December: Scholarship for the upcoming NeighborWorks training, job opportunities in the field, exciting new webinars and much more!
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December 2015 Newsletter

Upcoming Trainings

Upcoming Webinars

Native CDFI Network presents:
Making the Most of Your Network Membership
December 17 at 2:00p.m. MT
Registration is now OPEN

Oweesta presents:
NACA Application Tips/ Strategies
January 13 at 12:00p.m. MT
Registration is now OPEN

Upcoming Trainings
NAIHC presents:
Grant Writing
January 12-14, 2016
Phoenix, AZ
Registration is now OPEN

NeighborWorks presents:
NFMC Multi-Course Training
January 25-29, 2016
Albuquerque, NM
Registration is now OPEN

Oweesta presents:
Building Native Communities: Train-the-Trainer Training
February 2-4, 2016
Denver, CO
Registration is now OPEN

NAIHC presents:
February 8-12, 2016
Albuquerque, NM
Registration is now OPEN



Native CDFI Tips to Get You Ready for Your NACA Application

It is important to make your financials and portfolio as strong as possible to be competitive for the upcoming round of NACA funding. Here are five tips to get your balance sheet and portfolio ready before December 31st.
  • Draw Down Excess Funds, Recognize Revenue, Defer Expenses: If you have any funds that you draw down on a reimbursement basis, such as ANA grants, make sure to do your draw down. Fattening up your available cash is good for your liquidity ratio! Likewise, if you have any funds that you recognize as revenue only as you spend down on it, make sure you recognize it in your books by December 31st. If you can, wait to make any expensive non-equipment purchases until the New Year.
  • Adjust Loan Loss Reserve Based on Your Portfolio's Risk Rating Procedures: Make sure that your risk rating system adequately values your portfolio and is in line with your policies. Many groups discount their portfolios too much, and subsequently hurt their applications.
  • Reduce Delinquency Rates by Restructuring or Writing Off Past Due Loans: If you have any ugly loans on the books, now is the time to re-connect with those clients. Restructure those loans! If you need to write them off, it is far better to do it now than look like you are "ignoring" your portfolio.
  • Make Sure Earned Revenue is Separate from Other Revenue Sources: Groups often lump their contract or fee-for-service revenue in with kinds of revenue, or they accidentally record it as a grant or donation. Separating out your earned income is incredibly valuable, as it helps your self-sufficiency ratio alongside your interest income.
  • Close Those Loans: The most important thing you can do to get ready for NACA is to close any outstanding loans. Any clients you can't get closed in time, try to at least get official approvals so that you can count them as a loan commitment. The more lending you do, the more you look like you need CDFI Fund support. So, go ahead and close those loans!
Want a candid opinion of your balance sheet? Feel free to email Krystal Langholz ( with questions!

Upcoming Trainings & Webinars


Upcoming Building Native Communities Training

Denver, Colorado

First Nations Oweesta Corporation is pleased to announce the first Building Native Communities: Train-the-Trainer for 2016!  This training will take place February 2-4, 2016 at Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City Denver Branch in Denver, Colorado. This training will offer a three-day, state-of-the-art instructor training and certification program to help Native CDFIs, tribes and other Native organizations establish and sustain financial education programs in their communities.

We will be accepting registration applications to attend this training until January 15, 2016 or until filled. Early and quality applications will be prioritized, so please register early and fully complete the following registration application.



NACA Application Tips and Strategies

Wednesday, January 13th - 12:00 PM MT

Join Oweesta for this exciting webinar focusing on tips and strategies for writing a strong NACA application. Learn more about the process and develop a strategy for your organization!




BNCSI: Upcoming New and Emerging Native CDFI Training

Spring 2016

This NeighborWorks America is pleased to present the training and technical assistance series Building Native CDFIs' Sustainability and Impact (BNCSI) part of the CDFI Fund's Capacity Building Initiative. In the Spring of 2016, the BNCSI program will be offering a TA Clinic for New and Emerging CDFIS. This session will cover certification as well as core components of building a CDFI, including:

  • Board Development
  • Strategic Planning
  • Market Analysis
  • Capitalization
  • Partnerships Policies and Procedures
  • Staffing for Growth

If you are a Sponsoring Entity or an Emerging CDFI that is interested in attending this TA Clinic, you will need to first complete the BNCSI statement of.interest  to join the program. If you are already a part of the program, the application for this TA Clinic will be released in early 2016.

For more information, visit or email For more information about the CDFI Capacity Building Initiative, please visit

Market Research

Financial Coaching Market Research

We want to hear from YOU! Please take the time to fill out this 5 minute survey for a chance to win a $25 AMAZON GIFT CERTIFICATE! The information collected in this survey will assist Oweesta in the development of our future trainings. Any information you are able to provide will advance our curriculum tremendously. Follow the link below for the survey.

Success Stories

Chehalis Tribal Loan Fund

The Chehalis Tribal Loan Fund provides loans to Firework Stand Owners on the Chehalis Reservation. This year they were able to provide 36 Firework Loans. This assisted stand owners in capital needed for inventory, wages, and buildings. Here is a quote from one of their Firework stand owners: "The CTLF has been great to work with! They have helped me not only consolidating my debt last year, but also helped with a small business loan this year. They offer great opportunities for tribal members to become financially stable. I look forward to utilizing CTLF for years to come", states owner of BlackMagic Fireworks.

Thank you for all your hard work Chehelis Tribal Loan Fund!




Does Your Organization Need Loan Capital?

Oweesta considers loan applications on a rolling basis. Application requirements include current and historical financial statements, portfolio reports, loan policies, current and historical financial statements, and a comprehensive business plan or comparable information. If you are interested in finding out more about our loan program, please visit or contact Emily Trump, Lending and Compliance Manager at

News from the Oweesta Office

Oweesta Products & Services

Start your New Year out with a personalized product or service from Oweesta! We are starting to schedule trainings for 2016 now. Follow the link below to see how we can help your organization this coming year!

Grant Opportunities

New Market Tax Credit Program
Deadline: December 16, 2015

The NMTC Program incentivizes community development and economic growth through the use of tax credits that attract private investment to distressed communities. As of the end of FY 2014, the NMTC Program has:

  • Generated $8 of private investment for every $1 of federal funding
  • Created 163 million square feet of manufacturing, office, and retail space
  • Financed over 4,700 businesses

Check out our Notah Begay III Foundation (NB3F)'s national program, Native Strong: Healthy Kids, Healthy Futures' 2016 "Seeds of Native Health" Promising Program Grant and Capacity Building Grant Request For Applications. With the generous support of the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community, NB3F will provide needed investment to Tribal Nations and Native American organizations working to improve nutrition and access to healthy foods for their children and communities. Promising Program Grants ($40,000 each) will focus on existing healthy food and nutrition programming that engages Native American youth. Capacity Building Grants ($20,000 each) will focus on community health assessments and community planning around healthy food and nutrition. Follow the link for more information on both grant opportunities:


First Nations Development Institute (First Nations) is now accepting grant proposals under its Native Agriculture & Food Systems Initiative (NAFSI). Through the generous support of the W. K. Kellogg Foundation, First Nations plans to distribute up to 10 grant awards averaging $30,000 each to support projects that aim to strengthen local food-system control: increase access to local, healthy and traditional foods: and decrease food insecurity and food deserts, all with an emphasis on serving Native American children and families.

For more information, please follow the link below:


First Nations Development Institute (First Nations) launched its Native Arts Capacity Building Initiative (NACBI) in 2014 and is pleased to announce this 2016 request for proposals for this initiative. First Nations will distribute up to six grant awards of up to $30,000 each to strengthen the organizational, managerial, and programmatic capacity of Native-controlled nonprofit organizations and tribal programs that have existing program initiatives in place to serve the field of Native American arts and artists in tribal communities in Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin.

For more information, please follow the link below:


Job Opportunities

Check out our website for the latest job opportunities in the Native CDFI and nonprofit sector. There are available positions from First Nations Oweesta Corporation, First Nations Development Institute, Native American Bank, Bank 2, Seven Sisters Development Group LLC, and First People's Fund.

If you have a job opportunity available at your organization, share it with the industry by emailing our Communications Manager,


Photo courtesy of Sam Levine

What is a Native CDFI?

First Check out the latest Oweesta one page publication "What is a Native CDFI?". This informational handout will assist you in communicating the needs within our Native CDFI industry.


Spending Frenzy: NOW AVAILABLE!

First Nations Development Institute's "Spending Frenzy" kits are now available for purchase. Spending Frenzy kits were developed to offer youth with large impending minor's trust payments an opportunity to practice handling a substantial lump sum of money and spending it wisely. In the simulation, high school students are given $40,000 in fake money and are asked to make spending decisions to purchase a car, a house, groceries, and other items. For more information, please contact Chris Hansen at


Have a Wonderful Holiday Season

Happy New Year!