Oakland, Calif. – Today, Native Voices Rising (NVR) announced $3.5 million in grants to 112 Indigenous and Native-led advocacy and organizing groups. Within these grant awards, NVR awarded six multi-year awards to organizations that are deeply aligned with NVR’s theory of change. This year’s grant awardees work on an array of critical issues, including environmental, climate, and water justice, food sovereignty, supporting women and two-spirit led Native activism, and language revitalization, to name a few.
Established in 2013, Native Voices Rising is a grantmaking collaborative between Native Americans in Philanthropy and Common Counsel Foundation. NVR has granted a total of $12.5 million in flexible support to Native-led grassroots and advocacy efforts that empower American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian communities.
Native Voices Rising seeks to remedy the historic and enduring underfunding of Native-led efforts – hovering in the range of 0.3-0.4% of all grantmaking – by facilitating a process for non-Native donors and institutions to learn from and build relationships with Native grassroots leaders and support Native-led organizing and advocacy.
“Not only are these Native-led organizations doing remarkable work in our communities, they were chosen and honored for their work by Native people. The participatory process of this work is a core component of how we’re helping Indigenize philanthropy.” – Erik Stegman (Carry the Kettle First Nation- Nakoda), CEO, Native Americans in Philanthropy
Native Voices Rising is one of the few participatory grantmaking initiatives in the country led by Native people. NVR places the decision-making directly in the hands of Native communities. Through a community-led process, applicant organizations are reviewed and considered within eight regional review committees comprised of Native community members and leaders.
“When we talk about righting power imbalance, how we do it matters. Native Voice Rising’s participatory grantmaking is one approach that ensures the Native communities are self-determining the way forward for their communities. Common Counsel Foundation is proud to be in partnership in this work, and continuing to shift power and resources to Native organizers.” Sangeeta Chowdhry, Executive Director, Common Counsel Foundation
Native efforts are at the heart of today’s social movements, and Native Voices Rising continues to build the foundation needed to effectively amplify Native voices and solutions today and in the future. Last year, NVR successfully surpassed a $10M campaign goal that laid the foundation for the next 10 years of supporting Native-led solutions. It is clear that Native Voices Rising will continue to be a proof of concept for how philanthropy can effectively support Native-led organizations. NVR has also stepped more fully into this by advancing its philanthropic advocacy efforts in support of Native-led efforts.
Earlier this year, Native Voices Rising released its 10 Year Impact Report, which provides an overview of NVR since its inception in 2013, including its impact and grantmaking numbers. The report also provides a set of 8 recommendations for how philanthropy can support Native power-building efforts, based on using a combination of both data points as well as direct quotes and perspectives from past NVR awardees.
In addition to grant dollars, Native Voices Rising offers a capacity building program, called Supportive Assistance, focused on strengthening organizational capacity and partnering grant partners with skilled Native consultants. Facilitated by Native practitioners, NVR grant partners are invited to share and dialogue on various topics, including organizational development, fundraising, communications, and financial management.
Native Voices Rising’s unique community-led and collaborative grantmaking approach engages funders and individual donors at all levels to directly invest in organizations led by Native people focusing on structural change. The process allows funders to support Native-led solutions and deepen community control within Native communities.
A complete list of organizations funded by Native Voices Rising can be found at NativeVoicesRising.org. Please review and learn about these outstanding and remarkable organizations.
Common Counsel Foundation has 35 years practicing progressive philanthropy, funding grassroots social movements and centering the leadership of communities that have historically been marginalized by intersecting systems of oppression. We partner with families and individual donors and are home to multi-funder collaborative initiatives, all with the goal to expand philanthropic resources for progressive social movements. In 2022, Common Counsel directed nearly $32 million in grants to community-led organizations, and welcomed new donors and family foundations to our CCF community. More information is available at www.commoncounsel.org.
Native Americans in Philanthropy (NAP) promotes equitable and effective philanthropy in Native communities. We have more than a 30-year presence in the field and work closely with our counterpart organizations advocating for Tribal communities. The cornerstone of our work is our relatives and our networks. We support several communities of stakeholders that work together to build knowledge, community, priorities, and power in the sector. These networks include Native professionals in philanthropy, elected Tribal leaders, Native youth leaders, Native philanthropic executives and board members, and Native nonprofit leaders.