Community Action Fund

Modest urgent response grants are provided to frontline organizations, groups and individuals most impacted by local challenges, ensuring that resources and decision-making lies with those who are best equipped to solve pressing issues and address imminent threats. The Community Action Fund is a one-time, short-term grant for direct action initiatives.

NDN Collective Community Action Fund

Opens January 11, 2024

and Closes on October 31st, 2024 @ 5pm US CST or until funds are expended.

Community Action Fund (CAF) Purpose & Intent

We support frontline organizers, action and movements in their work to DEFEND.

Indigenous Peoples, communities and Nations, and protect our land, air, water, and natural resources.  

Community Action Fund (CAF) grants support direct actions and organizing efforts that are often urgent and time sensitive. CAF prioritizes frontline, grassroots and community-based efforts that defend Indigenous peoples rights, communities and nations, including responses to climate disasters.

Grant Amount: The average grant award is $15,000 but can range up to $40,000.  

Grant Term: Grant terms are a maximum of six months.

What does support look like

CAF supports community organizing and movement building work designed to shift the political and financial systems that negatively impact our communities.

This may include direct action and climate disaster response efforts, comprehensive organizing work; frontline and camp infrastructure, and community-based response to climate disasters such as flooding, fires, earthquakes.

Direct expenses may include funding for travel, climate response items, supplies, equipment, consultants, contractual services and staff that support various forms of NVDA (non-violent direct action), i.e., marches, camps, boycotts, prayer vigils and walks that are part of an action, organizing or protest to affect change. Action may also include community-based response to climate events such as flooding, fires and earthquakes.

The Community Action Fund does not support:

Beyond the direct grants, Community Action grantees may receive support and amplification from the NDN Collective platform to get the word out about campaigns. Grantees are encouraged (but not required) to leverage the grant as a match to secure additional supporters and funding for their causes.

How to Apply for the Community Action Fund

Grant Applications can be submitted by clicking here.

Note: In order to receive an NDN Foundation grant, you or your group/organization  must have a Tax Identification Number. You can apply as a non-profit organization, as  an individual, a Tribe/First Nation, or as a business. The tax identification of the  organization or individual becomes responsible for accountability of the grant and/or  taxable income if applicable, and must be submitted with the application.  

Don’t have a Tax ID Number? Please reach out to [email protected] if  you would like to receive more information about alternative tax options.

For more grants information contact:

English and French speaking applicants: Thomas Kenote, Program Officer, at [email protected]

Spanish speaking applicants: Helen Aldana, Program Officer, at [email protected] 

Fluxx Portal Technical Support: [email protected] 

All other general grant inquiries: [email protected]


NDN’s geographic grantmaking focus is Turtle Island (North America) and related Island Nations, including 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. Grantmaking may be provided to the following recipients:

Indigenous-led non-profit organizations within the U.S.

U.S. based Tribes, tribal non-profit entities or tribal programs, Alaska Native Villages or their non-profit entities

First Nations or  Inuit and Metis communities, groups and organizations based in Canada

Indigenous communities, groups and organizations based in Mexico

Individual Indigenous people leading direct action or movement building work.

For more information on eligibility go to Community Action Fund Eligibility Quiz

Frequently Asked Questions

Who can apply for a grant?

Values and mission alignment: NDN Foundation provides grants to Indigenous-led organizations, Tribes, groups, projects and individuals whose work, goals and intentions align with the NDN mission, values, core principles and strategies.  NDN grantmaking is intended to honor and advance the self-determination of Indigenous Peoples.

See: Our Mission

Geographic focus: North America:  the United States and the  U.S. territories of American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Boriken/Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, as well as Canada and Mexico.  


         Grantmaking may be provided to the following recipients:

  • Indigenous-led non-profit organizations. Indigenous-led is defined as 100% board of directors/decision-makers, and 70% staff. 
  • U.S.-based Tribal Nations, tribal non-profit entities, Alaska Native Villages, or their non-profit entities, Indigenous-led Native Hawaiian organizations.
  • First Nations or Aboriginal communities, groups, and organizations based in Canada.
  • Indigenous communities, groups, and organizations based in Mexico.
  • Indigenous owned businesses in the US and related Island Nations, Canada or Mexico
  • Individual Indigenous people who are connected to the direct action and are willing to assume the tax liability for the grant. 

NDN Collective defines Indigenous peoples as ethnic communities whose ancestry descends from the earliest, original inhabitants of a given region, in contrast to groups that have settled, occupied, and/or colonized the region more recently. The land on which we live and the natural resources on which we depend are inextricably linked to our identities, cultures, livelihoods, as well as our physical and spiritual well-being. The total estimated population of Indigenous peoples is approximately 370 million people worldwide (5% of the global population). We use Indigenous peoples with an “s” to recognize the diversity of individuals and groups that identify with the term, which has been distilled to a singular noun throughout history in an attempt to group our people together rather than recognize our differences and diversity. This is consistent with the UN Declaration on The Rights of Indigenous peoples.

What if my group or organization does not meet the eligibility requirements for “Indigenous-led”, can we still apply?

Groups or organizations that do not currently meet the criteria for “Indigenous-led” can apply as long as they also submit a plan outlining how they intend to become “Indigenous-led” (100% Leadership/70% staff) in the future.

I am a recipient of another grant from NDN, am I still eligible to apply for the CAF grant?

Yes, if you are a recipient of another grant from NDN Collective you can still apply and receive a grant from the Community Action Fund. If you already have registered for any NDN grant opportunity or received a grant from NDN, please click Log-in Now on NDN Collective’s Fluxx grant making portal. You do not need to register again.

Can I apply for CAF multiple times?

The CAF is a one-time grant. However, if an action has multiple phases a followup grant can be considered.

What is the turnaround time for the CAF?

The Community Action Fund is an urgent response grant. If your grant proposal is approved, we try our best to get the funds to grantees within 3 weeks of the application submission.

Can I use CAF for reimbursement costs of an action that already took place?

No. Funds can not be used to back pay and reimburse an action or event that has already taken place. Funds need to be used from the grant start date.

What doesn’t the Community Action Fund support?

The Community Action Fund does not support: 

  • Long-term, ongoing planned projects/activities/service delivery programs
  • Annual operating costs 
  • Bridge/gap funding
  • Scholarships
  • Capital projects or land purchase
  • Events
  • Sponsorships
Can I use the CAF grant for my project, startup, or operational costs for my nonprofit?

CAF is meant to support frontline direct action and climate change response efforts that are already happening with or without NDN Collective’s support. CAF grant does not fund long-term ongoing projects nor operational costs for organizations and companies.

Does the Community Action Fund support land purchase efforts?

While CAF does support Landback efforts, this grant cannot be used to purchase land. Please refer to NDN’s Community Self Determination grant for long term efforts including land purchase.

Do I need a Tax Identification Number if I or my organization is located outside the U.S?

Yes. In order to receive an NDN Foundation grant, you or your group/organization must have a Tax Identification Number. You can apply as a non-profit organization, as an individual, a Tribe/First Nation, or as a business. The tax identification of the  organization or individual becomes responsible for accountability of the grant and/or taxable income if applicable, and must be submitted with the application.

Can a fiscal sponsor be used for our Community Action Fund application?

Yes, you can establish a fiscal sponsorship with a nonprofit organization. This may be a local non-profit organization with which you have an established relationship or with a regional/national organization that is willing to serve as your fiscal sponsor. Your organization/group can then apply for an NDN grant utilizing the tax status of the fiscal sponsor. 

A memorandum of understanding, letter of agreement, or some form of documentation must also be submitted verifying the fiscal sponsorship (signed by both parties) at the time of submitting your application for it to be considered complete.

Are there any match requirements for this grant?

Although we value our grantee partners’ ability to leverage our resources with others, we do not require a match.

Who can I reach out to for help with my application?

For Application Questions reach out to: Thomas Kenote, Program Officer, at [email protected]

For Spanish speaking applicants reach out to: Helen Aldana, Program Officer, at [email protected] 

For Fluxx Portal Technical Support reach out to: [email protected]

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