Oweesta/Tamalpais Trust – Native CDFIs

First Nations Oweesta Corp and Tamalpais Trust Partner to facilitate direct investment into Native CDFIs


As a philanthropic organization and community investor with a very small staff, Tamalpais Trust had limited resources to perform due diligence for potential loans, yet wanted to develop direct relationships with a variety of Native CDFIs.  Highlands’ facilitation of a partnership between Tam Trust and Oweesta to share and update selected and interested CDFIs’ data already on file allowed Tam Trust to do that; they were able to make $1.5M in loans to eight Native CDFIs of varying sizes, foci, capacities and geographies, many of whom had reached Oweesta’s loan limit restrictions.  Using Oweesta’s loan doc template (with the same terms, start, and end dates for each loan) meant that only incrementally more effort was required than would have been to underwrite a single loan.  It also simplified the process for the CDFIs, who were already familiar with the loan docs, already had their original due diligence on file with Oweesta, and were already submitting ongoing reporting.  

We’re proud of this program, and grateful to Oweesta for their expertise as well as their willingness and ability to innovate.  With Oweesta’s help, Tam Trust is now partnering directly with eight inspiring Native CDFIs whom they wouldn’t otherwise have been able to reach, and we’re meeting our mutual goal of increasing access to capital for Native American tribal members and their communities.

With this program now developed and the pilot a success, Oweesta is now able to offer this service to other potential investors. Contact Jamie Olson or Ann Whittemore for more information.

To learn more, visit https://www.tamtrust.org/community-investments/.

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