News & Blog

ADVANCING GOOD JOBS AND FINANCIAL CAPABILITY

In the past year, we’ve been talking a lot about two major pathways toward greater prosperity: partnerships with Native community development financial institutions (CDFIs) and a commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI).

This year’s annual report takes a closer look at the dynamic impact of Native CDFIs as win-win investments for communities and investors. They offer banks, credit unions, and other financial institutions a way to make meaningful investments with sustainable, long-term impact. You’ll read the case for this and a feature that tells the story.

Our report also explores our learning and commitment to DEI. DEI describes an approach we’re using to more fully live out our mission, which is why we’re intentionally starting our DEI commitment with ourselves. See what this means for our work going forward and how you can follow along.

Why Native CDFIs make great investment partners.

Deeply rooted in Native communities, Native CDFIs are uniquely equipped to create long-term prosperity in Indian Country. When financial institutions and other investors partner with Native CDFIs, it’s a win-win investment. Here are five reasons for partnering with Native CDFIs:

1. Sustainable impact and economic growth

2. New potential customers

3. Strong net asset ratios, low historical write-off and delinquency rates

4. Huge, unmet capital demands in Indian Country

5. Federal government program and agency support

See what leaders are saying about the impact of Native CDFIs.

Our cover story shows these benefits in action. You’ll hear from First Nations Oweesta Corporation’s Executive Director Chrystel Cornelius (Ojibwe; Oneida), Northwest Native Development Fund’s Executive Director Ted Piccolo (Colville Confederated Tribes), and other Native leaders about the importance of relationship-based development in Native communities and how partnering with a Native CDFI makes investments sustainable and successful.

You’ll also hear from investment community leaders who’ve already learned about that success—from experience. Jodi Neuman of Trillium Asset Management, Megan Teare of Wells Fargo’s Community Lending and Investment unit, and Brigitte Wilson of the Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago describe how they’ve been able to invest in Native CDFIs and how pleased they’ve been on their returns—especially the investments’ positive social impact.

Learn how we’re making a DEI commitment driven by our priority communities.

We seek to more fully live out our mission in a way that helps us be a more useful ally to the people we serve. Our priority communities—Native Americans, communities of color, immigrants, refugees, and people in rural areas—experience more poverty than others because they’ve been denied their fair share of resources and opportunities.

This is a mission-critical commitment, and we’re starting from within to make sure we understand DEI and how we can thoughtfully contribute to the advancement of it for our priority communities. We’re describing this work as a journey. The report describes our first steps.

We awarded more than $16 million last year supporting Native CDFIs and other great work. The annual report describes this work and more, including our financials.