About First Nations Development Institute
For 38 years, First Nations Development Institute (First Nations), a Native-led 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, has worked to strengthen American Indian economies to support healthy Native communities by investing in and creating innovative institutions and models that strengthen asset control and support economic development for American Indian people and their communities. First Nations began its national grantmaking program in 1993. Through mid-year 2018, First Nations has successfully managed 1,489 grants totaling more than $31.7 million to tribal and community institutions across Indian Country. For more information, visit www.firstnations.org.
First Nations recognizes that Native food systems are important assets to Native communities. As a result, First Nations has long supported Native communities as they fortify traditional food systems, seek to increase access to healthy and fresh foods, increase awareness of and involvement with where food comes from, and expand knowledge of the linkages between foods, Native cultures and/or contribute to tribal economic growth and development of entrepreneurially-related food ventures.
Letter of Intent Overview
First Nations is now accepting letters of intent under its Native Agriculture and Food Systems Initiative (NAFSI). First Nations expects to award 17 to 20 grants averaging $30,000 to $40,000 each to organizations in Native communities with the goal of growing and/or expanding direct services to and/or programs that serve or directly collaborate with Native American farmers and ranchers. In sum, the goal of these grants is to provide much-needed grant assistance to grow or expand programmatic and other services to organizations in Native communities that serve Native farmers and ranchers.
Grant support is made possible through the Native American Agriculture Fast-Track Fund (NAAFTF). The Keepseagle settlement was the result of a class-action lawsuit that sought to hold the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) accountable for discrimination against Native American farmers and ranchers in USDA loan servicing, processing, outreach and technical assistance. As part of the settlement process, NAAFTF awarded funds to a select number of organizations to support agricultural, business assistance or advocacy services to Native Americans. For more information on the Keepseagle Settlement, please visit the following website: http://www.indianfarmclass.com. With support from NAAFTF, First Nations will be awarding grants totaling $647,000.
The grant period for this funding opportunity will commence March 1, 2019, and end February 28, 2020.
Grant Award Ceilings
Total requests for project budgets within this funding opportunity should not exceed $40,000.
Grant Submission Deadlines
The proposal-selection process is a two-phase competitive process. All applicants must complete the First Nations online grant application, including submission of necessary attachments.
- Phase I: Letter of intent applications (Phase I) are due Friday, October 5, 2018, no later than 5 p.m. Mountain Time. First Nations plans to invite 40 to 50 applicants to submit a Phase II full proposal. Notification and invitations to submit a full proposal will be issued on or before November 9, 2018.
- Phase II: Full proposals will be due Friday, December 14, 2018, no later than 5 p.m. Mountain Time.
First Nations recognizes that some of our most rural and remote applicants may have limited access to high-speed internet. Any exceptions to use of the online system must be requested at least two weeks in advance of the application deadline by submitting an email request to email@example.com. Please include your name, organization, contact information and the name of the funding opportunity for which you are applying (e.g. “Keepseagle Fast-Track Grants”). If you do not have access to email you can call our office at (303) 774-7836 and ask to speak with a member of the Grantmaking Department. Download instructions for First Nations’ Online Application System here. Access First Nations’ Online Application system here.
Unfortunately, First Nations cannot make any emergency exceptions to application deadlines. Partial applications, incomplete applications due to user error, or faxed/emailed/mailed applications will not be considered unless they have received prior approval.
Please allow yourself enough time to submit a complete application before the deadline, as the system will shut down automatically at 5 p.m. Mountain Time on October 5, 2018, and no data may be entered thereafter. We do not accept partial, faxed, emailed or mailed applications. Applications that are not received on time due to user error will not be considered.
To download a PDF version of this request for Letters of Intent, please click here.