Adult Financial Literacy
The mission of NACDC is to remove barriers that exist in Indian Country that prohibit the flow of capital and credit. NACDC addresses critical needs in Native communities related to growth of family assets and sustainable economic development. Financial Literacy is Integral to the success of all NACDC Initiatives; Financial education for entrepreneurs at Small Business Centers in native communities, Credit Counseling and support, On-site training of trainers AND post-training mentoring for local delivery of educational workshops, classes and Peer mentoring network are all offered to help individuals, families and entrepreneurs survive challenging economic times.
The foundation for long-term economic development and prosperity is an educated community. NACDC’s focus is on assisting Native communities in establishing the mechanisms to promote financial education with both adult and youth-oriented programs. The latter could include the establishment of a school-based program that utilizes a teaching curriculum that is tied into bank-based savings program that engages children in the process of managing their finances at a young age. The previous portion along with Credit Counseling can also help prepare adults that need assistance with rebuilding or repairing their credit, this can be done with a possible Credit Builder Loan; NACDC Financial Services, Inc. provides low-interest Credit Builder Loans. After a client completes the Financial Literacy Program and receives Credit Counseling they may be eligible for funds that are designed to clear up derogatory credit and help build their credit score and eventually be "bankable".
As the economy struggles so do those most affected by it, low income families are the hardest hit. NACDC recognized an opportunity to help residents, families and entrepreneurs that have been struggling with the recent economic plight. NACDC wanted to teach individuals it is more than dollars and cents, it is also about strengthening financial wisdom in Native people and communities and using their money wisely to enhance their life―and the lives of those around them. Our goal is to provide a basic understanding of personal financial planning and show how wise money-management decisions can help you build a better life for themselves, their families, their tribes, and generations to come. The information provided guides individuals and families through the process of learning about personal finance and planning for their future. Information on how to open and maintain a bank account, the importance of saving and investing, how to manage their money, taking steps toward homeownership, and we offer a variety of resources to help along the way.
This innovation is not exclusively aimed at but more-so directed at Native Americans and Native communities, locations where these types of services and assistance are not readily available. One goal that we have within this program, with help from collaborators, partners, funding agencies and financial institutions is to develop an Individual Development Account (IDA) for each eligible participant when possible.
In all, we've had nearly 300 individuals complete the Financial Literacy portion of the program, several of those have an Individual Development Account (IDA) established in their name at a participating local bank. We are currently tracking amounts and will continue to do so; this provides us with a clear picture of the status of those accounts.
We have ongoing contracts or agreements with two (2) agencies to provide the Financial Literacy and Credit Counseling portions of the program, the first is the Blackfeet Manpower Program, to which we provide those services for their clients that are participating in the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) and similar low income programs. Secondly we are working with Rural Dynamics Incorporated to provide our services to clients enrolled in the Family Economic Security Program (FESP) on 3 Indian reservations in Montana. NACDC is constantly searching for new collaborators to assist us in making our services available to people in our current or new service areas.
NACDC works with Native communities to address underlying factors that inhibit economic development and the productive use of available financial capital. NACDC has been directed to focus its efforts in a number of key areas to include financial education, facilitation services for tribal planning, small business and the provision of development services and technical assistance, housing development finance and home mortgages, as well as exploring the possibilities for providing non-conventional intermediary financing. Our mission is to effectively address issues that inhibit the flow of financial capital to individuals, families, projects and businesses located in Native American communities.