ONAC Newsletter, November 2017
ONAC Children’s Savings Account (CSA) Program Updates
As of November 2017, ONAC has funded 455 CSAs. In October 2017, ONAC worked with the Housing Authority of the Peoria Tribe of Indians of Oklahoma and the Modoc Housing Authority to open accounts. ONAC is thankful to our eighteen tribal and Native nonprofit partners for all their work on this program!
ONAC 2018 CSA Calendars for Sale
Would you like a unique holiday gift for your colleagues, tribal members, or family? ONAC is selling our 2018 desk calendars. Each calendar costs $20.00. The monthly calendar cards are enclosed in a plastic case that folds over to create a freestanding desktop calendar display. Twelve pieces of artwork, from the CSA account-opening events with the Housing Authority of the Seminole Nation, Ponca Tribe Head Start Program, the American Indian Resource Center, Inc., and Believing in Native Generations (BLING), are included in this calendar. At the CSA events, the youth envision assets in their lives and create artwork showing what they value: family, homes, food, jobs, education, natural resources, etc. In the photo included with this newsletter, a ten-year old drew a college campus to show his hopes for going to college.
To order a calendar, please go to ONAC’s donate page on our website, at http://www.oknativeassets.org/donate. In the “Donate Online” section of the page, please enter your name and mailing address, the amount you want charged to your credit card ($20 per calendar), and in the comment section note “calendars” and anything else you need to tell us about the order. If you have a complicated order, please contact Christy Finsel at email@example.com or (405) 401-7873 so she may assist you. For those wishing to order and pay for calendars by check, please send a note with the mailing address(es) for the calendars and a check for the amount due ($20 per calendar) made out to the Oklahoma Native Assets Coalition, Inc. to the following address: Oklahoma Native Assets Coalition, Inc. Attn: Christy Finsel, 9511 Horseshoe Road, Oklahoma City, OK 73162. Proceeds from the calendar sales help ONAC fund additional CSAs for Native youth. Thank you for your support!
Mini-Grant Awardees Complete their Projects
The Housing Authority of the Seminole Nation assisted ten families with starting an emergency savings account (as part of a matched savings account program) to help them to become more self-sufficient and move towards homeownership. Each of the families received $200 for their account. This grant also paid for travel expenses of three staff members of the Housing Authority of the Seminole Nation to attend Pathways Home: A Native Guide to Homeownership. All three staff members who attended the training passed the instructor test and will be able to teach a comprehensive homebuyer education program to the families served by their housing authority (awarded $3,500).
The Mvskoke Loan Fund
The Mvskoke Loan Fund purchased a “Spending Frenzy” game kit offered by First Nations Development and facilitated a “Spending Frenzy” financial education simulation for 35 Native students. Twenty of the middle school students who participated in the simulation and attended the Eufaula Dormitory, a school established by the Muscogee (Creek) Nation in 1892, received $100 account opening deposits for emergency savings accounts. Accounts were opened at First Family Federal Credit Union. Students took a field trip to the credit union headquarters. To learn more about this mini-grant project, please see this video produced by Mvskoke Media: https://youtu.be/D9sssV7REHQ (awarded $3,500).
Kiva Loans for Native Small Business Owners and Entrepreneurs in Tulsa
Recently, a program lead with the Lobeck Taylor Family Foundation contacted ONAC to ask if we might send out information to our constituents about their efforts to bring Kiva to Tulsa. For those of you working with tribal citizens in Oklahoma, who are needing loans up to $10,000 for their small business or entrepreneurship efforts, the following information may be useful. ONAC sent this information, by email, to the families who have ONAC-funded Children’s Savings Accounts, in case they are in need of such loans.
“The Lobeck Taylor Family Foundation has partnered with Louisville-based Access Ventures to bring international microfinancing platform Kiva to Tulsa. Kiva offers crowdfunded loans up to $10,000 to small business owners and entrepreneurs. Kiva aims to fill the critical lending gap faced by Tulsa small business owners and budding entrepreneurs who are locked out of traditional lending, and provide them with a way to demonstrate creditworthiness, build repayment histories, and eventually access traditional lending services. Kiva wants to empower you to engage in your community in a new way that will help revitalize Tulsa’s economy, and promote local job growth.
Kiva has been successfully implemented in major cities throughout the U.S. like Philadelphia, New York and Oakland. Since 2011, Kiva has provided over $20 million in loan volume to more than 3,000 entrepreneurs in the U.S., crowdfunded by over 100,000 individual lenders -- and now we need YOUR help in replicating this effective model in our own backyard.”
LEND on Kiva:
- We need our strongest partners in the Tulsa community to set an example by investing in our local entrepreneurs using the Kiva platform.
- Choose which entrepreneurs you want to lend to by browsing small business profiles and stories in an online selection found here. Lend in increments as small as $25. 100% of your money goes into the Kiva loan.
- It’s a loan, not a donation – you help to fund a loan, get repaid, and then can reinvest your money into a new entrepreneur. Kiva loans have a 97.1% repayment rate.
- Lending with the Kiva platform allows a personal connection to be made with your investments – follow along with your entrepreneur’s journey, and root for their success!
- By lending, you are helping to shape the course and success of our local economy.
BORROW on Kiva:
- If you are an entrepreneur or small business owner that needs access to capital, you can borrow crowdfunded loans up to $10,000 at 0% interest, with no fees, minimum credit score, years of operation, or collateral. By joining the Kiva community, you gain access to over 1.6 million lenders worldwide – not just those based in Tulsa! The loans are designed to reach those locked out of traditional lending, or who are doing social good in the Tulsa community.
- Use your Kiva capital for multiple uses – a new piece of equipment, to fund a new marketing campaign, to hire a part time contractor – the opportunities are endless to help your small business.
- 95% of Kiva loan requests are fully fundraised, which is a rarity among crowdfunding sites.
- Borrowers submit an application, go through a Kiva-led vetting process, and a private fundraising period (where you begin crowdfunding with family/friends), and finally the public crowdfunding period on the Kiva website.
BECOME A TRUSTEE for Kiva Tulsa:
- How is Kiva able to lend based on character and not credit? Through the strength of the local trustee community! Kiva trustees agree to use their influence and connections to publicly vouch for our local entrepreneurs. While trustees cosign the platform, being a trustee is not a financial commitment.
- Trustees vouch for entrepreneurs’ character and creditworthiness.
- Do you have great ideas on how to help bring Kiva to life in Tulsa? Connect with Casey Allen, the Tulsa Kiva Lead at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Follow along and share Kiva’s social media posts on Facebook and Twitter!
- Donate to the Kiva organization online.
MyFreeTaxes for the Upcoming Tax Season
The Oklahoma Native Assets Coalition, Inc. (ONAC) has partnered with IRS Stakeholder Partnerships, Education, and Communication (SPEC) and agreed to post a link on our website to MyFreeTaxes.com.
For the next tax season, if you are a filing a simple return, and have an Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) under $66,000 per tax return, you are invited to file your state and federal returns, for free, by using this MyFreeTaxes link: https://www.unitedway.org/myfreetaxes/.
To file your taxes on MyFreeTaxes.com, you will need the following:
· Last year’s Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) when e-filing you must enter last year’s AGI to validate your return. You can obtain this from last year’s tax return or through the IRS (https://www.irs.gov/individuals/electronic-filing-pin-request). MyFreeTaxes, using H&R Block’s software, allows you to import your previous year returns from other tax preparation software.
· W-2s for each job held in 2017 for each person in the household, this form reports your name, wages, and other tax information to the IRS.
· 1099s showing other income (unemployment, social security, school loans, health care reimbursement, state tax refund, gambling winnings, contract work) that is reported to the IRS.
· 1098s showing payments you’ve made (school loans, property tax).
· 1095-A if you received a tax credit from the https://www.healthcare.gov marketplace.
· Income/interest statements received for any savings account/investments.
· Bank account numbers: a voided check or your bank or credit union's routing number and savings or checking account number for your refund to be deposited automatically into your account through direct deposit.
· Last year's tax return (if you have it).
Since 2009, MyFreeTaxes has helped millions of taxpayers claim their eligible tax credits. It saves every consumer an average of $200 on tax filing fees, and ensures they get their maximum refund. The IRS is promoting this partnership.
For those wishing to file in person at a Voluntary Income Tax Assistance (VITA) site, you may search for sites near you at https://www.irs.gov (under the site locator by zip code, this feature is usually available after the Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday).
Please note: If you, or someone you know, have less than $48,340 ($53,930 if married filing jointly) in adjusted gross income, you may be eligible to claim the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC).
Support Native Asset Building in Oklahoma
To advance ONAC’s mission, ONAC is seeking to raise a remaining $4.75 million to fund an endowment for general operating expenses and program support. A strong endowment would make ONAC sustainable and viable well into the future. ONAC thanks the Chickasaw Nation for their generous lead gift of $250,000 towards our endowment fund. We are grateful to Governor Bill Anoatubby of the Chickasaw Nation for meeting with us to talk about opportunities for collaboration and for supporting this campaign. We are excited to grow this endowment fund and we respectfully ask for your support so that we may increase Native asset building opportunities for Native families.
What are ONAC’s hopes for the future of Native asset building?
ONAC’s vision is that Native families will have multiple opportunities to grow their assets through participation in integrated and culturally-relevant Native asset building programs. Our dream is that all Native youth will have Children’s Savings Accounts to help them save for their future and let them know that college is a real option for them. The coalition also would like to be able to provide more funding for asset building initiatives in the state, to tribes and Native nonprofits, to increase the numbers of sustainable asset building programs (such as financial education, matched savings accounts, credit repair/credit builder, and family emergency savings account programs).
There is great potential for ONAC to work with constituents to help numerous Native families build their assets. The second-largest Native population, per capita in the United States, resides in Oklahoma and is increasing (2010 Census). Support of Native asset building programs will help Native families to concretely build assets that will lead to family financial security.
Why is ONAC raising an endowment?
In ONAC’s strategic plan, the coalition notes that we need funding to support and grow the nonprofit. ONAC’s leadership has worked to put in place a multi-pronged fundraising plan (individual donors, foundations, members, federal grants, corporate funds, sponsorships, etc.). The next step of that plan is to raise funds for an endowment.
To advance ONAC’s mission, ONAC is seeking to raise $5 million to fund an endowment for general operating expenses and program support. A strong endowment would make ONAC sustainable and viable well into the future.
As of 2016, ONAC’s annual operating budget is $251,522. Endowment funding of $5 million would allow ONAC to draw 5% a year ($250,000). With the sustainability that an endowment provides, ONAC would then continue to seek foundation and individual donor support, as well as memberships, sponsorships, and other donations to offer more Children’s Savings Accounts and asset building grants in the state, in order to better meet the demand for our coalition services.
For more information about ONAC's endowment fund, please visit our website at http://oknativeassets.org and click “donate” at the top right of the page. On that page is a link to our endowment prospectus. All endowment fund donations are fully tax deductible, as no goods or services are provided in exchange.
Please consider making a donation to our endowment fundIf you would like to support ONAC’s work, we ask you to please consider making a donation to ONAC’s endowment campaign. To donate to ONAC’s endowment fund, either visit our website at http://oknativeassets.org and click “donate” at the top right of the page, or please send a check, made out to the Oklahoma Native Assets Coalition Inc., with “endowment fund” written on the memo line. You can mail the check to the following address:
Oklahoma Native Assets Coalition Inc.
Attn: Christy Finsel, Executive Director
9511 Horseshoe Road
Oklahoma City, OK 73162
If your organization is unable to donate to an endowment fund, please consider supporting ONAC through membership, sponsorship, or general donations.
The challenge ONAC faces is to build a robust endowment while meeting the need for services today. While donations towards an endowment will help our coalition to be sustainable into the future, if you wish to underwrite ONAC’s programs today, we also welcome such support. As part of our efforts to sustain and grow the coalition, ONAC welcomes donations, sponsorships, and memberships. For more information, please go to the donate page at www.oknativeassets.org or call Christy Finsel, ONAC Executive Director, at 405-401-7873.
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Thank you for your asset building efforts and support of ONAC!