Collective Abundance Fund

The Collective Abundance Fund is available to Indigenous individuals and families in the tri-state region of Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota with grants of $25,000 or $50,000 to support their dreams and aspirations of rebuilding Indigenous wealth.

NDN Collective Collective Abundance Fund

Grant Re-opening March 1, 2024.

Application is a two-step process.
Registration MUST be completed prior to the Initial application.


NDN Collective’s mission is to build the collective power of Indigenous Peoples, communities, and Nations to exercise our inherent right to self-determination while fostering a world that is built on a foundation of justice and equity for all Indigenous People and Mother Earth. NDN works to transform systems, shift power, and generate sustainable solutions through three core strategies: 

Defend Indigenous Peoples, communities, and Nations. Defend and protect our land, air, water, and natural resources from negative resource extraction and exploitation.

Develop – Indigenous Peoples, communities and Nations are developed in a regenerative and sustainable manner based on our values and connection to land, culture, and identity. 

Decolonize – Indigenous ceremonies, cultures, languages, and ways of life are revitalized, recognized, and celebrated.

Indigenous wealth is a quality of life and mindset that encircles family and community well-being and the care of relationships (self, family, extended family, community, land, environment), and a spirit of generosity. Money is a tool to support basic needs and bring financial security and self-determination so that one can live a “good life,” abundant in social and cultural sharing.

NDN Collective Abundance Fund

Grant Purpose & Intention

The NDN Collective Abundance Fund provides wealth building grants to Indigenous people who reside within the tri-state region of Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota. The program supports the re-building of generational wealth, while beginning to address the wealth gap among Indigenous individuals and families.  This is just one action that supports the advancement of our work to Defend, Develop, and Decolonize. We see this grant as an opportunity to advance the dismantling of colonial thinking that created exploitative and extractive economic systems that have proven un-useful for our People and communities.  This includes centering this work around a redefinition of wealth from our Indigenous perspective, rather than the western definition of wealth that is rooted in capitalism which promotes the accumulation of money and material possessions often without regard to the protection of people and mother earth. The NDN Collective Abundance Fund embraces the following definition of wealth: 

“Indigenous wealth is a quality of life and mindset that encircles family and community well-being and the care of relationships (self, family, extended family, community, land, environment), and a spirit of generosity. Money is a tool to support basic needs and bring financial security and self-determination so that one can live a “good life,” abundant in social and cultural sharing.

Grant Type

Awarded Grantees will receive grants of $25,000 or $50,000 to invest in and support their self-determined wealth-building activities that create long-term, transformative change. NDN Collective’s principles and strategies to Defend, Develop & Decolonize inspire all Collective work, therefore wealth-building plans must reflect sustainable, generational, regenerative values.  Grant term start dates for selected grantees are scheduled to begin August 15, 2024.

Awarded Grantees will receive an initial 95% of their cash award at the start of their grant.  Upon receipt of an approved report, including documentation of expenses in alignment with the  grantee’s wealth-building plan, release of the remaining 5% will be issued to the grant recipient.

Self Determined Wealth Building Plans

This grant will support a one year (12 month) plan for achieving wealth-building goal(s), including the following goals and grant activities:

  • Homeownership or Household Stability – down payment, home repair, home rehabilitation, home addition, multi-generational housing development.
  • Education or Skill Building – tuition, fees, books, supplies.
  • Financial Planning – financial courses, training, financial management/advice.
  • Business Development – capital investments, equipment, supplies.
  • Food Security – sustainable family food systems, such as gardens and greenhouses, land purchase, infrastructure investments, livestock, food processing/production equipment and supplies, hunting/fishing. 
  • Cultural Traditions: Language, Cultural Knowledge, Healing Practices, Art, cultural mentors, apprenticeships, supplies, equipment.
  • Reliable Livelihood: Reliable childcare, transportation, technology, or debt relief may be considered that support a reliable livelihood and lead to a wealth building goal (homeownership, education, business).
The Collective Abundance Fund wil NOT support the following:
  • Activities that are extractive in nature or that may cause harm to people or Mother Earth will not be supported (for example: non-regenerative practices in farming or ranching)
  • Activities in response to emergencies or crises.
  • Activities supporting luxury, recreational, or ongoing expenses (rent, utilities).
  • Applicants and activities outside of the tri-state area of Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota. 
    • Note: For educational goals and attending school/training outside of the tri-state area, you must provide current written documentation that reflects your primary residence of MN, ND, or SD.
  • Awarded grantees may not reapply in following years. Applicants who are not awarded a grant may reapply in subsequent years.

Eligibility

We invite Indigenous individuals and families who reside within the tri-state area of Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota to imagine opportunity and envision a collective regenerative economy where all people live well, balanced, and healthy.  We believe that by directly supporting Indigenous individuals and families, we are also investing in their communities, societies, economies,  and the collective movement. 

Applicants must be Indigenous to the United States, Mexico, Canada, Borikén/Puerto Rico and the U.S. “Territories”: American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

You Are Not Eligible to Apply for any NDN grant program that is directed to an individual, including the Collective Abundance Fund, Radical Imagination, or Changemaker Fellowship, if you are currently an NDN Collective: 

Grant Application Instructions

Application is a two-step process. Registration MUST be completed prior to the Initial application. Incomplete or late applications will NOT be considered. Plan accordingly!

  1. REGISTRATION

Registration ends at 3 p.m. US Central Standard Time/2 p.m. US Mountain Time on Wednesday April 17, 2024. You must register in order to receive log-in credentials to complete the grant application.  Be sure to complete registration well in advance of the registration deadline to ensure a timely submission.  If you’ve  registered in the past for any NDN grant opportunity, you still need to register for this grant opportunity.  Please allow for up to 2-3 business days to receive login credentials.  Please check your email and spam or junk folders for your login credentials before inquiring further.

  1. APPLICATION

The Grant Application process is open and grant applications are being received until Wednesday April 24, 2024, 5 p.m. Central Standard Time/4 p.m. US Mountain Time. It is best to begin working on your application well before the deadline to accommodate for any unforeseen circumstances, and to give yourself enough time to complete all required sections and upload any supporting documents. Technical support cannot be ensured after 12 p.m. US Central Time /11 a.m. Mountain Time  on April 24, 2024.

Tools to Build a Good Application

Grant Selection Priorities

Applications will be reviewed May – June, 2024.

Final grant selections are expected to be made in July 2024. The official start of the 12-month grant program is expected to be August 15, 2024 with required grantee orientation. Payments are expected to be disbursed late August, 2024.

Selection criteria are based on the following grant application and selection priorities. 

Wealth-Building Plans and Activities

Wealth-building plans must describe:

  • How it supports your wealth-building goal(s) and aligns with the Indigenous wealth definition.
  • How it will lead to transformative change in your family’s quality of life and mindset.
  • How it is sustainable and leads to generational transfer (has lasting impact that extends beyond the present and immediate needs).
  • How it aligns with regenerative principles (renews, restores, revives, and is not harmful to people or Mother Earth).

Wealth-building activities must:

  • Be ready to implement (reflect preparedness and thoughtful planning).
  • Demonstrate viability (realistic and do-able within a 12 month period). 
  • Reflect the spirit of reciprocity and being a good relative. Applicants are expected to create safe spaces and protocols of engagement that consider the health and wellbeing of others, including the prevention/protection of participants from the harms of physical/sexual abuse or exploitation, adhere to COVID19 safety protocols and ensure their wealth building activities support community harmony and safety.  
  • Costs must be allowable and reasonable.

Resource planning must describe:

  • How the resources will support building resilience and power for the family.
  • A commitment to wellness, healing, and the “good life”.
  • A timeline and estimated costs through the completion of a Spending Plan. 
  • Leveraged personal (skills, labor) and community resources (mortgage or business loan partners, education acceptance letter, tribal land lease).
  • Any partners or collaborators. 
  • Strategies for success and how challenges will be addressed (“back-up plan”).

Additional areas considered during review of grant applications. 

  • Household income, family size, and current family conditions.
  • Letters of Support must reflect the applicant’s reputation, connection to community, belief in their wealth building plan, and commitment to wellness.
  • Note: Reputation reflects the integrity of our actions and our responsibility for our family and community relationships. As part of its review process, NDN Collective reserves the right to collect additional background information about applicants who may be invited as a grantee. This could include a check of public records and a formal or informal check of references within your community.

The Collective Abundance Fund will NOT support the following:

  • Activities that are extractive in nature or that may cause harm to people or mother earth will not be supported. 
  • Activities in response to emergencies or crises.
  • Activities supporting luxury, recreational, or ongoing expenses (rent, utilities).
  • Applicants and activities outside of the tri-state area of Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota. 

Note: For educational goals and attending school/training outside of the tri-state area, you must provide current written documentation that reflects your primary residence of MN, ND, or SD.

  • Applicants who are not awarded a grant may reapply in subsequent years. Awarded grantees may not reapply in following years.
Helpful Hints
  • Use a computer or laptop to complete registration, log-in, and/or complete your Application. 
  • Chrome browser works best with the grant application online system. 
  • Plan to Register and complete log-in credentials well before the Registration deadline of Wednesday, April 17, 2024, 3 p.m. US Central Standard Time/2 p.m. US Mountain Time. 
  • This is a two-step process – Registration and Application. 
    • After you register it can take up to 2-3 business days to receive your username and password; please make sure to check your spam folder if you do not see the email in your inbox.
    • Once you’ve registered or logged in, you will receive information via email on how to access your portal and complete the application forms.
    • The grant deadline is Wednesday April 24, 2024, 5 p.m. Central Standard Time/4 p.m. US Mountain Time. 
  • NDN cannot make any exceptions to the Registration or Grant Application Deadlines. This includes incomplete applications, application mistakes due to user error, or faxed/emailed or mailed applications.
Checklist (application steps)
  • Registration
  • Completed Application including attachments:
    • Income Verification
    • 3 Letters of Support
    • Spending Plan
    • Navigator signed agreement (if applicable)
Frequently Asked Questions

Collective Abundance Fund FAQs

Q1: Who is eligible to apply for the Collective Abundance Fund?
  • Applicants must meet the following criteria in order to apply:
    • An Indigenous person to Turtle Island (US, Mexico, Canada) which includes related Island Nations (including American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Borikén/ Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands). NDN Collective honors the definition of Indigenous from the UN Declaration on The Rights of Indigenous peoples; and
    • 18 years of age or older; and
    • who reside within the tri-state area of Minnesota, North Dakota, or South Dakota.
  • You Are Not Eligible to Apply for any NDN grant program that is directed to an individual, such as the Collective Abundance Fund, Radical Imagination, or Changemaker Fellowship if you are currently an NDN Collective: 
    • Employee
    • Member of Board of Directors
    • Contractor/Consultant
    • Advisory Board/Committee Member
    • Immediate blood, adopted family or spouses/domestic partner of an NDN Collective employee or Board of Directors. This includes parents, children, and siblings.
Q2: When will NDN Collective start dispersing funds?

The Collective Abundance Fund grant portal is scheduled to open Friday, March 1, 2024. Grant Applications are expected to be due on Wednesday, April 24, 2024, with grant awards made in late August 2024.  Please watch the NDN Collective website for current information: ndnco.cc/ColAb

Q3: How much money could I receive?

Awarded grantees will receive flexible cash awards of $25,000 or $50,000 to invest in and support their self-determined wealth building activities.

Q4: What are the tax and benefits implications for receiving a grant?

NDN is making Collective Abundance Fund awards for the charitable purpose of building family and generational wealth from an Indigenous perspective and to begin to address the wealth gap among Native families. NDN is under no obligation to make any award, and it will receive no services in return for making any award. 

NDN intends for the Collective Abundance Fund awards to be a  gift. A payment intended to be a gift is generally not taxable to the individual receiving it, but that is not always the case. NDN cannot advise any recipient on their tax liability with respect to their award, nor can it advise on whether an award will impact a recipient’s eligibility for benefit programs. We encourage applicants to seek full understanding of potential impacts of a cash award for their individual and family households. This includes understanding and assessing the potential impact of receiving a grant on their current and future eligibility of public county or tribal assistance programs and services individuals and families may receive. In addition, grantees are strongly encouraged to consult with their tax advisors.

Q5: What activities can the grant support?

Grants will support a one-year (12-month) plan for achieving a wealth building goal(s). The following goals and activities are expected to be supported to reflect the aspirations identified by the community (The Community Voices Report can be found here at ndnco.cc/ColAb)

  • Homeownership or Household Stability (down payment, home repair, home rehabilitation, home addition, multi-generational housing development)
  • Education or Skill Building (tuition, fees, books, supplies)
  • Financial Planning (financial courses, training, financial advisement)
  • Health and Wellness (activities supporting mental, physical and spiritual well-being)
  • Business Development (capital investments, equipment, supplies)
  • Food Security (sustainable family food systems, such as gardens and greenhouses, land purchase, infrastructure investments, livestock, food processing/production equipment and supplies, hunting/fishing)
  • Cultural Traditions: Language, Cultural Knowledge, Healing Practices, Art (cultural mentors, apprenticeships, supplies, equipment)

Other areas that may be considered in supporting a Reliable livelihood: Providing for you and your family in dependable ways to secure the necessities of life: food, water, shelter, education, healthcare, ceremony, and community. (reliable childcare, technology, debt relief, reliable transportation).

Q6: Are there activities that will NOT be supported?

Yes, the following areas will not be supported:

  •  Activities that are extractive in nature or that may cause harm to people or Mother Earth will not be supported. 
  • The Collective Abundance Fund is not intended to provide support for family emergencies or crises and is not a rapid response grant.  
  • The Collective Abundance Fund is not intended to support monthly living expenses such as rent, utilities, monthly bill payments or luxury items.
Q7: If I don’t get awarded, can I apply again next year?

Yes, Applicants who are not awarded a grant may reapply in subsequent years. Awarded grantees may not reapply in following years.

Q8: Will there be any requirements with the grant award?

Yes, awarded grantees will be required to participate in a Grantee Orientation in addition to virtual Learning and Power Building sessions that will provide training, resources, and opportunities to share and learn from, furthering the collective Indigenous wealth and power building movement. Grantees will also be expected to submit a report on the impact of their wealth building activities, and how they were accountable to their wealth building plans. This will include reporting and documentation of grant expenditures, demonstrating the use of grant funds and sharing insights and lessons learned during the project.  

Q9: What will the Application Questions include?
  • The Collective Abundance Fund Application will include questions related to the individual and family’s wealth building plan, goal(s) and proposed activities. Plans and goals must align with the Indigenous wealth definition:

Indigenous wealth is a quality of life and mindset that encircles family and community well-being and the care of relationships (self, family, extended family, community, land, environment), and a spirit of generosity. Money is a tool to support basic needs and bring financial security and self-determination so that one can live a “good life,” abundant in social and cultural sharing.

  • Applicants will be expected to share household income, family size, and current family conditions. 
  • Applicants will be required to provide three letters of support that attest to the applicant’s reputation, confirm your commitment to wellness, and believe in your wealth building plan. 
  • Applicants will be expected to describe their resource plan and how the grant and other resources align with the proposed activities. Applicants will be expected to share their planned strategies for success and address anticipated challenges.
Q10: Why do applicants need to share household income?

During the planning and community engagement process, the collective voices identified the need to support individuals and families across a spectrum of income levels. We want to ensure equitable distribution across income levels. We also want to support individuals and families who have a need for this resource and not necessarily those with sufficient incomes to realize their wealth building goals.

Q11: I have poor credit, will I still be eligible to receive funds?

We recognize that the current capitalist system has created a disadvantage for Indigenous, Black, and people of color. Racial wealth gaps are evident in the data, including lower household incomes, home ownership, and education attainment for Indigenous Peoples. These barriers and lack of opportunities contribute to subsequent factors, including poor credit ratings, and even no credit rating for individuals. We will work diligently to ensure broad eligibility, including our relatives with poor credit scores.

Q12: Can organizations receive funds?

No. This fund is designed specifically to support individuals and families to reduce the wealth gap and provide wealth building opportunities for our relatives. However, we will seek opportunities to collectively work together with community partners who are committed to addressing wealth disparities and increase collective abundance across our Native communities.

Q13: Will there be any guidance or advice given for people who have little to no experience in this type of request?
  • Absolutely. Outreach and information sharing, including how to apply to the fund, webinars, and technical support will be provided prior to and during the grant application period. 
  • Additionally, applicants may seek support from a Navigator – a relative or other trusted community advisor to assist in navigating the application process, including logging into the application portal on behalf of the applicant. Navigators may also be a program staff member from an Indigenous-led Community Development Financial Institution, a Tribal College or University, a Native-led Nonprofit, or a Tribe to assist the applicant in completing the application process. Applicants should select trusted advisors as their Navigator due to confidentiality and personal information shared in the application. 
Q14. What is the purpose and role of a Navigator or Navigator HUB?

NDN Collective is committed to increased accessibility for Indigenous individuals and families to apply to the Collective Abundance Fund program opportunity. While the application does not include unnecessary or burdensome application processes, we recognize that applicants may have limited access to the internet, computers, or are new to application processes. For this reason, NDN is partnering with existing networks and community resources across the tri-state area to support individuals with applications. 

Q15. Is there an incentive for Navigators to support individuals?
  • We embrace the spirit of being a good relative. Navigators who support individuals with navigating the grant portal, assisting with the grant application, and submittal process that leads to a successful grant award will be eligible for $500. Payment and a subsequent 1099 will go directly to the individual Navigator or to the organization of an employed Navigator working on behalf of Indigenous-led CDFI, Tribal College or University, Native Nonprofit, or Tribe.  Both the Navigator and Applicant will be expected to sign an agreement to the relationship and that the Navigator agrees to not having personal influence, control or direct access to any grant funds if awarded.
  • For Navigator Hubs, we imagine that the Collective Abundance Fund opportunity furthers the work of community organizations with the potential for individuals to advance their educational, business, homeownership, and other wealth building goals through this potential influx of financial resources.
Q16. Can Navigators support more than one grant applicant?

Yes. Navigators are able to support more than one individual with grant applications. Note, a 1099 will be issued to Navigators.

Q17. How can the Navigator be prepared to support individual applicants?
  • It would be important for potential Navigators to be familiar with the Collective Abundance Fund program and the application process, including:
  • Webinar – Part 1: Program & Application Overview
  • Webinar – Part 2: Application Support & Stepping into Abundance
  • Webinar – Part 3: Navigator Support
  • Collective Abundance Fund Application Questions
Navigator Hubs and Navigators

Individual support and technical assistance with the application process will be available through Navigator Hubs across the tri-state region.

Additionally, applicants may seek support from an individual Navigator – a relative or other trusted community advisor to assist in navigating the application process, including logging into the application portal on behalf of the applicant. Applicants should select trusted navigators due to confidentiality and personal information shared in the application.

For more information on the role of a Navigator, see the Webinar – Part 3: Navigator Support.

For More Information

Questions and technical support: [email protected] 

Sharon Pazi Zea, Minnesota Program Officer: [email protected] 

Star Means, South Dakota Program Officer: [email protected]

Teresa Peterson, Program Manager: [email protected]

NDN Office: (605) 791-3999


Rebuilding Indigenous Wealth

Changing the Narrative

The Collective Abundance Fund is designed by and for the people, including the very definition of Indigenous wealth. To learn more about this unprecedented approach to Indigenous wealth building, including the community engagement and subsequent planning and design of the Collective Abundance Fund, read the Community Voices on the Collective Abundance Fund report here

Grantee Partners Year One


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