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Native CDFI Capacity Building

 “This new training series is a unique opportunity for these important financial institutions, who are often serving highly economically distressed and rural areas, to receive individualized support to bolster their own growth and capacity to serve their communities.” 
-Acting CDFI Fund Director Dennis Nolan

The CDFI Fund Capacity Building Initiative greatly expands technical assistance and training opportunities for Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) nationwide, and boosts the ability of CDFIs to deliver financial products and services to underserved communities.  As part of this initiative, NeighborWorks America delivers specialized training and technical assistance to Native CDFIs.  These series include:
  • The Leadership Journey: Native CDFI Growth and Excellence 
  • The Leadership Journey II
  • Native CDFI Sustainability Initiative NEW

Native CDFI Sustainability Initiative NEW

The Native CDFI Sustainability Initiative provides ongoing capacity building opportunities in a variety of formats and locations, so that each participating Native CDFI can select the training and technical assistance that will most efficiently and effectively help them grow. All Certified Native CDFIs are eligible, and emerging Native CDFIs and Sponsoring Entities may participate on a case-by-case basis.

Training and technical assistance is available in these key areas of organizational capacity development:

  • Organizational management and Board governance
  • Planning and implementation: Strategic and operational, business, and capitalization planning; impact tracking program
  • Lending and development services: loan products, development services, program and service operations
  • Management staffing and personnel: staffing plan, staff capacity, human resources
  • Operations: technical and compliance systems, client and contact management systems, marketing
  • Resource and financial management: financial health, resource development and management, and financial management operations, risk/portfolio management
This initiative is offered in partnership with Seven Sisters Community Development Group, LLC. Training and technical assistance opportunities will be available to eligible organizations through July, 2016. For more information on eligibility and how to get started, email

The Leadership Journey I and II

The Leadership Journey: Native CDFI Growth and Excellence was a training initiative delivered to a cohort of 16 established Native CDFIs that provided advanced, executive-level training and technical support to help them take their operations to the next level. The comprehensive program of specialized training and technical assistance was designed to provide the skills, knowledge, and assistance necessary to support the continued growth and long-term sustainability of more experienced Native CDFIs. This was carried out through a combination of national, place-based and online training, peer sharing, customized technical assistance, and executive coaching - all tailored to the needs of participating organizations. The initiative was completed in June, 2013. Highlights of this program include:
  • Piloting a cohort based capacity building model for Native CDFIs, which fostered peer learning and relationship building;
  • Training 57 Native CDFI staff - an average of 3.6 per organization - in multiple subject areas;
  • Awarding over 300 Certificates of Completion through NeighborWorks Training Institutes and Place Based Trainings; and,
  • Providing over 1000 hours of direct technical assistance;
It challenged me as a new leader to take a look at our organization and where we need to be to aim for a sustainable level of operating.
– Cohort member from The Leadership Journey
The Leadership Journey II builds on the successes and lessons learned from The Leadership Journey to offer a cohort of 13 Native CDFIs a comprehensive program of specialized training, technical assistance and peer mentoring designed to support their continued growth and long-term sustainability. This initiative is ongoing through June, 2015, but is no longer accepting applications.

Click here for more information about the CDFI Fund Capacity Building Initiative.

Click here to visit the Capacity Building Initiative Resource Banks.