The Community Action Fund application portal will be open from
April 17- October 31, 2023, 5 p.m. US Central
NDN Collective supports on the ground action to further our mission 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 people and Mother Earth. We believe in, invest in, and support Indigenous self-determination.
We support frontline organizers, action and movements in their work to:
Indigenous Peoples, communities and Nations defend and protect our land, air, water, and natural resources.
Indigenous Peoples, communities, and Nations are developed in a regenerative and sustainable manner based on our values and connection to land, culture and identity.
Indigenous ceremonies, cultures, languages, and ways of life are revitalized, recognized and celebrated.
The Community Action Fund is meant to provide one-time support. The Community Action Fund grant application cycle itself is open on an ongoing basis, as funds are available, April – October 31st, 5 p.m. US Central. Community Action Fund grant inquiries November – March can be made at: [email protected]
NDN Foundation staff team will review grant application materials and can be expected to respond within three weeks of receipt. CAF grantees selected will sign a grant agreement and submit payment information. A final report will be due within one month of completion of the grant term.
Community Action Fund (CAF) – Purpose & Intent
NDN is deeply committed and connected to the Indigenous movement space and what is happening on the ground for Indigenous activists. NDN Foundation’s Community Action Fund (CAF) provides urgent response grants that move money into the movement space to help further Indigenous Peoples’ agendas as it relates to the defense, development, and decolonization of our peoples and Mother Earth. CAF provides urgent response grants to groups and individuals most impacted by local challenges, ensuring that resources and decision-making ability lies with those most affected by the results and most equipped to solve pressing challenges and address imminent threats. CAF prioritizes frontline, grassroots and community-based efforts that defend our people, communities and nations against negative resource extraction that poisons our people, pollutes our water, destroys our lands, contributes to climate change and violates our human rights.
What does support look like
CAF will support efforts that include community organizing, amplification of community voices, and utilize a wide variety of tactics imperative to shifting the political and financial systems that are impacting our communities.
Areas of emphasis may include: climate justice and racial equity efforts, challenging the extractive industry, accelerating the just energy transition in Indigenous communities, healing justice work within the movement, and training the next generation of community organizers. Direct expenses may include funding for travel, supplies, equipment, consultants, contractual services and staff that support various forms of NVDA (non-violent direct action), i.e.; marches, camps, boycotts, prayer vigils as a form of resistance, organizing or protest to affect change. Action may also include community-based response to climate events such as flooding, fires, earthquakes.
NDN’s geographic grantmaking focus is Turtle Island (North America) and related Island Nations, which includes 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.
A viable Community Action effort must have the following attributes in order to be considered:
- Relationships in community and on the ground (known partners, including community relationships, partnerships and other supports, networks and allies)
- A clear intention with clear result, including the strategies, tactics and mechanism to move it forward.
- We prioritize grass-roots, community-based groups and organizations with limited annual budgets of no more than $1 million and with limited access to donors
- 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?
Organizations/Groups can partner with a local nonprofit they have an established relationship with, who may or may not have an official fiscal sponsorship program, but can become a fiscal sponsor of the grassroots group if they are interested.
Please note that there are many types of fiscal sponsorship relationships; it is important to research which type works best for you and your organization before entering an agreement.
If you are partnering with a fiscal sponsor to apply for this funding stream, the fiscal sponsor does not have to meet the “Indigenous led” criteria as outlined in this section. Only the individual/Tribal Nation/organization doing the work with the funds must meet the criteria to be eligible.Note: If you proceed with a fiscal sponsor, we will ask you and the fiscal sponsor to sign a fiscal sponsorship agreement.
- Community Harmony and Safety Protocols – Applicants are required to share their community harmony and safety protocols related to the COVID 19 Pandemic and prevention/protection of participants from the harms of physical/sexual abuse or exploitation.
- Advocacy Activities – You may intend to carry out your project by advocating to change public policy. If your project includes public policy advocacy, NDN needs to understand whether that advocacy will involve lobbying. NDN can fund lobbying so long as it properly accounts for it. You may be engaged in lobbying if you communicate with legislators, their staff, or the public about actions such as passing a law or funding a government program.
Examples of lobbying include:
- Meeting with a legislator or a member of their staff to request changes to a bill.
- Organizing a rally to protest a bill your organization opposes.
- Trying to influence an appropriation in a federal, tribal, state, county, or city budget to be
- voted on by a legislative body.
- Speaking at a public meeting about your organization’s position on a measure a legislature
- will vote on.
- Encouraging members of the public to contact their legislator about a pending bill.
- Collecting signatures for a petition to add a referendum question to your state’s ballot.
The Community Action Fund does not support:
- Ongoing planned projects/activities/service delivery programs
- Annual operating costs
- Bridge/gap funding
- Capital projects or land purchase
The average grant award is $15,000 but can range up to $30,000.
Community Action Fund grants are meant to support direct actions and organizing efforts that are often time sensitive and urgent. Grant terms are typically no more than six months. A final report sharing the results of the action is expected at the end of the grant term.
1. NDN Collective’s commitment to a new and better normal is part of a long-term community resilience and sustainability model. NDN’s strategies of Defend, Develop, and Decolonize provide opportunities for more innovative and sustainable solutions led by a collective of Indigenous Peoples, communities, and nations. We believe this approach is necessary for justice and equity of all people and Mother Earth. Does your organization or tribe’s mission and community work align with this mission?
2. Are you or your organization Indigenous TO Turtle Island (North America) and related Island Nations, which includes 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?
3. 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.
NDN defines “Indigenous led” as organizations or entities whose board or decision-making body composition is 100% Indigenous and whose staff composition is at least 70% Indigenous. While organizations with less than that composition may still choose to apply, it will be expected that plans for developing and empowering 100% Indigenous leadership and decision-making are included in the proposal. Note: If you are partnering with a fiscal sponsor to apply for this funding stream, the fiscal sponsor does not have to meet the “Indigenous led” criteria as outlined in this section. Only the individual/Tribal Nation/organization doing the work with the funds must meet the criteria to be eligible.
Is your organization Indigenous led, in accordance with the above definition?
4. The Community Action Fund is intended to provide support for urgent, short term actions/efforts. Is your Action/Effort a long-term project expected to last more than six months?
5. Are you at least 18 years of age?
6. Do you or your organization have either of the following for purposes of receiving a grant:
1) Tax identification number (or international equivalent) or
2) Proof of a fiscal sponsor
How to Apply for the Community Action Fund
April through October – Grant Applications can be submitted by clicking on the following link:
For more grants information contact:
English and French speaking applicants: Thomas Kenote, Program Officer, at [email protected]
Fluxx Portal Technical Support: [email protected]
All other general grant inquiries: [email protected]