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CDFI Fund Capacity Building Initiative
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  • "I've been to many, many trainings as a CDFI and this was exactly what I needed! I feel like people here are speaking my language."

CDFI Capacity Building Program: Native American Initiative

"Our new Capacity Building Initiative will advance the CDFI industry by fostering best practices and innovative solutions within the industry and advance sustainable CDFIs that can continue to provide critically needed capital, credit and other financial products and services to underserved communities for years to come."
— Donna Gambrell, Director CDFI Fund

As part of CDFI Fund's Capacity Building Initiative


The Capacity Building Initiative greatly expands technical assistance and training opportunities for Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) nationwide, and significantly boosts the ability of CDFIs to deliver financial products and services to underserved communities.

The CDFI Fund contracted NeighborWorks America to be a provider of complimentary training and technical assistance designed to build the capacity of CDFIs, including how to capitalize, how to operate highly effective foreclosure prevention programs, how to best manage financial and real estate assets, and how to effectively manage a Native CDFI.

Training targeted key issues currently affecting CDFIs and the communities they serve, including affordable housing and business lending, portfolio management, risk assessment, foreclosure prevention, training in CDFI business processes, and assistance with liquidity and capitalization challenges. In addition to high-quality coursework, the Initiative also included direct on-site technical assistance, organizational assessments and individualized capacity-building plans, and focused on extending CDFI coverage to underserved communities, especially in rural areas.

Current training and technical assistance designed to address the needs of CDFIs:

Native CDFI Growth and Excellence: The Leadership Journey II — NeighborWorks America, on behalf of the Community Development Financial Institutions Fund (CDFI Fund), is pleased to invite your organization to apply for participation in The Leadership Journey II: Continuing Native CDFI Growth and Excellence training series. This initiative will offer executive-level training and technical assistance to help established Native Community Development Financial Institutions (Native CDFIs) take their operations to the next level. Interested Native CDFIs should have the capacity in place to take full advantage of the available training, technical assistance and peer mentoring and demonstrate a vision for the long term sustainability of their organization.  All certified Native CDFIs who apply will be considered for participation in the initiative.

The Leadership Journey II is a tailored, intensive program that allows established Native CDFIs and their leadership to focus on capacity building in the context of the distinct challenges and opportunities present in Native communities. Up to 15 Native CDFIs will be selected to participate in a training cohort that will collaborate over an 18-month period to access training, technical assistance, peer mentoring, and executive coaching opportunities.  In order to attain the full benefit of this capacity building experience, cohort participants are expected to:

  • Attend all training events
    • The Leadership Journey Place-Based Training in March 2014 • Location TBD
    • NeighborWorks Training Institute in August 2014 • Orlando, FL
    • NeighborWorks Training Institute in December 2014 • Washington, DC
    • The Leadership Journey Place-Based Training in April 2015 • Location TBD
  • Share challenges and success

  • Contribute to the cohort learning community

The Leadership Journey II cohort members will receive:

  • Scholarships, which include tuition, travel and lodging, for 2 staff to attend 4 multi-day training events (see schedule listed above).  Scholarships are reserved for the CDFI’s 2 designated participants - ideally the Executive Director and a second staff person who strengthens the management of your organization.  
  • Supplemental training for additional staff from the participating Native CDFIs provided via live webinars and online peer clinics.
  • Individualized technical assistance, peer mentoring, and executive coaching for each participating Native CDFI.

At the end of The Leadership Journey II, each cohort member will have increased capacity, along with new tools, models and strategies to foster the growth and long-term sustainability of their Native CDFI.

The Leadership Journey II online application is now closed. For more information, or if you have questions about this new opportunity, please contact Lee Anne Adams at

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