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For Immediate Release

Native Voices Rising – 2018 Grant Period is Now Open!
Please share widely with your networks!

The Common Counsel Foundation and Native Americans in Philanthropy are pleased to announce that the 2018 Native Voices Rising (NVR) grant pool is now open for both donors and potential grantees. NVR is now accepting grant applications. We encourage all Native-led groups that have a membership base in the community, work to develop leadership, and take collective action to win progressive social change to apply.

NVR grants provide general operating support of $10,000 to strengthen Native-led organizations in the United States that are improving the lives of their community members. Since created, a total of nearly $650,000 has been awarded to over 45 grassroots Native community organizations that are involved in organizing and advocacy. Previous grantees are collectively engaging thousands of community members across ten states. They focus on a wide range of critical issues, from human and civil rights, to reproductive justice, to environmental health, and sacred sites protection. Including specifically the protection of land, water, and the recognition of Native sovereignty.

Potential grantees can find application and eligibility guidelines here. More information on how to apply can be found at

The application deadline is August 3, 2018.

A “How to Apply” Webinar will also be hosted on July 2nd at 11am PST. Please use this link to register for the webinar. The webinar will cover background on Native Voices Rising, important dates in the process, and how to apply using the on-line system – and answer any questions you bring to the session!

*NOTE: the July 2 webinar will be recorded, and made available for viewing at; by registering, you will receive an email when it’s been posted on the website.Afterwards, the recorded version of the webinar will be posted to the NVR website.

Donors that would like to join us in making a difference in Indian Country can contribute online at or by contacting Common Counsel Foundation.


Sarah Eagle Heart, Native Americans in Philanthropy
Laura Livoti, Common Counsel Foundation
February 12, 2018
For Immediate Release

32 Native-Led Organizations Across The Nation Begin 2018 With “Native Voices Rising” Grants

Oakland, CA – Native Americans in Philanthropy (NAP) and Common Counsel Foundation (CCF) announce the granting of $232,000 to 32 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.

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, thereby fostering more democracy in the deployment of the funds than is often the case in the philanthropic sector. Native Americans in Philanthropy and Common Counsel Foundation support the Native proposal reviewers with training and technical expertise to grow their skills in the craft of social justice grantmaking. According to Native Americans in Philanthropy CEO, Sarah Eagle Heart, “In the wake of the inspiring struggle at Standing Rock in 2016, and the harsh threats to Native sovereignty, sacred spaces, water rights, and the rights of Mother Earth – the need to lift-up community voices for equity, and amplify solutions grounded in our own Native traditions is perhaps greater than ever.”

The Native Voices Rising pooled fund 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. Momentum is growing: Native Voices Rising started in 2013 with two contributors and grew in 2017 to a collaborative fund with 19 contributors.

As in past cycles, Native Voices Rising grant partners shared several characteristics:

  • Native leadership
  • Membership of Native people, typically multi-generational
  • Incorporation of Native community-centered values
  • An organizing or advocacy program that amplifies Native voices to win positive change in policy or corporate accountability

Native Voices Rising funding is informed by the 2013 report “A Case For Funding Native-Led Change” which collected data and conducted in-depth research with Native-led groups on their vision for change, strategies and recommendations to grantmakers for stronger investments in the grassroots work being done in Indian Country. The full report and executive summary can be found at

Laura Livoti, CEO of Common Counsel Foundation, added that “Despite the historic harm suffered and current need for support experienced by Native communities, philanthropy has simply been unresponsive.” Indeed, research has shown that Native causes receive only a fraction of 1% of mainstream foundation dollars – and a smaller fraction of that fraction supports Native-led efforts that address root causes and issues and seek structural change. “Grassroots Native-led efforts need and are worthy of additional resources to facilitate their success in winning grounded solutions and change for their communities – while Native Voices Rising contributions represent only a drop in the bucket of what is needed, Native Voices Rising is proving to be a vehicle to enable philanthropy to do more. ”

A full list of the Native-led grassroots groups funded by this Native Voices Rising cycle can be found at Interested donors can learn more about contributing to the re-granting pool by contacting Common Counsel Foundation at


Common Counsel Foundation is celebrating its 30th year of advancing equity and environmental health through a combination of direct 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

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

Carly Hare, Native Americans in Philanthropy
Cell: 720-299-0651
June 25, 2013
For Immediate Release
Native Voices Rising Reports on the State of Organizing and Advocacy in Native
America and Launches Native-led Re-granting Fund 
Minneapolis, MN – Native Americans in Philanthropy (NAP) and Common Counsel Foundation (CCF) announce the launch of Native Voices Rising (NVR), a research and re-granting project designed to support grassroots groups led by and for Native communities in American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian communities.
Native Voices Rising establishes a mechanism for donors to invest in organizations led by Native people through a grantmaking vehicle whose decision makers are also members of Native communities. NVR funding is informed by its newly released report “A Case For Funding Native-Led Change,” which identified 146 non-profit social change organizations led by Native Americans to benefit Native communities. The report includes in-depth surveys with 49 of these organizations.
“This innovative project uniquely fills knowledge gaps within the philanthropic sector regarding the needs of Native communities and the strategies these communities employ to create change,” noted Native Americans in Philanthropy’s Executive Director, Carly Hare.
It is considered a truism, within philanthropic circles, that organizing in Native communities looks different than in non-Native communities. Native Voices Rising helps elucidate some of the characteristic frequently found among successful grassroots Native organizing efforts, including:
  • Leaders are embedded in the community
  • Strong relationships based on trust exist between all staff and community
  • Knowledge of and sensitivity to cultural protocols is engrained
  • Native values, like consensus decision-making are integrated into the organization
  • Membership and programs are multi-generational
  • Direct services might be offered in coordination with organizing, advocacy, leadership development or voter engagement strategies
“The range of strategies employed by the organizations surveyed varies between groups and across movements. Nonetheless, researchers identified the practice of informing and advocating for public policies through organized community action as a common strategy employed by the majority of survey respondents,” according to Louis Delgado, lead researcher, for the Native Voices Rising report.
The report provides a set of case studies highlighting the diversity of strategies that Native groups are utilizing to have positive impact in their communities — these include promoting laws to provide greater environmental protections; gaining management control over food resources; ensuring racial equity in government programs; extending broadband into rural communities; and guaranteeing full access to the vote.
The researchers identified five issue areas in which Native community groups are most active: environmental justice; subsistence in Alaska; Native engagement in the urban context; media; and voter engagement.“While the findings derive directly from the 49 organizationssurveyed, nearly all of the recommendationsfor enhancing the effectiveness of grantmaking strategies in Native America are relevant to any funder interested in supporting Native communities and organizations,” says Hare.
“It is worth underscoring that in Native communities direct services were considered by many groups to be essential to their community organizing and advocacy work,” she added.
“With only .3% of charitable funding dedicated to Native causes, as reported by the Foundation Center,” remarked Laura Livoti, CEO of Common Counsel Foundation, “we hope Native Voices Rising will catalyze increased support for this under-resourced community over the next decade.”
Moreover, the report revealed the imperative of providing support for strengthening Native organizationsin order to increase the likelihood that they are successful in raising funds. Forty-nine percent of the groups surveyed identified a lack of capacity as one of the key barriers to obtaining individual donor and grant money.
Native Voices Rising is a funding vehicle that will utilize Native-led grantmaking committees, composed of Native leaders and supported with staff expertise provided by the Common Counsel Foundation and Native Americans in Philanthropy. The first NVR grants will be disbursed in December 2013, with support from Open Society Foundations. Interested organizations are encouraged to apply at Letters of Intent are due August 15, 2013.
Interested donors are encouraged to contact Common Counsel Foundation to learn more about contributing to the re-granting pool. The full report or an executive summary can be found on Native Voices rising website,
# # # 
Native Voices Rising is a project of Common Counsel Foundation and Native Americans in Philanthropy
Common Counsel Foundation is a 25-year old consortium of family foundations and donor advised funds that have joined together to grow the resources available for progressive organizations and social movements. Through CCF’s strategic philanthropic services, the Foundation prioritizes support for community-based organizations led by low-income people or people of color to advance equity and environmental sustainability. More information is available at

Native Americans in Philanthropy  is a membership circle of nonprofits, tribal communities, and foundations committed to the beliefs, traditions and gifts of Native peoples. Native Americans in Philanthropy 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,