COVID-19 and the Native nonprofit sector: We need to hear your voice

Greetings community partners,

I hope this message finds you healthy and safe! First Nations needs to hear your voice!

To ensure Native American nonprofits are not left out of COVID-19 relief and recovery efforts, First Nations Development Institute (First Nations) has launched the COVID-19 and Native American Nonprofit Sector Survey. Responses will provide a better understanding of the impact of COVID-19 on the Native nonprofit sector and help identify the areas of greatest support needed to advance Native-led change past the COVID-19 pandemic. Further, organizations that complete the survey will be entered into a drawing to win a $5,000 general operating grant. First Nations anticipates awarding 20 grants of $5,000 totaling $100,000.

First Nations encourages Native nonprofit leaders to complete the brief survey and have their voices heard about the COVID-19 pandemic and the effects on the Native nonprofit sector. 

The survey can be accessed here.

The recent health pandemic and the subsequent economic crisis has had a profound impact on rural and urban Native communities across the country. Survey results will be used to inform the Native nonprofit sector at-large, including funders and other decision makers, about how COVID-19 has affected Native nonprofits to date and what the ramifications of the pandemic will be over time.

A previous economic crisis, the 2008 recession, saw Native-led nonprofits hit with drastic decreases in funding across the U.S., requiring several years of dedicated funding to return to pre-recession levels. With this pandemic, research indicates that Indian Country stands to lose nearly $50 billion in economic activity from tribal governments, gaming and non-gaming tribal enterprises. 

Yet, there is still very little information about how the COVID-19 pandemic and economic crisis has already affected Native American nonprofits and their revenue, programs, services, staffing and much more. First Nations hopes the results of this survey will serve as one effort to educate the broader public about the impact on the health of the Native nonprofit sector right now, and what it already means for the road ahead.

The survey is open from June 3 to 26, 2020, and is expected to take 10 to 15 minutes to complete. 

All completed results will be used to compile a report for public dissemination. All individual survey responses will be confidential and no identifying organizational information will be released. All data will be presented in the aggregate form only. All completed survey responses will be entered into a drawing to win one of 20 general operating grants. 

Should you have any questions about the survey, please email

Thank you for your partnership, participation and overall work in service of Native communities!


First Nations Development Institute