Native Voices Rising - Common Counsel Foundation

Native Voices Rising (NVR) is a research and re-granting project of Common Counsel Foundation and Native Americans in Philanthropy that is designed to strengthen philanthropic support for grassroots groups led by and for Native communities, including American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian communities. NVR launched in mid-2013, with the publication of a report and website.

Native Voices Rising provides a mechanism for donors to invest in organizations led by and composed of Native people who are united in building power to win progressive social change. Furthermore, NVR employs a community-led grantmaking approach with Native community members serving on regional committees that make grant recommendations.

Purposes of the collaboration include:

  • Profiling Native-led community organizing and advocacy by identifying strong groups and highlighting issues of importance to them,
  • Educating funders and deepening the contextual understanding of native community engagement within the philanthropic sector,
  • Developing new funding support for Native-led social change groups that are engaging community members in taking collective action to improve their lives, including by impacting the rules that govern them,
  • Providing the opportunity for funders to invest in Native-led organizing and advocacy efforts through a re-granting pool that conducts the due diligence on applicants on behalf of its funding partners, and
  • Modeling a community-driven approach to funding that creates more power from the community within the grant making process.

Please Visit the Native Voices Rising website to learn more.

NVR grants awards will average about $25,000 of general support funds, with an expected grant range size of $20,000 to $30,000, to strengthen Native-led organizations in the United States that are improving the lives of their community members. Since inception, NVR has awarded a total of nearly $2M of funding to grassroots, Native-led organizations that are involved in organizing and advocacy. To date, Native Voices Rising has supported over 100 grant partners who are collectively engaging thousands of community members across the country. 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.

The Native Voices Rising (NVR) Fall 2020 application is now closed. 

 


Announcement

NOVEMBER 19, 2020

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

NATIVE VOICES RISING SUPPORTS COVID-19 RESILIENCE AND RECOVERY BY AWARDING $1.5 MILLION TO NATIVE-LED NONPROFITS

Oakland, Calif. – Native Voices Rising (NVR), a collaborative partnership between Native Americans in Philanthropy and Common Counsel Foundation, is pleased to announce $1,500,000 of grant awards to 89 Native-led groups (with nearly half of funds going to new grant partners) 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 this year’s grant awards can be found at www.NativeVoicesRising.org.

Native Voices Rising welcomed 38 new grant partners this cycle. These new partners received grants ranging from $10,000-$30,000, with an average grant size of $19,342. NVR’s returning grant partners each received $15,000, augmenting previous awards made in Spring 2020.

Since 2013, Native Americans in Philanthropy and the Common Counsel Foundation have partnered in a grantmaking collaborative designed to support organizing, advocacy, and civic engagement in tribal communities. Between the spring and fall cycles in 2020, $2 million in funding was awarded to over 85 Indigenous-led organizations across the country. Native Voices Rising establishes a mechanism for funders to invest in organizations led by Native people through a grantmaking vehicle whose decision makers are also members of Native communities. NVR grantee partners are also invited to be part of a learning and capacity building community that provides trainings and peer-to-peer support to build collective power.

“In addition to increasing funding to Native-led organizations, one of the most important parts of our mission with Native Voices Rising is to create a movement of funders who want to empower Native community members and leaders to make those funding decisions,” said Erik Stegman (Carry the Kettle Nakoda), Executive Director of Native Americans in Philanthropy. “We know our relatives across the country are the best experts about the needs and investment opportunities in their own communities.”

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, reproductive justice, 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.

“We have always known that Native Voices Rising is unique. When it started, there was a dearth of philanthropic initiatives putting decision-making into the hands of Native leaders,” says Peggy Saika, Executive Director of Common Counsel Foundation. “In surpassing the million-dollar mark, Native Voices Rising has shown what is possible when you trust the lived experiences of Native communities. This pandemic has been disastrous, but it is not new to Native communities. We take a lot of inspiration from the resilience and accountability we daily see across Native communities.”

The collaborative approach of Native Voices Rising’s grantmaking provides a clear path 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 $3.5M to Native-led efforts throughout the country. In 2021, our goal is to significantly increase the number of Native youth-led and youth-serving organizations being funded in our Native Voices Rising community, with applications being reviewed by Native youth leaders. NVR’s guiding light will be increasing to $10 million per year in grants awarded by 2025.    

Interested donors are encouraged to learn about and contribute to the activist-led grantmaking by visiting www.NativeVoicesRising.org.

 

 

Potential grantees can find more information and apply at NativeVoicesRising.org.

NVR grants awards will average about $25,000 of general support funds, with an expected grant range size of $20,000 to $30,000, to strengthen Native-led organizations in the United States that are improving the lives of their community members. Since inception, NVR has awarded a total of nearly $2M of funding to grassroots, Native-led organizations that are involved in organizing and advocacy. To date, Native Voices Rising has supported over 100 grant partners who are collectively engaging thousands of community members across the country. 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.