Request for Proposals - NAFSI AARP

NAFSI Applications were due  March 14, 2014 at 5:00 PM MDT.  All applicants will be notified by email on or before April 2, 2014. 

First Nations Development Institute (First Nations) is now accepting proposals for its Native American Food Security grant project under its Native Agriculture and Food Systems Initiative (NAFSI). The purpose of the Native American Food Security project is to support Native organizations working to eliminate food insecurity among tribal seniors and elders in rural and/or reservation-based Native American communities.

With the generous support of the AARP Foundation, the Native American Food Security project will assist organizations in ensuring adequate food supplies for the senior population of their communities, with a particular focus on locally-grown, healthy foods, and assist in the development or expansion of locally-controlled and locally-based food systems that provide healthy foods to senior community members while also supporting local food producers and the local economy.

Under this project, First Nations will award four to five grants, ranging from $20,000 to $25,000 each, to support projects working to eliminate food insecurity among tribal elders. Examples of projects may include, but are not limited to, community gardens, senior nutrition, food banks and/or food pantries, or other projects related to expanding Native community control of food systems. Moreover, projects can focus on increasing food access to tribal elders, food affordability, ensuring sufficient food quality and adequacy, and/or food appropriateness. Projects that also incorporate decreasing senior isolation and/or intergenerational learning will be given additional consideration.

All applicants must fully complete the First Nations ONLINE Grant Application, including the submission of all necessary attachments. The following attachments must be uploaded during the submission process:

  • Attachment A: An estimated budget for the proposed project that breaks down costs and is reasonable and related to grant expenditures. (view sample)
  • Attachment B: A detailed project timeline that documents important project goals, milestones and benchmarks. (view sample)
  • Attachment C: A copy of the organization’s or fiscal sponsor’s IRS Determination Letter.
  • Attachment D: List of Board of Directors, with tribal affiliation (if applicable), and Key Staff.
  • Attachment E: A completed W-9 for the organization or parent organization/fiscal sponsor. (download form)

Proposals are due March 14, 2014, at 5:00 p.m. (MDT). Please allow yourself enough time to submit a complete application. Partial, faxed, emailed, mailed or other applications that are not received on time due to user error will not be considered.

Selected organizations must send two team members to a technical assistance and training event to be hosted by First Nations. To that end, each applicant must set aside a minimum of $2,000 of its proposed requested funds for attendance at this mandatory technical assistance and training event. These funds will be used for travel, lodging and other travel-related expenses for attendance at First Nations’ technical assistance and training event. This amount must be included in the applicants’ budget with the total amount requested not to exceed $25,000.

Beyond financial assistance to selected organizations, First Nations will also provide on-site technical assistance to selected grant recipients. Technical assistance will largely focus on organizational capacity-building to ensure that selected grantees can continue to administer, grow and develop their programs to meet the needs of their constituents.

Each grantee will also be required to participate in an evaluation designed to highlight new approaches to eliminating food insecurity among Native elders in Native communities and best practices to address Native elders' food access, affordability, adequacy and appropriateness.

The applicant organization’s target population must be primarily Native elders. Urban groups that work solely with off-reservation populations are not likely to receive funding.

Organizations eligible to apply include:

  • Native American tribes
  • Native-controlled 501(c)(3) organizations
  • Tribal §7871 organizations
  • Community organizations without 501(c)(3) status with an appropriate fiscal sponsor
  • Tribal colleges or tribal schools with programs that meet the spirit of this grant initiative

Funding Priorities, Decisions and Award Notification
Priority will be given to projects that focus on eliminating food insecurity among Native elders in Native communities. Eliminating food insecurity may include: ensuring adequate food supplies for the senior populations in Native communities; food affordability; ensuring sufficient food quality; adequacy; and/or food appropriateness. These areas of food security should also have a focus on 1) locally-grown, healthy foods or 2) developing or expanding locally-controlled and locally-based food systems that provide healthy foods to senior community members, while also supporting local food producers and the local economy. Funded proposals will explicitly make the connection between program goals, design and outcomes and eliminating food insecurity among the senior population in their Native community. Finally, First Nations will give preference to programs that have broader implications for replication in other Native communities.

All applicants will be notified on or before April 2, 2014. First Nations will review completed applications submitted by eligible entities by the noted deadline. First Nations may request additional information from applicants and conduct due diligence when deemed necessary.

Grant Period
The 2014 grant period will commence April 1, 2014, and end March 31, 2015.

Optional Conference Calls for Interested Applicants
First Nations staff will host two conference calls for interested applicants. Conference calls are an opportunity for applicants to ask questions about the application, proposal criteria or other proposal-related questions before the application deadline. Participation is NOT mandatory; however applicants are encouraged to participate. Applicants can participate in one or both calls.

  • The first call will be held on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 11 a.m. MST.
  • The second call will be held on Thursday, February 27, 2014 at 2 p.m. MST.

The call in number for both calls is: 1-877-427-7602 (toll-free). The Conference Code is 7315891721.

Please email Raymond Foxworth, Senior Program Officer, at with any questions.

Additional Resources

  • Download the printable RFP
  • Download instructions on using First Nations' Online Grant Application System
Start or Resume Application

To begin a new application:

To access a saved or submitted applicaiton:

The deadline for applications is March 14, 2014 at 5:00 PM MDT. Note: The online system automatically closes at 5 pm Mountain Time and applications not completely submitted by that time will be rejected by the system, please allow plenty of time for submitting online. Proposals that are incomplete or received after the deadline will not be considered. No exceptions will be permitted.

For questions email Raymond Foxworth, Policy and Research Program Officer, at