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Native Voices Rising Grants $2 Million To Community Organizing And Advocacy Efforts Led By Indigenous Communities

January 13, 2022 | 3 min read

Native Voices Rising Grants $2 Million To Community Organizing And Advocacy Efforts Led By Indigenous Communities

Oakland, Calif. – Native Voices Rising, a community-driven partnership between Native Americans in Philanthropy and Common Counsel Foundation, is honored to announce the granting of $2 million to 88 Indigenous and Native-led advocacy and organizing groups.

Established in 2013, Native Voices Rising has granted $5.5 million to support Native-led grassroots and advocacy efforts that empower American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian communities across the United States. Native Voices Rising is one of the few participatory grantmaking initiatives in the country led by Native people. Through a transparent and community-driven decision-making model, Native Voices Rising uplifts and amplifies the voices and experiences of Native people. 

Native Voices Rising’s ongoing commitment to community-led change intentionally refers to recipients of grant funds as grant partners. Grant partners work on an array of critical issues, including the promotion of Indigenous worldview, Native sovereignty, climate and water justice, economic development, language preservation, and voting rights.

“Native Voices Rising plays a critical role in resisting overwhelming institutional forces in this country that are persistent in trying to systematically erase the experience of Native American communities. Native Voices Rising is committed to calling for more and deeper investments in the future of Native communities by supporting Native leaders and Native-led institutions. This work is far from finished.”  - Peggy Saika, Executive Director,  Common Counsel Foundation 

According to multiple studies, total philanthropic dollars dedicated to causes that benefit Native communities – let alone Native-led efforts – hovers in the range of 0.3-0.4% of all grantmaking by philanthropic institutions. Native Voices Rising seeks to remedy the historic and enduring underfunding of Native-led efforts by facilitating a process for non-Native donors and institutions to learn from and build relationships with Native grassroots leaders and support Native-led organizing and advocacy.

We believe the best way to challenge a sector to do better is to lead by example. Native Voices Rising is our way of putting our values into practice. The decision-making is in the hands of our own Native community leaders and we provide unrestricted funds along with capacity-building support to impactful Native-led organizations across the country.” – Erik Stegman (Carry the Kettle First Nation- Nakoda), CEO, Native Americans in Philanthropy

Native Voices Rising is a participatory grantmaking model that engages Native community reviewers to screen, review, and ultimately make grant recommendations. Over a six to eight-month period, Native community members ensure that the process and grantmaking are held in the hands of Native leaders and advocates. In addition, Native Voices Rising leads a capacity-building program that offers grant partners the opportunity to interface with each other and connect with leaders in the nonprofit sector around key issues, including organizational development, fundraising, and philanthropy.

“NAWDIM works on the survival of Indigenous babies and moms in a health care system that does not treat us fairly. NVR reviewers already understand us; our challenges with the system, our approach through cultural teachings in partnership with direct service providers, and our emphasis on advocacy for tribal sovereignty. NVR feels like a trusted investment in NAWDIM’s collective vision and work for our future generations.”  - Shelley Means, Co-Coordinator, Native American Women’s Dialog on Infant Mortality (NAWDIM) 

For funders, Native Voices Rising's unique community-led and collaborative grantmaking approach engages donors at all levels to directly invest in organizations led by Native people focusing on structural change. The process allows funders to support Native-led solutions and deepen community control within Native communities. 

“Native Voices Rising is about improving the well-being of Native communities. Native Voices Rising has helped our organization create Nez Perce language videos that we have designed in collaboration with tribal youth. I believe that we both see the same vision, and that is designing, planning, and implementing a greater future for Native Communities.” - Bessie Walker, hipéexnu’ kíi’u núun wisíix. Inc.

Interested donors are encouraged to learn about and contribute to the Native-led grantmaking by visiting or emailing

A complete list of organizations funded by Native Voices Rising can be found at Please support and fund these outstanding and remarkable organizations. 


Common Counsel Foundation advances equity and environmental health through a combination of collaborative grantmaking and strategic philanthropic advising for client member funds and manages projects focused on organizational development, leadership training and sustainability, and donor education. More information is available at

Native Americans in Philanthropy is a coalition of Native-led nonprofits, Tribal communities, and foundations committed to supporting and promoting equitable and effective philanthropy in Native communities. NAP board and members hold a vision of healthy and sustainable communities enhanced by the Native spirit of reciprocity. This vision inspires and motivates member engagement through our mission to advance philanthropic practices grounded in Native values and traditions. For more information, see


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