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Longmont nonprofit invests $12.5 million into Native communities

First Nations Development Institute releases impact report for 2022
First Nations Development Institute

A nonprofit headquartered in Longmont invested $12.5 million into Native American communities across the country last year.

The First Nations Development Institute released their 2022 impact report this month. The 42-year-old nonprofit empowers Native communities through direct financial support, technical assistance and advocacy for systemic change.

According to the impact report, First Nations awarded 410 grants to Native-controlled nonprofits and tribal government programs, including 127 COVID-19 emergency response grants. The investment totaled $10.1 million for program grants, $1.6 million for COVID-19 emergency response and $750,000 in fellowship funds.

The nonprofit also hosted 191 technical assistance support sessions, reached over 140,000 people through programs, provided 29 academic scholarships, saw 42 publications authored or produced and nearly 5,000 papers downloaded from the institute’s online knowledge center.

In 2022, First Nations received 300 applications for fellowships, awarding 10. Another 14 participants were supported in the Indigenous Food Systems Community of Practice.

Grants were given to partners in over 30 states, including over $300,000 in Colorado. The report noted, however, that First Nations is only able to fund a small percentage of the grant requests it receives — usually less than 20%.

According to the report, 90% of expenditures at the nonprofit went to programs, with 4% going to fundraising and 6% to administration.

“At First Nations, we view the resources entrusted to us as sacred and take great responsibility in how we use them,” the report said.

In 2022, First Nations received the highest rating of four stars from Charity Navigator for the 11th year in a row, was recognized with the highest level of recognition for transparency from GuideStar and met all 20 stands of the Better Business Bureau’s Wise Giving Alliance. First Nations was newly honored with a Top-Rated Award from GreatNonprofits last year.