The Leadership Journey Resource Bank

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Wednesday, June 1, 2016




The Leadership Journey (TLJ) series, provided by NeighborWorks® America and Seven Sisters Community Development Group, LLC, supported the continued growth and long-term sustainability of established Native CDFIs through training, technical assistance, peer mentoring, and executive coaching opportunities. The following is a collection of resources for Native CDFIs from the TLJ series and other CDFI Fund Capacity Building Initiatives.



I. Helpful Websites

  1. CDFI Fund's Native Initiatives – A special initiative of the CDFI Fund which seeks to increase access to credit, capital and financial services in Native communities through the creation and expansion of CDFIs primarily serving Native communities.

  2. Native CDFI Network – A national membership organization with a mission to be anational voice and advocate that strengthens and promotes Native CDFIs, creating access to capital and resources for Native peoples.

  3. First Nations Oweesta Corporation – A national Native CDFI intermediary with a mission to support economic growth in Native American communities through the creation, development, and capitalization of CDFIs.

  4. Access to Capital and Credit in Native Communities Report – A study that examines recent successes in the effort to improve access to capital and credit in Native Communities as well as what can be done to build on that success.         

  5. The Report of the Native American Lending Study – A study published by the CDFI Fund in 2001 to examine the access to capital and financial services on Indian lands and Hawaiian Home Lands, identifying the barriers to access, and providing options to address these barriers.

II. Testimony, Articles, & Studies

  1. Growth and Performance of the Native CDFI Loan Fund Sector, 2001–2012, by Michou Kokodoko, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, January 2015.

  2. Strengthening the role of Native CDFIs: A conversation with Gerald Sherman of the Native CDFI Network, Community Dividend, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, January 2015.

  3. “Opportunities and Challenges for Economic Development in Indian Country,” Testimony of Tanya Fiddler, Executive Director, Four Bands Community Fund before Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, November 10, 2011.

  4. “Economic Development: Encouraging Investment in Indian Country,” Testimony of Gerald Sherman, Vice Chairman Native CDFI Network before Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, June 25, 2014.




I. Business Planning

  1. The Four Stages of Organizational Growth – A presentation that examines the stages of organizational growth along with leadership and staffing models to help CDFIs grow to the next level.

  2. Models for Growth – What Works – An overview of various CDFI business models used to increase scale and the primary factors that can contribute to long-term growth and sustainability.

  3. Business Model: External Environment – An introduction to six critical action steps for growth.

  4. Progreso Financiero – A Case Study of Business Model Innovation – A case study about a microfinance organization’s path to scale.

  5. Business Model Canvas -- A website with strategic management and entrepreneurial tools that allows you to describe, design, challenge, invent, and pivot your business model.

II. Board Development

  1. Effective Native CDFI Governance by the Board of Directors – A curriculum designed to enable participants to work more effectively with their Native CDFIs’ board of directors and ensure that their boards are supporting their CDFIs’ move to the next level.

  2. Organizational Development Framework Tool – A tool to help board members understand the stage of growth of their organization.

  3. Native CDFI Board Assessment Tool – A tool for Native CDFI boards to assess the elements of a successful board.

III. Capitalization

  1. Federal Loan Programs for Native CDFIs – A catalog of federal loan programs serving American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian communities.

  2. Accessing Capital for Native CDFI Growth – A curriculum to prepare Native CDFIs to make the case to potential funders in order to expand their access to capital.

  3. Native CDFIs: Raising Debt and Equity – A curriculum to enable participants to expand their understanding of capital types and sources and the capitalization strategy appropriate for their Native CDFI.

  4. Native CDFIs: Access to Debt Capital Investments – A study conducted by First Nations Oweesta Corporation in 2012 to examine the accessibility of traditional debt capital sources to Native CDFIs.

  5. What Investors Want to Know about Your Loan Assets – A checklist of information and analyses about your loan products and loan portfolio that your organization should consider having on hand to provide to potential investors.

  6. Social & Religious Investors

    1. Community Investing-Toolkit for the Faith Community – An overview of religious institutions and their experiences with community investing.

    2. Connecting CDFIs to the SRI Community – An overview of barriers and opportunities for CDFIs to raise capital from socially responsible investors.

  7. Program-Related Investments

    1. PRI Glossary of Financial and Investment Terms – A glossary of terms often used in association with Program-Related Investments.

    2. PRI Makers Network Profiles – A directory of foundations making PRIs.

    3. Frequently Asked Questions about Program-Related Investments – A PRI overview from PRI Makers Network.

  8. Loan Sales and Participation Loans

    1. Sample Participation Loan Pool Agreement – A sample loan pool agreement in which several banks agreed to purchase mortgage loans made by a CDFI.

    2. Manchester Neighborhood Housing Services Loan Participation Pool Case Study – A case study about a CDFI’s strong partnership with local lenders to fund its participation loan pool, which provides down-payment and closing-cost assistance to low-income, first-time homebuyers.

  9. Equity Equivalent Investments (EQ2)

    1. Equity Equivalent Investments, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, Community Investments, March 2012 – An article that provides an overview of how EQ2’s work.

    2. Sample EQ2 Loan Agreement & Note – A sample agreement.

  10. CAPNEXUS – A searchable online database that matches loan originators, interested buyers and financing partners to community development finance opportunities.


IV. Case Statement Development

  1. Making Your Case: Preparing a Case Statement – A curriculum module that provides an overview on how to prepare an effective case statement.

  2. Model Case Statements from Native CDFIs

    1. Lakota Funds

    2. Four Bands Community Fund

    3. Four Directions Development Fund


V. Financial Management

  1. Audit Guidance: Things that Nonprofit CDFI Loan Funds Should Ask from their Auditors – An article describing information nonprofit CDFIs should be requesting from their auditors.

  2. Presentation and Classification of Grants and Net Assets on CDFI Financial Statements – A paper that discusses the purpose of net assets, the presentation of net assets on the Statement of Financial Position (SFP), and the presentation of grants on the Statement of Activities (SOA).

  3. Self-Administered Financial Check-Up – A tool developed by the Non-Profit Financial Center for nonprofit managers to assess the adequacy of their financial management systems.


VI. Human Resource Management

  1. Human Resource Program Management – An overview of the components of a strong human resource program with associated tools.

    1. Hiring Practices Checklist

    2. Hiring Process Flow Chart

    3. How to Develop a Job Description

    4. Sample Employee Development Plan

  2. Employee Life Cycle Assessment Tool – A tool to assess a CDFI’s human resource management strengths and weaknesses throughout the life cycle of an employee.

  3. Building a Culture of Innovation & Talent Management – A presentation to assist CDFIs to recruit and develop human capital to support scaling operations, and to support organizational sustainability.

  4. Small Business Administration (SBA) Human Resources webpage – A page on the SBA website with information on human resource management.


VII. Loan Policies and Procedures

  1. Managing Effective Lending Operations – A curriculum that focuses on key strategies and practices to improve lending program management and strengthen operations.

  2. Maximizing the Effectiveness of your Native CDFI’s Loan Policies & Procedures – A presentation that provides an overview of the key elements of loan policies and procedures.

  3. Four Directions Development Corporation Loan Policies – A sample Native CDFI loan policies and procedures.


VIII. Loan Products & Development Services

  1. CDFI Development Services Pricing Samples – A chart summarizing the fees that select CDFIs charge for development services.

  2. New Product Development for the Underserved Market – A presentation on a structured framework and tools for approaching new product development efforts.

  3. Adding a New Product Case Study – A case study that examines CDFI expansion by adding a new product.

  4. Market Studies – A presentation on when and why a Native CDFI should conduct a market study, what it should contain, and how it can be used.


IX. Marketing Programs and Products

  1. Marketing Your CDFI – A presentation about Native CDFI marketing best practices and associated tools.

    1. Defining Your Target Audience

    2. Developing a Plan

    3. Messaging Tips

  2. Social Media Bootcamp – A presentation about social media forums and how to effectively use them to market your CDFI.


X. Native Leadership Development and Succession Planning

  1. Effective Leadership in Native Communities – A curriculum that enables participants to analyze their leadership and identify ways to strengthen their leadership efforts.

  2. Leadership that Gets Results – An article that explores which precise leadership behaviors yield positive results and outlines six distinct leadership styles, each one springing from different components of emotional intelligence.

XI. Combating Predatory Lending

  1. Combating Predatory Lending – A presentation about strategies for Native CDFIs to combat predatory lending.

  2. Model Tribal Consumer Protection Code – A model consumer protection code developed by First Nations Development Institute that provides a legal framework for tribes to regulate economic transactions on their reservations, including a range of credit products such as payday loans.

  3. Building Trust: Consumer Protection in Native Communities – A study by First Nations Development Institute that explores the legal dynamics related to tribal consumer protection legislation and discusses what tribal nations are already doing to combat predatory lending through the use of tribal legislation.

  4. Tax Time Troubles and More Tax Time Troubles – A study by First Nations Development Institute conducted with a “mystery shopper” survey of tax preparation services in reservation border towns in New Mexico in 2011 that uncovered several problems with paid tax preparers, including poor quality tax preparation and hidden fees.


XII. Program Evaluation & Impact Tracking

  1. Measuring the Performance Outcomes and Impact of Native CDFIs – A curriculum that enables participants to strengthen their efforts to monitor and evaluate their CDFI’s performance and measure their impact in their community/target market.

  2. Four Bands Impact Tracking System Case Study – A case study about how a Native CDFI designed its impact tracking system.

  3. Promising Database Feature Comparison for Managing Program Performance and Outcome Data – A chart summarizing the components of program performance and outcomes database tools.

  4. Outcomes in Action Monitoring and Evaluation Resources – An analysis of evaluation tools for CDFIs.

  5. Native CDFI Organizational Capacity Checklist – A checklist for Native CDFIs to assess their organizational capacity in eight key areas.


XIII. Strategic Planning

  1. Keeping your Strategic Plan Alive – A presentation about strategies to implement your strategic plan and integrate it into your operations.


XIV. Growth and Sustainability

  1. Enhancing a Native CDFI’s Sustainability – A curriculum addressing strategies to improve the sustainability of Native CDFIs, including funding diversification, income generation, and growing to scale.

  2. CDFIs: A Study on Growth and Sustainability – A study commissioned by the Babcock Foundation to inform organizational thinking about the challenges and opportunities facing CDFI sustainability.

  3. The Organizational Foundations of Sustainability – An article that looks at the organizational foundations of sustainability, and profiles an institution that has thoughtfully and systematically built a corporate culture and capacity that supports security, quality and growth.

  4. Capital Structure: Getting it Right to Increase Sustainability – A case study that focuses on the pursuit of equity capital, and its critical role in supporting an institutions scale-up and sustainability strategy.

  5. Native Asset Building Coalitions Promising Practices and Sustainability – A report by First Nations Development Institute that identifies promising practices in the development and sustainability of Native asset building coalitions at the regional and state level.

  6. Focused on Growth – A report by FIELD of the Aspen Institute that summarizes the experience and lessons of six organizations with substantial focus on business development services.

The compilation of these documents was funded by the CDFI Fund, under Contract TPD-CDF-10-C-0003, Task Order 0015. The curriculum and opinions expressed in these documents are those of the authors, who are solely responsible for the content, and do not reflect the opinions of the CDFI Fund or any other person, entity, or organization.