Current Projects

Native Fundraisers Community of Practice

At the back end of every organization is the development component — the internal system of fundraising, donor engagement, and donor stewardship that is imperative for successful operations and sustainability. But for many Native-led organizations, leaders and staff are in the weeds of programming and are not ideally positioned to carve out time to dedicate to fundraising. At the same time, many funders of these organizations support only programs and services and not necessarily the technical assistance or professional development needed to build their fundraising capacity.

To address this issue, First Nations launched the Native Fundraisers Community of Practice (NFCOP) in 2019,  specifically based on the belief that change can only occur when Native people, Native-controlled nonprofit organizations, and tribal nations have the capacity to generate financial assets and implement solutions resulting in more equitable and impactful funding to ensure the economic, spiritual, and cultural well-being of Native communities, families, and children.

 AJ Garcia, NFCOP Program Associate, June 2023 Indian Giver

The project falls under First Nations’ larger project, Building a Sustainable Future for Native American Organizations, which was funded with generous support from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians, and the Harold Simmons foundation.

In 2021, support was provided by W.K. Kellogg Foundation, Margaret A. Cargill Philanthropies, the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians, Target Foundation, American Express Foundation, and AMB Foundation.

In addition to providing technical assistance and training, the NFCoP curriculum addresses the fact that mainstream philanthropy’s giving trends to Native organizations and causes are rooted in inequities. The curriculum also addresses findings from First Nations’ 2018 report, Reclaiming Native Truth (RNT): A Project to Dispel America’s Myths and Misconceptions, in that it strives to position cohort members to effectively participate in and contribute to strengths-based messaging about the contributions and needs of Native communities and ultimately reshape perceptions of the general public and mainstream philanthropy for positive narrative change.

The NFCoP operates from and elevates a set of core values:
Creativity • Innovation • Knowledge sharing • Humor • Relationships • Storytelling

In 2021, the NFCoP graduated two cohorts comprising 36 professionals from Native-led nonprofits and tribal programs, most of whom were current or former First Nations’ community partners from multiple First Nations’ programs.

NFCoP Cohort 1 Participants

  • Aretta Begay, Navajo Nation, Diné Bé’Iiná, Inc
  • Thedra Bird Rattler, Blackfeet Tribe, Nutritionist
  • Joseph Claunch, Puyallup Tribe, Zuni Youth Enrichment Project
  • Christopher Coburn, Muscogee Creek, Mvskoke Loan Fund
  • Alicia Gourd-Mackin, Spirit Lake Nation/Dakota, Sitting Bull College
  • Caitlin Gourneau Gray, Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, The Keya Foundation
  • Lea Hennessy, Native Hawaiian and Farmer
  • Alexandra Hoyungowa, Hopi Tribe, Hopi Education Endowment Fund
  • Helena Marie Jacobs, Koyukon Athabascan, Owner of a Consulting Business
  • Dylan Jubera, Lower Sioux Indian Community, Dakota Wicohan
  • Donna Humetewa Kaye, Hopi Tribe, Hopitutuqaiki
  • Cyndee McLeod, Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians, Prevent Child Abuse North Dakota
  • Bianca Mitchell, Pueblo of Acoma, Indian Pueblo Cultural Center
  • Chastity Olemaun, Iñupiaq, Arctic Slope Community Foundation
  • Will Seeley, Blackfeet Nation, Blackfeet Nation’s Agriculture Resource Management Planning (ARMP) Team
  • Sharon Thompson, Arctic Slope Foundation, Native Village of Barrow Inupiat Traditional Government

NFCoP Cohort 2 Participants

  • Jaz Beebe, Native Hawaiian, Malama Honua Charter School
  • Roberta Eaglehorse-Ortiz, Oglala Lakota Yomba Shoshone, Wombyn’s Wellness Garden, LLC. Read more about Roberta’s work in our Impact Story.
  • Dalene Coriz, Santo Domingo Pueblo, Leadership Institute, Santa Fe Indian School
  • DeLesslin “Roo” George-Warren, Catawba Indian Nation, Catawba Indian Nation
  • Nikyle Begay, Navajo Nation, Diné be’iiná
  • Curtis Chavez, Cochiti Pueblo, Keres Learning Center Montessori
  • Leslie “Josie” Cliff, Fort Belknap, Nakoda Aaniiih Economic Development Corporation
  • Jerome Garcia, Cochiti Pueblo, Keres Learning Center Montessori
  • Steven Holley, Dena’ina, The Many People, Alaska Village Initiatives & Alaska Carbon Exchange
  • Justin Hongeva, Hopi Tribe, Hopi Education Endowment Fund
  • Korissa Howes, Fond du Lac Band of Ojibwe Descendant, Bdote Learning Center
  • Jonella Larson White, Ququngaq, Native Village of Savoonga, Alaska Venture Fund, Chorus Foundation
  • Tahlia Natachu, Zuni Pueblo, Zuni Youth Enrichment Program (ZYEP)
  • Isaiah Thompson, San Pasqual Band of Mission Indians, Inter Tribal Sports, Inc.
  • Jiles Turning Heart, Cheyenne River Sioux, Yuchi Language Program
  • Tracy Williams, Oneida Nation, Oneida Nation of Wisconsin

NFCoP Cohort 3 Participants

  • Jen Schlaich, Bishop Paiute Tribe, Native American Food Sovereignty Alliance
  • Carolyn Smith, Ph.D., Karuk Tribe, Da’luk Youth Program, Northern California Indian Development Council
  • Ivan Sorbel, Oglala Lakota, Pine Ridge Area Chamber of Commerce
  • Kristina Stanley, Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior, I-Collective
  • Ephraim Anderson, Navajo Nation, Diné be’iiná
  • Robyn Jackson, Navajo Nation, Diné C.A.R.E.
  • Kinsinta Joseph, Hupa, Baskets Back Home
  • Lori Joshweseoma, Hopi Tribe, Hopitutuqaiki
  • Wendi Lewis, Hopi Tribe, Hopi Relief
  • Natalie Stites Means, Cheyenne River Lakota, HeSapa Voters Initiative; Meals for Relatives
  • Carina Miller, Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs-Wasco, Warm Springs Community Action Team
  • Meagen Baldy, Hupa | Yurok, Klamath Trinity Resource Conservation District
  • Sunshine Carlow, Standing Rock Sioux Tribe (enrolled), Oglala Sioux Tribe, Lakȟól’iyapi Wahóȟpi Lakota Language Nest/Wičhákini Owáyawa School, Sitting Bull College
  • Jessica Powless, Oneida Nation of Wisconsin, Oneida Language Department
  • Jessica Quintana, Oneida Nation of Wisconsin Descendant, Woodland Indian Art, Inc.
  • Kyndall Noah, Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma,  Owens Valley Indian Water Commission
  • Inez Sanchez-Pojas, La Jolla Band of Luiseño Indians, La Jolla Band of Luiseño Indians
  • Andrea Tulee, Yakama Nation
  • Miakah Nix Haida, enrolled at Central Council of Tlingit & Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska, Keex’ Kwaan Community Forest Partnership Coordinator and Community Liaison Ecotrust

NFCoP Cohort 4 Participants

  • Amanda Castro, Director of the Malki Museum
  • Kekai Robinson, Kanaka Maoli Native Hawaiian, Ke Kula ʻo Piʻilani 
  • Waylon Cook, Mohawk Nation, Friends of the Akwesasne Freedom School, 
  • Jaike Spotted Wolf, MHA Nation, Grassroots Organizer 
  • Theresa Deal, Atux̂, Atux Forever: Restoring Attua 
  • Brooke Simon, Anishinaabe from Chippewas of the Thames First Nation, Midwest Indigenous Immersion Network 
  • Jessica Sargent, Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe, Friends of the Akwesasne Freedom School
  • Tara Wolfe, Zuni Pueblo and Eastern Band of Cherokee, Zuni Youth Enrichment Project 
  • Warlance Chee, Diné, Saad K’idilyé 
  • Mattea Grant, Aaniiih of the Ft. Belknap Indian Reservation, Nakoda Aaniiih Economic Development Corporation 
  • Nicole Burciaga, Oglala Lakota, Stronghold Society 
  • Deb Stacona, Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs, Tananawit
  • Sara Dowty, Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs, Warm Springs Community Action Team 

NFCoP Cohort 5 Participants

  • Aaron Saubel, Los Coyotes Band of Cahuilla and Cupeno, Malki Museum, Inc.
  • Alayna Eagle Shield, Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, Mni Wichoni Health Circle
  • Antoinette Ascencio, Sherwood Valley Band of Pomo Indians, Tribal Youth Program
  • Brittny Seowtewa, Zuni Pueblo, Zuni Youth Enrichment Project
  • Curtis Quam, Pueblo of Zuni, A:shiwi A:wan Museum and Heritage Center
  • Danielle Antelope, Blackfeet and Eastern Shoshone, Food Access and Sustainability Team (FAST) Blackfeet
  • Fawn Youngbear-Tibbets, White Earth Band of Minnesota Chippewa, Wicoie Nandagikendan
  • Justin Cree, Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe, Akwesasne Cultural Center
  • Melinda O’Daniel, Apache and Navajo, Seeds of Harmony, Inc.
  • Natalie Kirk, Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs, Tananawit/Warm Springs Community Action Team
  • Patrick Yawakie, Zuni Pueblo Tribe, Food Sovereignty Director for Peoples Food Sovereignty Program
  • Stevie Werk, Aaniiih and Nakoda, Life’s Language Lodge
  • Tasha Peltier, Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, Mni Wichoni Health Circle
  • Tasiyagnunpa Barondeau, Oglala and Itzapico Lakota from the Oceti Sakowin Oyate, Oceti Sakowin Writers Society

Hear several NFCoP members share their firsthand experience about how the grant writing program made a personal and professional impact. Click here.

Connecting the Birth World to the Earth World, March 2021

Roberta Eaglehorse-Ortiz is finding support for growth through First Nations’ Native Fundraisers Community of Practice.