Our Story

OTIS will help you tell your Native CDFI’s story to funders, investors, partner organizations, the community, and internally to staff and board.

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About OTIS

OTIS is an impact tracking system built on an Outcome Tracker by VistaShare platform, designed specifically for Native CDFIs. As a fully customizable solution, it can help you track your Native CDFI’s unique impact and assist with grant writing, reporting, capital investment campaigns, and much more.

Native CDFIs will collect and manage their data in their organizational OTIS database. This data can be pulled out of the system into community impact reports. Since OTIS members collect many of the same impact metrics, these organizational-level reports can be collectively analyzed (in aggregate) to provide one Native CDFI industry-level report.

History

OTIS started in 2015 with a group of five Native CDFIs that were selected to participate in an Administration for Native Americans (ANA) grant with Oweesta. As part of providing specialized technical assistance to these groups, Oweesta surveyed the participating sites to learn more about their needs. Many of these groups requested back-office support in impact tracking. Oweesta, having become acquainted with the services of Sweet Grass in 2015, reached out to develop a partnership with them to create an impact tracking system in early 2016. Throughout the rest of 2016, Oweesta and Sweet Grass staff met regularly to create drafts of the OTIS forms and processes.

As part of the OTIS process two committees were developed: an Executive Committee and a System Development Committee. The Executive Committee consisted of members who are leaders of the Native CDFI industry with unique skills, invaluable to the development of OTIS. The Executive Committee’s principal functions included industry-wide metrics and tracking, technical assistance, roll-out, and evaluation as it related to OTIS. The Systems Development Committee focused on form review, site presentation on best practices, and feedback around issues presented by the Executive Committee. This group provided an additional touch of local stakeholder knowledge to the project.

After finalizing OTIS, a group of six Native CDFIs were added to OTIS as pilot sites. These sites were selected based on their solid foundation, the respect they have from their community, and diversity in type of Native CDFI as determined by location and target market. After some fine-tuning of OTIS, in the summer of 2017, a second cohort of 9 sites were added to OTIS.

Now OTIS is a fully functioning impact tracking system built by and for Native CDFIs!

About the Partners

Provides opportunities for Native people to develop financial 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.

Provides appropriate custom services that promote and support asset-based development, research initiatives, and impact measurement in economically burdened communities. We strive to produce work that is collaborative, accurate, and useful.

VistaShare provides technology products and services to strengthen non-profit organizations that serve people and communities. Our mission is to provide information systems that enable our customers to serve their constituents and communities more efficiently and effectively.

Outcome Tracker provides an online platform for nonprofits to securely manage client data, report to funders, and engage with clients via their computer or phone.

Current OTIS Members