There are 574 federally-recognized Tribes across the country, with Native communities making up nearly three percent of the population. In 2020, charitable giving to Native communities made up only 0.4% of total funding. In an effort to increase funding and capacity building for Tribal groups, Native Americans in Philanthropy (NAP) launched the Tribal Conservation Pledge and Fund Collaborative in November 2022.
Created in coordination with the Biodiversity Funders Group and The Christensen Fund, the Collaborative asks the philanthropic sector to make significant investments in biodiversity and conservation projects that are led by Tribal Nations. The Fund deploys financial resources from philanthropy to Tribally-led projects quickly and efficiently, and is overseen by a Tribal Leader Advisory Committee.
Working in partnership with the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF), the Fund will provide support to Tribal groups applying for resources through the America the Beautiful Challenge (ATBC). This federal program was set up to help the Biden administration meet its 30×30 goals, with NFWF committing to at least ten percent of funding for Tribal Nations. Unfortunately, many groups have a hard time accessing federal funding due to large matching funds requirements. NAP provided over $800,000 in matching funds to applicants during the first round of the ATBC, leading to $26.7 million (29.3 percent of the total funding) awarded to 14 Tribally-led projects. Additionally, by working closely with Tribally-led groups, NAP identified capacity needs for groups, leading to opportunities for more long-term support and sustainability.
NAP is currently working with NFWF for the second round of the ATBC, with the goal of announcing grantees in November 2023.