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CDFI Fund Announces Leadership Capacity Building Series for Native CDFIs

Date: September 21, 2011

CDFI Fund Announces Leadership Capacity Building Series for Native CDFIs

Washington, DC--Today, Community Development Financial Institutions Fund (CDFI Fund) Director Donna J. Gambrell announced the launch of a new training series for Native Community Development Financial Institutions (Native CDFIs). The Leadership Journey: Native CDFI Growth and Excellence will provide advanced, executive-level training and technical support to help Native CDFIs take their operations to the next level. The training and technical assistance program, part of the CDFI Fund's Capacity Building Initiative, is provided by NeighborWorks® America with specialized input from the Seven Sisters Community Development Group.

"I am thrilled about the launch of The Leadership Journey," said CDFI Fund Director Donna J. Gambrell. "Our Capacity Building Initiative is now expanding to target the particular needs of Native CDFIs. Native American, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian communities remain some of the most underserved communities in our country. At the end of their Leadership Journey, Native CDFIs will be able to achieve even greater impacts in meeting the needs of their communities."

The Leadership Journey is just the first of a new roster of training series that will be unfolding under the Capacity Building Initiative over the coming months. Other anticipated series will focus upon the needs of emerging CDFIs, including Native CDFIs, and also provide direct technical assistance exclusively to Native CDFIs.

The Capacity Building Initiative has already increased the training and technical assistance opportunities available for CDFIs nationwide through series covering Foreclosure Solutions, Portfolio Management, CDFI Capitalization, and Healthy Food Financing Options. These ongoing series are open to both Native and non-Native CDFIs and serve organizations at all levels of capacity.

The CDFI Fund has a long history of providing support to the Native economic development industry. The Leadership Journey builds upon these efforts by creating a tailored, intensive program that allows high-performing Native CDFIs and their leadership to focus on capacity building in the context of the distinct challenges and opportunities present in Native communities.

All certified Native CDFIs will be invited to apply, and twenty organizations will be selected to participate in a unique cohort that will collaborate over a two-year period to access training, technical assistance, peer mentoring, and executive coaching opportunities. The executive coaching component borrows from the success of NeighborWorks® America's Achieving Excellence program for nonprofit executives.

The application to participate in The Leadership Journey will be released in the fall of 2011, with the cohort convening scheduled to take place in early 2012.


The CDFI Fund has authorized its provider, NeighborWorks® America, to manage the sending of invitations (email and via U.S. mail) and handling of other training class logistics directly with all eligible Native CDFIs. Organizations wishing to receive these notifications should ensure that the contact information for their Authorized Representative and Contact Person in their organization's MyCDFIFund account is up-to-date and accurate.

The CDFI Fund will also send updates and other important communications about the Capacity Building Initiative through CDFI Updates - our free e-mail subscription management service. Registered users wishing to add the Capacity Building Initiative to the list of CDFI Fund programs that they receive updates about, and new users wishing to subscribe to receive e-mails about the latest news on the Capacity Building Initiative, should click here.

It is free to apply to participate in The Leadership Journey. Organizations selected to participate in the training cohort will have their registration costs for the trainings and technical assistance, as well as travel and hotel accommodations, covered by the CDFI Fund's Capacity Building Initiative.

About NeighborWorks® America

NeighborWorks® America (NeighborWorks®) is a national nonprofit organization chartered by Congress in 1978. Its mission is to create opportunities for Americans to live in affordable homes, improve their lives, and strengthen their communities. NeighborWorks® has over 22 years of experience providing training and is recognized as the premier provider of training in the affordable housing and community development industry.

About Seven Sisters Community Development Group

Seven Sisters Community Development Group (SSCDG) is a consulting firm comprised of seven women representing several cultures and communities. The team brings a broad range of experience working in non-profit, corporate, grassroots, and government environments. SSCDG strives to create positive community development transformation by facilitating organizational growth and change. The team specializes in working with organizations that serve diverse, low-income families and Native communities.

To learn more about the Capacity Building Initiative and other CDFI Fund programs, please visit



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