To provide economic assistance, loan capital and training to Native tribes, communities and peoples.

 |  2432 MAIN ST 1ST FLOOR Longmont CO 80501-1101

First Nations Oweesta Corporation is headquartered in Longmont, CO, and is a 501(c)(3) organization. EIN: 54-1970097.  Donations are tax-deductible. The IRS NTEE classification code is S20, Community, Neighborhood Development, Improvement (General) within the Community Improvement, Capacity Building category. The IRS ruling year for tax exemption was 2000.

(Source: IRS Business Master File and Form 990)

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Encompass Rating System by Charity Navigator

Charity Navigator’s Encompass Rating System evolves on a quarterly basis as we add new measures and indicators, which we call Beacons. Check back often to see how this organization’s score changes.

Learn about the Encompass Rating System: Announcement | FAQ | Release Notes

Overall Score


out of 100

This charity's score is a passing score. This overall score is identical to the organization's Finance & Accountability beacon score. It does not have an Impact & Results beacon. Each beacon report below provides further information about the organization's rating including rationale as to why a particular beacon may not be scored.

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Looking for this charity in our old design?

This organization is potentially eligible for a Charity Navigator Star Rating. Vote Now to request to have our analyst team rate First Nations Oweesta Corporation for a Star Rating. The organization currently has 3 votes.

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...   Finance & Accountability

Charity Navigator evaluates a nonprofit organization’s financial health including measures of stability, efficiency and sustainability. We also track accountability and transparency policies to ensure the good governance and integrity of the organization.

Finance & Accountability Score


out of 100

This charity's score is a passing score

This Beta V2 of the Finance & Accountability Score provides a baseline measure of an organization’s health including the indicators listed in the report below.

This score represents Form 990 data from latest filing year 2019.

Finance & Accountability Rating Highlights

Higher Effect on Score


Independent Board Composition

We look for at least 3 board members, with more than 50% of members identified as independent.

Lower Effect on Score


Liabilities to Assets Ratio

We look for a ratio less than 50%.

No Effect on Score


Total Revenue

We do not evaluate revenue amounts or sources in Beta V2. An organization’s size can affect whether and how we evaluate other indicators.

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Finance & Accountability Report


of 100 points (BETA)

This beta feature is currently viewable only on desktop or tablet screens. Check back later for updates.

Program Expense

Program Expense Ratio


Higher effect on score

More data  

The Program Expense Ratio is determined by Program Expenses divided by Total Expense (average of most recent three 990s).

For a passing score, Charity Navigator looks for a ratio of 70% or higher. Charities in the 50%-70% range receive zero points for their Program Expense Ratio score. Charities that fall below 50% will receive zero points for both of their financial metric scores, Program Expense Ratio AND Liabilities to Assets Ratio.

Source: IRS Form 990

Board Composition

10/11 Independent

Higher effect on score

Charity Navigator looks for at least 3 board members, with more than 50% of those members identified as independent.

Source: IRS Form 990

Independent Review or Financial Audit


Higher effect on score

For organizations larger than $1million in total revenue we expect to see that the charity completed an audit.

This indicator is not part of the score for organizations less than $250k in total revenue and is removed from the scoring methodology.

For charities under $1 million but over $250K in total revenue we expect to see that the charity completed an Audit, Review or Compilation.

Source: IRS Form 990

Liabilities to Assets Ratio


Lower effect on score

The Liabilities to Assets Ratio is determined by Total Liabilities divided by Total Assets (most recent 990).

Charity Navigator looks for a ratio less than 50%.

Source: IRS Form 990

Website Listed


Lower effect on score

Charity Navigator looks for a website on the Form 990 as an accountability and transparency measure.

Nonprofits act in the public trust and reporting publicly on activities is an important component

Source: IRS Form 990

Additional Information


This beta feature is currently viewable only on desktop or tablet screens. Check back later for updates.

Total Revenue and Expenses

Total Revenue and Expenses

This chart displays the trend of revenue and expenses over the past several years for this organization, as reported on their IRS Form 990.

Salary of Key Persons

Presented here are up to five of the highest compensated employees listed on page 7 of the IRS Form 990. This compensation data is displayed exactly how it is reported to the IRS. The amounts include salary, cash bonuses, and expense accounts. The amounts do not include nontaxable benefits, deferred compensation, or other amounts not reported on Form W-2. Read the IRS policies for compensation reporting here.











Source: IRS Form 990, filing year 2019

Business Master File Data

The Exempt Organization IRS Business Master File (BMF) includes cumulative information the IRS collects and displays for all exempt organizations. The data is updated monthly. Below are some key data points from the BMF for this organization. View information about the BMF on the IRS website here.


Activity data not reported from the IRS

Foundation Status:

Organization that normally receives no more than one-third of its support from gross investment income and unrelated business income and at the same time more than one-third of its support from contributions, fees, and gross receipts related to exempt purposes.  509(a)(2) (BMF foundation code: 16)


Independent - the organization is an independent organization or an independent auxiliary (i.e., not affiliated with a National, Regional, or Geographic grouping of organizations). (BMF affiliation code: 3)

Data Sources: IRS Forms 990

The IRS Form 990 is the source of the finance and accountability data used within the Encompass Rating System. When an organization is eligible for a Finance & Accountability beacon score, each metric is based on elements of the 990. Some metrics are based on the most recent available filing, while others are based on averages of values over multiple years. We provide links to all available 990s here, whether or not this organization is eligible for a Finance & Accountability score.

IRS Forms 990 are provided courtesy of Foundation Center.

...   Impact & Results

Charity Navigator assesses how well a nonprofit delivers on its mission. To issue an Impact & Results score, we estimate the actual impact a nonprofit has on the lives of those it serves, and determine whether it is making good use of donor resources to achieve that impact.

No Score

We have not issued this nonprofit an Impact & Results score. This does not indicate a positive or negative assessment, only that we have not reached a conclusion for one of the following reasons:

  • The nonprofit is eligible for a score, but we have not yet gotten to scoring it.

  • The nonprofit is eligible for a score, but we have not yet developed the specific algorithms to estimate the impact of the type of service it delivers and so cannot issue a score yet.

  • The nonprofit does not primarily deliver services directly to beneficiaries or it is not reasonable to expect the nonprofit to measure impact for its primary activity. The impact analysis framework that we use is not well suited to these nonprofits.

  • The nonprofit is not heavily reliant on individual donors because beneficiaries fund a majority of its costs or it does not receive any private charitable contributions.

Learn more about how we rate nonprofits.

Do you work at First Nations Oweesta Corporation? Share your impact data to request a score.

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Additional Information


This beta feature is currently viewable only on desktop or tablet screens. Check back later for updates.

Largest Programs

Largest Programs

First Nations Oweesta Corporation reported its two largest programs on its FY 2019 Form 990 as:


Spent in most recent FY


Percent of program expenses

Institutional Development- The primary goal is to help create, develop, expand and strengthen Native Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs). Activities reflect the provision of regional  ... (More)


Spent in most recent FY


Percent of program expenses

Lending and Other-The Organization provides capitalization to qualifying organizations, enabling them to reinvest the capital back into their communities and programs and/or to use as leverage to attr ... (More)

GuideStar Seal of Trans­parency


GuideStar is Charity Navigator's trusted partner in sharing information on how this organization seeks impact. GuideStar has recognized this organization with a Gold Seal of Transparency for voluntarily and publicly describing their goals, strategies, and accomplishments. Click here for more information.

Note: GuideStar Seals do not effect the nonprofit’s Impact & Results Score.

What is your organization aiming to accomplish?

As the nation's premier intermediary for Native community development financial institutions (CDFI), Oweesta (from the Mohawk word for money) helps build strong Native institutions and programs through professional services designed to build local capacity, provide powerful tools for Native community development and promote economic sovereignty. Oweesta's mission is to provide opportunities for Native people to develop assets and create wealth by assisting in the establishment of strong, permanent institutions and programs, contributing to economic independence and strengthening sovereignty for all Native communities.

What are your strategies for making this happen?

Oweesta provides training, technical assistance, investments, research and advocacy to help Native communities develop an integrated range of asset-building products and services including financial education and financial products. Asset-building tools stimulate reservation economies by providing tribal members the opportunity to acquire financial management skills and build and accumulate assets through small business creation, home ownership, education, etc. Through this approach, Native communities across the country are beginning to emerge from the cycle of dependency that has spanned generations, and are building healthy reservation economies with the goal of achieving economic sovereignty.

What are your organization's capabilities for doing this?

Oweesta is a well-established, high-performing Native CDFI that maximizes community development impacts in Native communities by engaging in strategic partnerships and by strategically deploying scarce resources in severely distressed and impoverished Tribal communities. Oweesta maximizes leveraging of its equity position with debt capital investments and actively minimizes capital costs to support below-market financing to NCDFIs. While serving the very lowest income communities in the nation and providing high-risk, unsecured loans to NCDFIs, Oweesta has established a strong financial position and has only experienced one loan loss of $10,000 as compared to over $7.5 million of loans deployed nationwide.

How will your organization know if you are making progress?

Oweesta begins evaluating community impact potential when conducting a NCDFI's preliminary assessment and verifies tangible community benefits through the due diligence process. After loan closing, NCDFI borrowers are required to complete quarterly lending surveys detailing impacts achieved with their financing. Oweesta tracks job creation/retention, housing units developed or rehabilitated, first-time homeowners, and first-time business owners. The cumulative impact of Oweesta's financing is multiplied by other capital available to our NCDFI borrowers. The breadth of the impacts achieved with Oweesta's financing demonstrates the NCDFI field's capacity to generate substantial community impacts. Since Oweesta began lending in 2008, our debt capital investments have supported the following benefits to Native communities nationwide: • Created or retained 2,867.5 jobs in impoverished Native communities • Helped 126 Tribal members construct or preserve the value of their homes • Helped 130 Native families become first-time homeowners • Financed the start-up of 995 new businesses owned by Tribal members Oweesta has an exceptional record of facilitating investment in Native communities. By providing debt capital investments to Native CDFIs, Oweesta has historically multiplied the impact of its financing by over nine times. Based on lending activity reported by Native CDFI borrowers, Oweesta's historical financing of $7.5 million leveraged over $68 million of other capital, thus enabling NCDFI borrowers to provide nearly $75 million of financing to their communities.

What have and haven't you accomplished so far?

Oweesta's capital crunch is in part attributable to our success in expanding and strengthening the NCDFI field. First annual loan volume demand accelerated as groups from the Native Communities Financing Initiative training program found a need to access debt capital to respond to financing demand in their own communities. However, many Native CDFIs encountered staunch resistance to debt from governing boards comprised of Tribal community members. Oweesta helped governing boards ease concerns over debt capital by providing on-site board trainings “Accessing Debt Capital to Leverage Growth. “ These trainings have proven effective in improving NCDFI boards' understanding while providing sufficient assurance that increased risk resulting from debt leveraging can be sufficiently mitigated to preserve organizational stability. Oweesta is using the presentation format developed for these on-site board trainings as the blueprint for a webinar series addressing capitalization planning and implementation, with the goal of reaching an even wider audience of NCDFI governing boards. Oweesta's financial and lending projections reflect implementation of strategic goals, while anticipated outcomes are based on historic impacts reported by NCDFI borrowers. Projections reflect Business Plan goals of increased capital supporting loan volume and loan portfolio growth to produce greater earned revenue and enhance organizational sustainability, with self-sufficiency steadily improving from 19% in 2014 to 26% in 2018. Capacity to respond to extensive unsatisfied demand is further addressed through the National Investor Solicitation Initiative. Projections reflect conversion to the sliding-scale, fee-for-service TA for certified NCDFIs, while scaling up streamlined delivery mechanisms that have proven effective in supporting emerging NCDFIs such as workshops, webinars and an increased emphasis on delivering one-on-one TA through web-based applications after establishing in-person relationships that are so vital to building trust and rapport in Native communities. Oweesta seeks to maximize its loan capital base through leveraging with debt capital investments. The FA and other low cost sources enable Oweesta to continue offering below-market rates that help NCDFIs maintain acceptable interest rate margins while providing affordable financing to Native communities.


GlobalGiving Badge not earned

GlobalGiving is the largest global crowdfunding community connecting nonprofits, donors, and companies in nearly every country. For donors, GlobalGiving provides an additional layer of vetting and due diligence for each of its nonprofit partners every two years, which may include site visit verification. Learn more about GlobalGiving.

Note: GlobalGiving Badges do not effect the nonprofit’s Impact & Results score.

...   Leadership & Adaptability

Charity Navigator will provide an assessment of the organization’s leadership capacity, strategic planning, and the ability to readily innovate or respond to changes in constituent demand/need or other relevant social and economic conditions to achieve the organization’s mission.

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...   Culture & Community

Charity Navigator will provide an assessment of the organization’s people operations, its engagement with the constituents served, and its Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) measures.

Culture & Community Score (BETA)

Coming Soon

Encompass Rating Beta V2 does not provide an evaluation of the organization's culture and community. Beta V3 will provide an evaluation of Constituent Feedback and Listening Practices. Nonprofit organizations are encouraged to fill out the How We Listen section of their Candid profile. This data will provide the basis for the initial evaluation of Culture & Community. Other measures will be added later in the year.

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Additional Information


This beta feature is currently viewable only on desktop or tablet screens. Check back later for updates.

Constituent Feedback

Constituent Feedback

Constituent Feedback and Listening Practice data are not available for this organization. Nonprofit organizations are encouraged to fill out the How We Listen section of their Candid profile. This data will provide the basis for the initial evaluation of Community & Culture.

Why It Matters

Like the Encompass Rating System, the Culture & Community Beacon is designed to evolve as relevant metrics are developed and ready for integration. Our partnership with Feedback Labs and Guidestar by Candid, and other partners including Fund for Shared Insight, GlobalGiving and Keystone Accountability, enables us to launch the first version of this beacon with Constituent Feedback information collected on Candid's site.

Feedback practices have been shown to support better Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion outcomes, an essential area of assessment that we intend to further expand and develop in the future. Feedback Labs has documented several studies which indicate that beyond achieving organizational goals, nonprofits that are attentive and responsive to concerns and ideas raised by beneficiaries establish stronger relationships with the people they serve, promote greater equity, and empower constituents in ways that can help to ensure better long-term outcomes. You can find resources to help nonprofits improve their feedback practices here.