A Call to Action: Increasing Philanthropic Support for Native Communities During COVID-19
Share information from credible sources and model good behavior and practices advanced by the World Health Organization, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and others.
Keep open lines of communication with your board, employees and constituents. In these uncertain times, staff members of Native nonprofits will be looking for Native leaders to be transparent about decision-making and organizational plans. Organizations, if possible, can evaluate vacation and sick leave for flexibility to meet staff and organizational needs.
Be in contact with current donors. If your community or organization is hard hit by the pandemic and economic crisis, contact your current donors and keep them informed. Develop clear ways they may be able to help support your organization and community. If the COVID-19 outbreak will disrupt grant deliverables, communicate that to your funders early.
Reach out to allies, mentors and other lenders. During these uncertain times, leaders may need systems of support and allies. You can reach out to others to let them know what your organizations is doing during this pandemic and also learn what others are doing.
Be informed of state recovery efforts. Contact state nonprofit associations to see if states or philanthropic organizations in your state are developing plans to aid nonprofits to curb the fallout of this pandemic and economic crisis. Stay informed of national conversations by ally organizations to see what is happening in the broader sector in terms of assistance
Start planning. This pandemic will have effect immediate and long-term philanthropic giving. Native leaders should be developing plans to respond to more immediate scenarios like short-term quarantines and longer-term disruptions in your operations. But Native leaders should be also be thinking about long-term implications of the pandemic and the fall-out, including the financial crisis.
Native nonprofits need to collectively advocate to ensure our communities are not forgotten in the pandemic and economic crisis. Native organizations in “normal times” are under resourced within philanthropy, and we cannot let the status quo continue. Native nonprofit leaders can and should stay informed and get involved in larger advocacy efforts in the Native and the nonprofit sector to make their voices heard. Below are some key points you could share:
The mission of the NWF is three-fold: (1) strengthen the circle of giving by uniting Native organizations to raise awareness and support for the communities we serve; (2) better serve Native communities by becoming more effective Native nonprofit organizations; and (3) ensure that nonprofit organizations working on behalf of Native communities observe the highest levels of ethical standards and fiscal responsibility. NWF is unique in that it is the only federation in the country directly serving Native nonprofits that assist Native peoples and communities in Indian Country. NWF is based on the idea that the challenges facing Indian Country demand that nonprofits serving this population hold themselves accountable to the highest standards.