Our mission is to inspire and build upon the Native tradition of giving and expand philanthropy within Tribal Nations and Native communities
Potlatch Fund, a Native-led nonprofit, provides grants, capacity building training and leadership development opportunities to Native communities throughout the states of Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Montana. Our work takes us across the Pacific Northwest where we, repeatedly, witness the harsh reality that many of the non-governmental services we take for granted in mainstream communities are unavailable in Indian Country.
We support Tribal communities and Native nonprofits by sharing tools and resources needed to strengthen their organizations. We champion investment in future leaders so they may serve others. We bring the realities of Native America to the philanthropic community and we partner with those dedicated to keeping Native communities, arts and culture alive.
Potlatch Fund’s work has been recognized nationally with the 2005 Sweetgrass Award (First Nations Development Institute) and the 2008 National Leadership in Action Award (WK Kellogg Foundation).
Through a multi-pronged strategy of education, advocacy and re-granting; Potlatch Fund is working to revitalize Native communities. Our three core goals are to:
·Provide capacity building and leadership development services to Tribes and Native nonprofits.
·Educate the nonnative and funding communities about the needs, issues and structures that exist within Indian Country.
·Run grants programs that further Potlatch Fund’s mission through the support of new, emerging and exciting initiatives.
Potlatch Fund is focused on promoting diversity and addressing inequality by educating foundations about Tribal communities, introducing them to Native nonprofits, and holding funder briefings specific to Indian Country. At the same time we are working with Tribes to improve their giving practices and increase their own giving to Native projects and their own communities. Concurrently Tribes are realizing that they cannot fill all the gaps in their community, and thus we work with Native individuals both on reservations and in metropolitan areas to start, fund, and manage Native nonprofits.
We work with Tribal leadership, Native communities, nonprofit leaders and Native artists to bring the idea that - with the help of the money that comes from mainstream philanthropy - they can create their own destinies. We do this through teaching about philanthropy, fundraising and grant writing. We also train groups about financial management, governance, strategic planning, media management and how to start up a nonprofit.
Potlatch Fund began extending grants to Tribal communities and Native nonprofits in 2005 – and last year we awarded our millionth dollar. In 2011 $271,900, a record amount, was awarded to Native initiatives through four grant cycles: InterTribal Canoe Journey, Community Building, Native Arts, and our Cedar Tree Fund in which we work with Tribes to purchase old growth cedar trees for cultural purposes. We also provided mini grants to first time applicants who attended our trainings.
Through our grant programs we are able to serve large numbers of individuals, and have a grant making budget of $230,000 for 2012.
Our strategic plan calls for building out our support of individual donors. We have been actively cultivating our online presence in an effort to increase the scope of our reach without increasing development costs. Individuals, like you, can help Potlatch Fund strengthen Native communities through contributions of your time, talent and treasure. Learn more about our mission, and how to get involved, on our website: www.potlatchfund.org.
In the spirit of the potlatch, we raise our hands up to you!