FREE Indigenous Peoples Funding and Resource Guide
The Indigenous Peoples Funding and Resource Guide was developed in collaboration with International Funders for Indigenous Peoples and First Peoples Worldwide, has been distributed to hundreds of Indigenous communities and nonprofit organizations in both English and Spanish. Order your copy today!
. . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Fundraising can seem to be a daunting task, especially for Indigenous communities in remote locations with language and cultural bridges to cross.
Applying for funding can be a time-consuming process, so it is important to conduct research to be sure you are putting your efforts into approaching funders most likely to support your cause.
It is important to understand donors’ philanthropic mission, their funding history, and the procedures they have in place. It is a good idea to “put yourself in their shoes” to connect with their unique motivations and to learn what they are looking to achieve through their philanthropic investments.
Start by identifying foundations and corporations that have common program interests to your project. Pay close attention to their application guidelines and requirements. Foundations put a great deal of time and consideration into drawing up their guidelines, and they expect that their instructions will be followed. With so many organizations competing for limited funds, foundations often make their first cuts to the number of proposals they must review by simply rejecting those which do not meet deadlines or follow their instructions.
Prior to approaching a potential funder with a proposal, do research on the foundation’s background, recent changes to their leadership or funding goals, and details of their application criteria. Find out as much as you can about the key decision makers and their funding interests. Review their annual reports and website content to be sure you understand their philosophy and interests before approaching them with your proposal or letter of intent.
Once you have done your homework, you will be better able to communicate the values of your project in a way that the donors will relate to their own goals. By finding a common point of connection in your proposal that is meaningful and relevant, funders come to see how building your capacity helps them to reach their philanthropic goals, and how helping you to fulfill your community’s dream becomes a shared accomplishment.