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Transforming Native Philanthropy

FLAGSTAFF, AZ – Building the muscles of Native nonprofits is no easy matter. After an initial meeting in September 2018, the Arizona Community Foundation (ACF) reconvened a cohort of non-profit organizations, including Native Public Media in Flagstaff, Arizona to continue organizing the development of a Native American Initiative (NAI) under the auspice of the ACF. NAI’s goal is to assist Native nonprofits in building their wealth building muscles that may include professional and/or workforce development training.

“With 22 Native American tribes in Arizona and numerous non-profits serving Tribal communities to make life better in Native communities, flexing our philanthropic knowledge is critically important,” states Melissa Begay of Native Public Media.

Tribal nonprofits often operate on small budgets and suffer capacity issues in the wealth building arena. In order to develop a sustainable endowment, for example, a solid foundation and dedicated revenue stream is required.

ACF Board members Barbara Poley and Jacob Moore advocated that in order to cultivate endowed funds for Native nonprofits, structural support from philanthropic organizations like ACF is required to capture the scope and reach with Arizona tribes and communities.

NPM President/CEO Loris Taylor agrees, “Under the NAI progress is being made. So far we have identified the needs and strengths of Native non-profits, and once we determine the intersection between that and the role and mission of ACF, we can work together to move the dial for Native nonprofits within the State of Arizona.”

The Arizona Community Foundation’s mission is to lead, serve, and collaborate to mobilize enduring philanthropy for a better Arizona includes widening the philanthropic scope to support Native Americans to address relevant issues.

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