Strengthening Native American Communities & Economies
First Nations Development Institute provides publications that address strengthening Native American institutions and philanthropy.
First Nations examined foundation investments in Native communities, documenting declines in investments by large foundations and dismal investments by community foundations. From this research, First Nations also learned that most Native-serving nonprofit organizations were not evaluated or ranked by major charity watchdog organizations. Charity watchdog agencies are important disseminators of information on nonprofit organizations to various donors. Thus, the lack of presence of Native-serving nonprofits potentially perpetuates information gaps between community organizations doing important work to grow strong and healthy Native communities and various potential donors. This brief provides possible reasons for lack of inclusion of Native-serving organizations on charity watchdog sites and steps that can be taken to increase their visibility on some charity watchdog sites and beyond.
Why does philanthropy continue to only minimally support Native American organizations and causes? That's the crux of the issue that has plagued Native American nonprofits and causes for some time. Despite the high need in Native communities and the proven ability of Native-led organizations to help address those needs, mainstream philanthropy has shied away from adequately funding these initiatives. In fact, recent research has documented declining levels of giving by large foundations, as well as minuscule levels of giving by community foundations, to Native American organizations and causes. This report was prepared by First Nations’ partner, Frontline Solutions, to shed light on this essential question.
This is the EXECUTIVE SUMMARY of the larger "Growing Inequity" report. In that report, First Nations Development Institute examines the state of large foundation giving to Native American organizations and causes from 2006 to 2014. This study finds, among other things, that from 2006 to 2014, total grant dollars awarded to Native American organizations and causes declined by 29%, a $35 million drop in funding.
In this report, First Nations Development Institute examines the state of large foundation giving to Native American organizations and causes from 2006 to 2014. This study finds, among other things, that from 2006 to 2014, total grant dollars awarded to Native American organizations and causes declined by 29%, a $35 million drop in funding.
This report examines giving by community foundations to Native American organizations and causes. In all, the report highlights that only 15/100ths of one percent of community foundation funding goes to Native American organizations and causes annually.
This 2000 guide from First Nations Development Institute and the Center for the Study of Philanthropy offers an overview of the philanthropic traditions of Native American communities, with a particular emphasis on the way in which Native communities use philanthropy to share their assets and engage in larger civic affairs. Designed both for Native and non-Native Americans, this volume identifies education as an important mobilizing tool and focuses on the spiritual values, cultural norms, family activities, and personal experiences associated with Native practices of generosity. It also includes examples of specific giving vehicles appropriate for both individual and tribal gifts, from in-kind contributions to incorporated funds and endowment building.
In addition to providing education, Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCUs) also contribute to a community’s economic development. TCUs have direct economic impacts through employment and any multiplier effect, and indirect impacts including helping to create an educated workforce, supporting small business development through specialized programs, and creating a market for goods and services in the local community. Our research found that TCUs in an eight-state region average $217,517,072 in revenue and $285,431,536 in assets.
Even though 72% of all American Indians/Alaska Natives (AI/AN), and 78% of all AI/AN children live off of reservations, it can be argued that Native populations residing in urban areas are among the most hidden in the United States. This invisibility has created and perpetuates extreme disparities across all the major sectors of life and community for tribal citizens living in cities, including children and family services, housing and homelessness, economic development and employment, and health and wellness. This report contains recommendations from several leaders of national urban Indian organizations who identified the cultural strengths, challenges, and emerging new directions to create greater opportunities in meeting the needs of rising urban AI/AN populations.
This report examines gender and leadership within the Native American nonprofit sector. Overall, it finds that the leadership ranks of Native American nonprofits look very different from the national or mainstream nonprofit sector, with Native American nonprofits largely headed by women. This report is one of few that exist that attempts to examine leadership trends within a specific nonprofit subsector, namely looking at gendered leadership within mostly rural and remote reservation-based nonprofits that primarily serve Native American populations.
This report explores the history of Native and non-Native-led nonprofits in Indian Country and shares findings from interviews with key leaders in the Native nonprofit sector. The report also draws upon a unique dataset to empirically assess the types of nonprofits serving Indian Country as well as some characteristics of Native-led nonprofits.
This report provides information on 63 Native American-led grant making organizations in North America. Forty-one of these are tribally-affiliated grant making foundations and funds. The goal of the report is to accurately tell the giving stories of these programs and share information about the generosity and philanthropy represented by these organizations.
This report analyzes data from the five most recent years (2010-2014) of its grantmaking activities under its Native Youth and Culture Fund (NYCF). Since the NYCF began in 2002, First Nations has received 999 grant requests totaling more than $18.4 million from Native communities and granted more than $5 million to 305 Native youth and culture projects.
This report draws on data from more than 93 leadership programs, organizations and initiatives, to provide a summary of the current state of leadership programs in Native communities. Based on these findings, this paper offers recommendations for proceeding with the development of leadership programs in American Indian communities.
The 2006 Power of Giving Conference built on the groundwork of the 2005 Strategic Philanthropy conference. This report documents the actions taken to address three of the priority areas defined as part of the 2005 conference.
This report is the result of a convening of Native philanthropic leaders and identifies ways to support the Native philanthropic sector.
This paper was the first comprehensive study of nonprofit organizations that provide services to and for Native peoples.
The Great Lakes Wisdom of the Giveaway Conference was to organized to bring together tribes and foundations to share their experience, knowledge, and networks, the three-day conference was attended by approximately 40 participants who represented a variety of tribal programs and foundations, non-tribal foundations and local, state and federal government offices.
The California Wisdom of the Giveaway Conference was organized to bring together tribes and foundations to share their experience, knowledge, and networks, the three-day conference was attended by approximately 60 participants who represented a variety of tribal programs and foundations, non-tribal foundations and local, state and federal government offices.
This publication provides general information regarding some of the issues involved with tribal philanthropic giving. It is presented with two components. The first component addresses tribes as the donor or grantmaker. The second component presents tribes as fundraisers or grant seekers.