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Oakland, Calif. – Established through a collaborative partnership between Native Americans in Philanthropy (NAP) and Common Counsel Foundation (CCF), Native Voices Rising (NVR) is an innovative fund supporting Native-led grassroots organizing and advocacy efforts. In the face of growing need amidst the COVID-19 pandemic and lack of funding for Native-led nonprofits, Native Voices Rising is pleased to announce the disbursal 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. A full list of the groups supported with these recent grant awards can be found at

“What our communities need right now are immediate, responsive, and flexible resources. We’re proud of the trusted relationships we’ve built with all of these organizations through our partnership with Common Counsel Foundation,” states Erik Stegman, NAP Executive Director. To help organizations respond to the COVID-19 crisis, both organizations are foregoing any administrative costs for the first half of 2020. This means that 100 percent of funds received are moved directly to grant partners. Additionally, NVR is continuing to double down on its ambitious goal of disbursing at least $1M in grant awards to support Native-led groups in the 2021 grantmaking cycle. 

“Native Voices Rising was started because of the lack of investment in Native communities, and this pandemic is highlighting the impact of that,” says Peggy Saika, Interim CEO of Common Counsel Foundation. “But Native Voices Rising is providing a responsive and impactful proof of concept centering the lived experiences of Native communities practicing resilience and accountability every day. That is how we can move towards long-term change.”

Grant partners of NVR are working tirelessly to support vulnerable Native communities throughout the country. While responding to immediate needs, Native communities are also leading the path forward with practices of resilience, solidarity, and reciprocity. Beyond immediate responses, 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.

To further support grant partners in these unprecedented times, Native Voices Rising is continuing its capacity-building program for grant partners to advance and bolster the work of groups on the ground both for now and in the years to come. 

NVR remains a pioneering proof of concept for centering Native wisdom in philanthropy, relying on Native organizers and community leaders to make grant decisions benefiting Native communities. The collaborative and unique 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 over $2M to Native-led efforts throughout the country. If you are inspired and want to support or learn more about Native Voices Rising’s activist-led grantmaking, please visit or email


Common Counsel Foundation is a public foundation that has advanced progressive social change since 1988. Common Counsel advances equity and environmental health through a combination of grant making and strategic philanthropic advising for donors, collaborative pooled grant making initiatives, and projects focused on organizational development and leadership training/sustainability. More information is available at

Native Americans in Philanthropy is the only nonprofit organization devoted to promoting equitable and effective philanthropy in Native communities. Established in 1989, NAP advances philanthropic practices grounded in Native values and traditions, and works to transform and influence the philanthropic sector to align with an Indigenous worldview. NAP continues to advocate for healing, equity, and justice in mainstream philanthropy by building and strengthening relationships with members, allies, influencers, and supporters.