Take Action

Put your learning into practice. Here are steps to guide you in your funding journey.

Duck feathers from a Native American outfit

  • Conduct an organizational self-assessment

    Native Americans in Philanthropy created an organizational assessment tool to help foundations evaluate their practices as they relate to tribal communities and to identify areas that can be strengthened as they move toward equity and effectiveness.

  • Examine your data, then share it

    "Candid tracks trends in philanthropy using available data, which can sometimes be incomplete. Candid invites funders to examine their own grantmaking for funding explicitly designated to benefit Native Americans — and then share it so that the story in the field is more complete."

    Larry McGill
    Ambit 360 Consulting

  • Commit to building relationships

    "Even if funding isn’t yet an option for an organization, a manageable step is building relationships with Native organizations. There is powerful, transformative work taking place in Indigenous communities across the country, with the power to grow exponentially as people connect to it. For those looking for a place to start, Native intermediary organizations can be helpful."

    Hester Dillon (Cherokee)
    4 Rivers Consulting

  • Connect with peer funders

    "Funders entering this space for the first time often find comfort in joining other trusted funders already doing the work. Programs like Hopa Mountain's Strengthening the Circle provide a powerful platform to connect funders with one another and with Native organizations to build peer support and capacity with Native nonprofit leaders."

    Martin Jennings (Leech Lake Ojibwe)
    Northwest Area Foundation

  • Start with your mission

    "Organizations don't have to shift their mission or priorities in order to be inclusive of Native communities. They can fund Indian Country, no matter what their program areas are. Whether it’s health, the environment, or education, these are all areas where Native communities should be funded, and where there’s a need."

    Carly Bad Heart Bull (Dakota/Muskogee Creek)
    Native Ways Federation

  • Take the plunge and invest!

    "There seems to be a never-ending thirst to learn. You will never be an expert on Native communities, no matter what you read or what you do. The best way to learn is to start funding and build a fund relationship. There’s so much more to learn from that."

    Edgar Villanueva (Lumbee)
    Schott Foundation for Public Education