RFP

Native Youth and Culture Fund Grant Opportunity 2020

Native Youth and Culture Fund Grant Opportunity 2020

Application Deadline:

Thursday, March 12, 2020, 5 p.m. Mountain Time

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General Information

For more than 39 years, First Nations Development Institute (First Nations), a Native American-led 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, has worked to strengthen American Indian economies to support healthy Native communities by investing in and creating innovative institutions and models that strengthen asset control and support economic development for American Indian people and their communities. First Nations began its national grantmaking program in 1993. Through mid-year 2019, First Nations has successfully managed 1,648 grants totaling more than $35 million to Native American projects and organizations across the Indian Country. For more information, visit www.firstnations.org.

First Nations began investing in Native youth by launching the Native Youth and Culture Fund (NYCF) in 2002 to partner with tribes, Native nonprofit organizations and Native community groups working in rural and reservation-based communities and seeking ways to preserve, strengthen and/or renew Native cultures and traditions among youth.

First Nations believes that Native youth represent the future of Native communities and that their health and well-being determine the future health and well-being of a community overall. By investing in youth and giving them a sense of place and tradition in the community, a community ensures that it will have bright and capable future leaders.

We are pleased to announce this 2020 Request for Proposals (RFP) for projects that focus on youth and support the perpetuation of traditional ecological knowledge, spirituality and the intergenerational transfer of knowledge systems, resulting in compassion, respect, dignity, reverence for nature, and care for each other and the Earth. Specifically, we are seeking projects that focus on one or more of these four priority areas:

  • Preserving, strengthening or renewing cultural and/or spiritual practices, beliefs and values.
  • Engaging both youth and elders in activities that demonstrate methods for documenting traditional ecological knowledge systems, practices and/or beliefs.
  • Increasing youth leadership and their capacity to lead through integrated educational or mentoring programs.
  • Increasing access to and sharing of cultural customs and beliefs through the use of appropriate technologies (traditional and/or modern), as a means of reviving or preserving tribal language, arts, history or other culturally relevant topics.

First Nations expects to award approximately 20 grants of between $5,000 and $19,500 for projects of no longer than one year in length. We may consider projects that have previously received funding through NYCF and are seeking additional support to expand the original project, with a view toward sustainability. Only in very exceptional cases will we consider projects that do not fit these guidelines.

The grant period for this funding opportunity will commence June 1, 2020, and end May 31, 2021.

Total requests for project budgets within this funding opportunity should not exceed $19,500.

Eligibility

All entities that apply must be located in the United States or U.S. Territories and must be Native-controlled nonprofit organizations or Native-controlled community organizations. First Nations considers “Native-controlled” to mean that the majority (more than 50%) of the organization’s Board of Directors is tribally affiliated.

Native community organizations may submit applications through a sponsoring organization if the sponsor has 501(c)(3) status, and can provide written authorization confirming its willingness to act as the fiscal sponsor. Urban groups that serve only off-reservation tribal members are unlikely to be funded, as this program is primarily for rural and reservation-based communities.

Examples of eligible applicants include, but are not limited to:

  • Federal- and State-Recognized Tribal Governments.
  • Native-Controlled 501(c)(3) Nonprofits.
  • Native-Controlled Community Organizations with fiscal sponsorship.
  • Native § 7871 Organizations.

Grants under this project will not be made to public schools.

Application

The proposal-selection process is a two-stage competitive process.

All applicants must complete the First Nations online grant application, including submission of necessary attachments.

Stage I proposals are due no later than Thursday, March 12, 2020, at 5:00 p.m. Mountain Time.

Those proposals that score the highest in Stage I will be invited to submit a Stage II proposal.

Stage II proposals will be due Wednesday, May 6, 2020, at 5:00 p.m. Mountain Time.

First Nations recognizes that some of our most rural and remote applicants may have limited access to high-speed Internet. Any exceptions to use of the online system must be made at least two weeks in advance of the application deadline by submitting an email request to grantmaking@firstnations.org. Please include your name, organization, contact information, and the name of the RFP for which you are applying. If you do not have access to email you can call our office at (303) 774-7836 and ask to speak with a member of the Grantmaking Department.

Download instructions for First Nations’ Online Application System here. Access First Nations’ Online Application system here.

Stage I Proposal Requirements: DUE MARCH 12, 2020, by 5 p.m. MT

  • A brief history of the organization, its mission and primary programmatic focus.
  • A concise description of the project and who it will serve.
  • At least three specific and measurable objectives to be accomplished during the project year.
  • A summary of project activities, how they will be implemented, and description of how these activities will perpetuate traditional ecological knowledge, spirituality and the intergenerational transfer of knowledge systems.
  • A brief estimated budget for the proposed project.

The following required attachments must be uploaded during the Stage I online submission process:

  • Tax-Status Documentation. A copy of the organization or fiscal sponsor’s IRS Determination Letter if the applicant is a 501(c)(3) organization or a community organization using a fiscal sponsor. Tribal programs and governments may submit proof that they are a federal- or state-recognized tribe. This document should be uploaded as a PDF file.
  • Description of Board of Directors. Native-controlled nonprofits must submit a list of their Board of Directors, with tribal affiliation of each director clearly listed next to each name where applicable. Community organizations with fiscal sponsors should submit a list of their leadership team, with tribal affiliation of each team member where applicable. Tribal programs and governments should submit a list of their Tribal Council in lieu of a Board of Directors. This document should be uploaded as a PDF file.
  • Description of Key Leadership Staff. Native-controlled nonprofits and community organizations with fiscal sponsors should submit a list of key staff who will be responsible for overseeing and implementing the proposed project. Tribal programs and governments should submit a list of key staff responsible for overseeing and implementing the proposed project. This document should be uploaded as a PDF file.

If you require a PDF writer, there are many free options available including Cute PDF Writer and BullZip.  Or you may do a web search to find a writer that fits your needs.

Stage I Applicants will be notified on or before Friday, April 17, 2020, if selected to submit a Stage II application.

Important Note:

Please allow yourself enough time to submit a complete application before the deadline, as the system will shut down automatically at 5:00 p.m. Mountain Time on Thursday, March 12, 2020, and no data may be entered thereafter. Partial, faxed, emailed or mailed applications that are not received on time due to user error will not be considered.

Stage II Proposal Requirements: DUE May 6, 2020, by 5 p.m. MT

Programs that are invited to submit a Stage II Proposal will be asked to submit the following information:

  • A description of the project purpose, descriptions of community and youth involvement, and an explanation of who will be served.
  • Full narrative proposal that describes how goals and objectives will be achieved and how the project activities will benefit tribal
  • Detailed evaluation plan for your project, including identification of data to be collected, method of data collection, who will collect the data, and how the data and any analysis will be utilized to improve or guide the project.

The following required attachments must be uploaded during the Stage II online submission process:

  • Budget (Download Required Budget Form). An estimated budget for the proposed project with a detailed cost breakdown that is reasonable and directly related to proposed grant activities and includes a travel line item of at least $500 for one team member from each selected grantee organization to attend to attend the 2020 L.E.A.D. Institute, a national technical assistance, training and networking event hosted by First Nations to be held in Fall 2020 (exact date and place TBD). This form must be uploaded as an Excel file. Please note that First Nations will pay for grantee lodging expenses so this cost should not be included in the travel allocation line item. This form must be uploaded as an Excel file.
  • Timeline (Download Required Timeline Form). A detailed project timeline that documents important project activities for each identified objective. Include staff who will be responsible for the implementation of the project activities and when they will be completed. The form provided is in Excel format and it must be uploaded as an Excel file or PDF file.

Stage II Applicants will be notified of award decisions on or before Friday, May 29, 2020.

Selection Criteria

First Nations seeks projects that:

  • Are solid matches between the project purpose and one or more of the NYCF priorities.
  • Demonstrate innovative and comprehensive activities.
  • Have a clear focus on perpetuating traditional ecological knowledge, spirituality and the intergenerational transfer of knowledge systems, resulting in compassion, respect, dignity reverence for nature, and care for each other and the Earth.
  • Demonstrate the ability, and/or experience necessary to accomplish the project.
  • Have a clear plan of action, specific goals and objectives, and a process to periodically assess, document and disseminate progress and lessons learned.
  • Are feasible, cost-effective and sustainable.
  • Form partnerships and/or engage broad community participation and support.
  • Have potential for application and replication in other Native communities.

To see what types of projects previous NYCF recipients have conducted, please visit First Nations’ website at https://www.firstnations.org/projects/native-youth-and-culture-fund/.

Grant Requirements

Post-Award Grantee Orientation Webinar

Selected grantees must participate in a mandatory Grantee Orientation Webinar, which will be held in early June. First Nations will email selected grantees with registration information for this webinar on or after June 1, 2020. During this webinar, First Nations will provide grantees with an overview of grant requirements and deadlines.

Organizational Technical Assistance and Travel Requirements

Selected organizations must send one team member to attend the 2020 L.E.A.D. Institute, a national technical assistance, training and networking event hosted by First Nations to be held in Fall 2020 (exact date and place TBD). Each applicant must set aside a minimum of $500 of their proposed requested funding for travel and attendance at this event (lodging costs will be provided by First Nations), and this amount must be included in all applicant budgets and within the specified grant ceiling of $19,500.

Reporting & Evaluation

Reporting: Grantees will be required to submit one progress report midway through the grant period and one final report one month after the end of the grant period. To complete these reports, grantees will be expected to report on the progress of their approved project objectives and budget as well as gather data about the Native youth served by their organizations and programs. First Nations will provide grantees with specific

instructions for submitting these reports to First Nations at the beginning of the grant period and before each report is due. The reports will enable First Nations to:

  1. Further understand programs and projects serving the Native youth.
  2. Communicate grantee stories and promising models, including accomplishments, challenges, impact and programming practices.
  3. Measure the impact of funding support on grantee programs.
Help

First Nations will host one optional Question & Answer (Q&A) webinar for interested applicants prior to the Stage I application deadline. The Q&A webinar will provide an opportunity for applicants to ask general questions about the Native Youth and Culture Fund, the grant application, selection criteria, guidelines or other related questions. Participation in the webinar is NOT mandatory, but applicants are strongly encouraged to register and attend.

The Stage 1 Application Q&A Session will be held on:

If you have questions about eligibility for this funding opportunity, please consider registering for and participating in the upcoming Application Q&A Webinar that will be offered by First Nations (see the Help section for more information). In addition, our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document provides further insight regarding general applicant eligibility.

Should you have any additional questions about the RFP or this specific funding opportunity, please contact Abi Whiteing by email at awhiteing@firstnations.org.

First Nations has compiled a number of free resources related to the grantwriting process. Whether you are a small organization or program new to grants or one with extensive experience, these resources may help with development of your application to First Nations. Please click here to access First Nations’ free grantseeker resources.