New GrantCraft Guide Explores Grantmaking to Support Indigenous Peoples
Compatibility Revealed Between Goals of Donors and Practices of Indigenous Peoples Worldwide, Especially in Environmental Defense and Human Rights
New York, NY — November 9, 2015. A new guide released today by GrantCraft, a service of Foundation Center, explores how funders collaborate with and bring support to indigenous communities around the world. Funding Indigenous Peoples: Strategies for Support, developed in partnership with International Funders for Indigenous Peoples (IFIP) and launched at an event hosted by the Ford Foundation, illustrates how donors see indigenous populations as important partners, especially in the areas of environmental defense, climate change, and global food security, because they live on lands holding much of the earth’s remaining biodiversity.
The guide shares that, while most funders do not have grant programs dedicated specifically to indigenous communities, many donors support these populations across focus areas, such as gender equity, human rights, sustainable development, international affairs, and preservation of cultural and linguistic practices, in addition to the environment. Funders that work with indigenous communities employ a variety of strategies, from directly funding indigenous organizations and indigenous-led philanthropies to supporting nongovernmental organizations and intermediaries that channel funds or support to these communities.
“More and more funders are starting to realize that indigenous communities are not only cost-effective partners, but also bring long-lasting impact to programs,” said Evelyn Arce, executive director of IFIP.
Funding Indigenous Peoples provides an overview of indigenous issues and programs, funding strategies and approaches, tools and discussion questions for grantmakers, definitions of key terms, and additional resources. Like other GrantCraft guides, it uses real-world examples from a variety of funders to improve the practice of philanthropy, incorporating findings from 25 interviews with grantmakers, a survey of the GrantCraft community, and existing related historical and published resources.
Examples of specific ways that funders carry out this work serve as potential models for others, such as a description of how the Christensen Fund supports the Kivulini Trust in Kenya, an indigenous-led philanthropy that uses local networks to do cross-cutting work on cultural and language revitalization, as a way to deepen the foundation’s core focus on bio-cultural diversity. Another example explains the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation’s support of Instituto del Bien Común, an NGO in Peru whose ancestral land management practices align with the foundation’s core goal of long-term conservation with sustainable use.
“Funders driven to make a dent in persistent issues need to learn from what others have done, and how they have done it,” said Jen Bokoff, director of GrantCraft at Foundation Center. “For those seeking to understand how partnering with indigenous populations can advance mutual goals, this guide will get you on the right track.”
Foundation Center is the leading authority on philanthropy. Its GrantCraft service offers resources that address questions faced by funders in the United States and around the world. GrantCraft resources are integrated into a variety of Foundation Center donor knowledge tools, and in the past year the platform has published over 150 videos, podcasts, blog posts, case studies, and guides addressing questions funders face across various strategies and issue areas. GrantCraft’s director Jen Bokoff also speaks at events throughout the sector to promote learning and dialogue among funders worldwide.
International Funders for Indigenous Peoples (IFIP) is the only global affinity group dedicated to increasing philanthropic support for these communities through face-to-face meetings between leaders in the indigenous and funder worlds, pioneering research, and advocacy.
Funding Indigenous Peoples: Strategies for Support can be downloaded for free at grantcraft.org/guides/funding-indigenous-peoples.
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International Funders for Indigenous Peoples
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Established in 1956, Foundation Center is the leading source of information about philanthropy worldwide. Through data, analysis, and training, it connects people who want to change the world to the resources they need to succeed. Foundation Center maintains the most comprehensive database on U.S. and, increasingly, global grantmakers and their grants — a robust, accessible knowledge bank for the sector. It also operates research, education, and training programs designed to advance knowledge of philanthropy at every level. Thousands of people visit Foundation Center's website each day and are served in its five regional library/learning centers and its network of more than 450 funding information centers located in public libraries, community foundations, and educational institutions nationwide and around the world. For more information, please visit foundationcenter.org or call (212) 620-4230.
About International Funders for Indigenous Peoples
International Funders for Indigenous Peoples is the only global donor affinity group dedicated solely to indigenous peoples around the world. For the past sixteen years, IFIP has built momentum toward a new movement in philanthropy that recognizes indigenous communities as high-impact investments. IFIP works to increase philanthropic investment to indigenous communities around the world through regional meetings, international donor Summits, social media engagement, webinars and original research. Unique among donor affinity groups, IFIP provides the only direct bridge between donors and indigenous peoples, aside from costly community visits. IFIP works from a simple premise: that face-to-face engagement is essential to Indigenous philanthropy. These personalized encounters, buttressed by best practices, case studies and original research, form the cornerstones of IFIP’s strategy. Visit internationalfunders.org or call (415) 580-7982.