Oakland, Calif. – Native Voices Rising (NVR), a collaborative partnership between Native Americans in Philanthropy (NAP) and Common Counsel Foundation (CCF), is pleased to announce the granting of $500,000 to 51 Native-led groups empowering American Indian, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian communities across the United States to advance Native-led, community-defined solutions both on and off the reservation. NVR has more than doubled the initial funds disbursed in 2013. By 2021, Native Voices Rising has a vision of disbursing $1M in grant awards to support Native-led groups. A full list of this year’s grant awards can be found at www.NativeVoicesRising.org.
Established in 2013, Native Voices Rising is an innovative, collaborative fund that supports Native-led grassroots organizing and advocacy efforts. It emphasizes Native wisdom and decision-making, and relies on Native community members to screen, review, score, and make grant recommendations, fostering more community-led grant making than is often the case in the philanthropic sector. NAP and CCF support the Native proposal reviewers with training and technical expertise to grow their skills in the craft of social justice grantmaking. To further support grant partners, Native Voices Rising is piloting a capacity-building program for grant partners to help their organizations become more efficient and impactful.
“By moving resources into Indigenous communities, Native Voices Rising is working to restore a path to healing — making a lasting impact for generations to come,” states Edgar Villanueva, NAP Board Chair and author of Decolonizing Wealth: Indigenous Wisdom to Heal Divides and Restore Balance.
As in previous years, Native Voices Rising grant partners are working on an array of issues including the promotion of Indigenous worldview, Native sovereignty, environmental and water justice, economic development, cultural practices, civic engagement, voting rights, and more. Groups were selected based on several characteristics, including having: Native leadership; membership of Native people, typically multi-generational; incorporation of Native community-centered values; and organizing or advocacy programs that amplify Native voices to win positive change in policy or corporate accountability.
“Native Voices Rising was started because of the inadequate response of institutional philanthropy to support Native communities,” says Carly Hare, current Trustee of Common Counsel Foundation. “Funding still pales in comparison to the need in Native communities, hovering at less than 1 percent of philanthropic dollars. But Native Voices Rising is providing a viable, impactful, and scalable proof of concept for philanthropy to invest in and lift up the lived experiences of Native communities fighting for change in their communities.”
The collaborative approach of Native Voices Rising’s grantmaking provides a mechanism for donors, including foundations who haven’t previously made grants to this community, to directly invest in organizations led by Native people focusing on structural change. Since its inception, the fund has awarded nearly $1.5M to Native-led efforts throughout the country. Interested donors are encouraged to learn about and contribute to the activist-led grantmaking by visiting www.NativeVoicesRising.org or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Common Counsel Foundation advances equity and environmental health through a combination of collaborative grant making and strategic philanthropic advising for client member funds and manages projects focused on organizational development, leadership training and sustainability and donor education. More information is available at www.commoncounsel.org.
Native Americans in Philanthropy is a membership circle of nonprofits, tribal communities, and foundations committed to the beliefs, traditions and gifts of Native peoples. NAP board and members hold a vision of healthy and sustainable communities enhanced by the Native spirit of generosity. This vision inspires and motivates member engagement through our mission to advance philanthropic practices grounded in Native values and traditions. For more information, see www.nativephilanthropy.org.