PHOENIX, AZ – Hosted by the Arizona Community Foundation, the convening of Native nonprofits became a reunion of sorts. With a small nonprofit community serving Arizona Tribal communities, most of the individuals who sat around the table already knew one another.
“I think nonprofit work is in the blood of the Hopi people,” jokes Loris Taylor, President and CEO of Native Public Media. “About six of us were Hopi. It was exciting to see representatives from other Tribal nonprofits as well as from our urban communities at the table. Even with over thirty years of nonprofit experience, I learned something new from everyone.”
The group was tasked with answering four key questions essential to growing nonprofit leadership. They included questions about the values the Tribal nonprofits hold dear, the training necessary to grow competent nonprofit leadership that is context based and where the training can be found, advice for the Tribal nonprofit community, and examples of challenges faced by Tribal nonprofits.
Taylor explains, “There is so much to appreciate about Native nonprofits that are doing extraordinary work on little funding. Most nonprofit leaders not only create their own jobs, they build amazing infrastructure in the local communities that often lack a strong business sector to support and sustain their organization’s hard work. Native nonprofits also have to work in nuanced landscapes that can be complex and sensitive and that in itself requires a specific kind of leadership that is unique to Indian Country.”
The Native nonprofit group hopes to meet again and see the gathering as a space in which to network, seek opportunities to collaborate or learn from one another, and to celebrate the accomplishments of their organizations.
Taylor has extensive nonprofit experience. Taylor is a founding member of the Hopi Foundation, the Hopi Education Endowment Fund and Native Public Media which she currently leads. Taylor has also served as the executive director of the Arizona Indian Gaming Association.