Current Projects

Strengthening Native American Philanthropy

A key strategy toward Strengthening Tribal & Community Institutions is to invest in their long-term community and economic development. This involves a two-part approach: Improving and increasing the amount of funding that flows into Native communities through philanthropy, and enhancing Native communities’ ability to receive and leverage that funding into future opportunities for their own economic and cultural sustainability.

Increasing philanthropy

First Nations conducts and publishes research to shed light on the current state of funding to Native communities and how the philanthropic sector can better invest in Indian Country. Resource publications are highlighted below, and additional research reports, community perspectives, and funder perspectives are featured in First Nations’ Knowledge Center: Philanthropy in Indian Country.

First Nations’ also leads the Native American Fund for Health Equity to increase philanthropic investment in Native American organizations and tribes in Colorado that are promoting health equity on their own terms, including by perpetuating Native languages and cultural practices.

And, through the Indigenous Food Systems Community of Practice, First Nations convenes food systems funders to build skills and strategies for investing in Indigenous partners who are leading sustainable agriculture and food systems work in Indian Country.

Building capacity of Native communities

To amplify Native voices and advocate for greater equity and inclusion within the philanthropic sector, First Nations provides resources to Native communities to build their fundraising capacity and to philanthropic funders to raise awareness of investment opportunities.

First Nations leads the Native Fundraisers Community of Practice, an ongoing project designed to help leaders of  Native nonprofits and tribal government programs improve the quality and quantity of philanthropic funding solicitations.

We also help build the skills and capacities of professionals in Native-led organizations and nonprofits through multiple Grantseeker Resources, including recorded webinars.

Tackling Underinvestment in Native Communities

In this article by Inside Philanthropy, First Nations' Vice President of Grantmaking, Development, and Communications Raymond Foxworth discusses First Nations' work with the Colorado Health Foundation to launch the Native American Fund for Health Equity, which will provide support to Native nations and Native-led organizations working to advance health equity in Colorado.

Download the article here
Access "How a Colorado Health Foundation is Tackling Underinvestment in Native Communities" from Inside Philanthropy