Deutsche Bank has issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) for their Native Community Capital Access Program. The program will make available up to $2.5 million to spur community development, entrepreneurship, and financial well-being within Native communities.

CDFI Connect sat down with Joanne Gan in Deutsche Bank’s Community Development Finance Group to learn more about the RFP process, and how this financing hopes to encourage more investment in Native communities.

Joanne Gan, Deutsche Bank Community Development Finance Group

How did Deutsche Bank identify this market as an area for support?

Our primary geographic target is New York City, but we also look at opportunities across the U.S. and ask ourselves “where can our capital have the most impact?” Over the last couple of years, we have had more and more conversations around Native communities, which face higher poverty rates and more limited access to financial services than the rest of the population. We’ve gained a deeper understanding of financial institutions working in Indian Country to address financial, business, and community development needs – and the challenges they face, particularly when it comes to accessing capital. That is why we were drawn there. With guidance from leading Native American community development organizations, nonprofits, and government agencies, we are hoping to leverage our assets to promote community development activities in Native communities.

This program builds on prior work we’ve done to bring capital to underserved, capital-constrained areas, including our New CDFI Partners program, launched in 2014, that helped us identify and partner with organizations working in rural, low-income areas of the U.S. that lack access to CRA-motivated capital. 

Who can apply? Just Native CDFIs?

Any mission-driven financial institution that is primarily serving underserved or low-income Native communities (half or more of activities must be focused on this population). This can include CDFIs, banks, credit unions, social enterprises, or other organizations. Applicants should have at least $1MM in total assets and a lending history of at least 2 years. There is no geographic restriction, so this RFP is open nationwide.

Can you describe the RFP process?

Overall, this is a pretty straightforward process. RFP submissions are due by August 31. We plan to release a general FAQ in early August to address questions we receive between now and August 1. Our team, informed by an advisory committee that includes First Nations Oweesta, Northwest Area Foundation, and Community Housing Capital, will select the finalists for underwriting. Finalists will be determined by September 30.

Once finalists are determined, we will complete due diligence which may include phone calls with key staff or additional material requests. Final awards will be determined on or around November 30, and we expect to disburse loans in 4Q18 or 1Q19, subject to finalization of loan agreements and approval through Deutsche Bank’s client onboarding process. 

The awards will primarily be in the form of low-interest rate loans, and are program-related investments from the Deutsche Bank Americas Foundation. We are allowing for flexibility in terms to suit the needs of mission-driven financial institutions. 

How will you measure success?

Success will be determined by the impact that the capital has on the organizations selected, and the communities they serve. We look forward to seeing social impacts in low-income Native communities related to community development, financial well-being, home ownership, small business activity, and job creation.

Importantly, we also hope that this program will help shine a spotlight on the need and opportunity for investment in Native communities, and bring more and different types of capital into Indian Country. 

You can read the full RFP here.

To apply, please submit a Narrative, Attachments, and this Excel Summary Template per the instructions in the RFP.  


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