratios, along with extraordinarily low historical write-off and delinquency rates. They’ve built deep relationships within Native communities, giving them an edge in their business model.
- Investments from financial institutions help Native CDFIs respond to huge, unmet capital demands in Indian Country. A survey led by the Center for Indian Country Development at the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis showed the amount of these unmet needs in 2017 was $48 million.
- Federal government programs and agencies are available to help ensure partnerships are successful. Several economic and community development programs provide equity, loans, and loan security to help reduce lending risk.
Investing in Native CDFIs is a way to have an impact in Native communities, and on your business.
Patrice Kunesh has seen it firsthand. As the assistant vice president and co-director of the Center for Indian Country Development at the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, she knows about the power of Native CDFIs to overcome barriers to opportunity.
She told us: “When they [financial institutions] take that leap and partner with tribes, marvelous things happen. . . . Building that business relationship and then really constructing a whole community.”
Native CDFI event: an easy way to find out more.
On Jun 12–14, 2018, First Nations Oweesta Corporation is hosting an event for Native CDFIs and funders, investors, and partners of Native CDFIs. Oweesta is the only Native CDFI intermediary offering financial products and development services exclusively to Native CDFIs and Native communities.
The event will educate Native CDFIs on how to build organizational capacity to access capital. It will also give funders and investors a chance to participate in strategic discussions on how to successfully invest in Native communities and Native CDFIs.
Heather Rademacher Taylor, Oweesta’s program manager, told us, “We see investment in Native CDFIs as a win-win opportunity because of the impact their organizations are making in their communities and the reliability of Native CDFIs as safe places for investment.”
The event is a great opportunity to hear from experts about how Native CDFIs are changing the economic landscapes of Native communities—and how financial institutions are partnering with Native CDFIs to respond to community needs.
“We see investment in Native CDFIs as a win-win opportunity because of the impact their organizations are making in their communities and the reliability of Native CDFIs as safe places for investment.”
Heather Rademacher Taylor
Program Manager, First Nations Oweesta Corporation
Sign up for our Facebook livestream of the event!
We’ll be livestreaming on June 14 from 8:05 to 9:45 a.m. (PDT). It’s an easy opportunity to get a glimpse into the conference without traveling, and it’s FREE.
Attend any or all the following sessions on June 14 (all times are PDT):
- 8:05–8:20 a.m. – Opening Address: Kevin Walker, President and CEO, Northwest Area Foundation
- 8:20–8:25 a.m. – Group Address: Chrystel Cornelius, Executive Director, First Nations Oweesta Corporation
- 8:25–8:45 a.m. – Presentations from Native CDFIs
Ted Piccolo, Executive Director, Northwest Native Development Fund
Natalie Charley, Executive Director, Taala Fund
Robin Danner, Board Member, Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement
Lakota Vogel, Executive Director, Four Bands Community Fund
- 8:45–9:45 a.m. – Social Investors Panel
“When they [financial institutions] take that leap and partner with tribes, marvelous things happen.”
Assistant Vice President and Co-director of the Center for Indian Country Development at the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis