First Nations receives $50,000 grant from San Manuel Band of Mission Indians

FNDI screenshot courtesy: Lisa J. Ellwood, Indian Country Today Correspondent and Press Pool Manager

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Grant will help build capacity of Native American nonprofits

News Release

First Nations Development Institute

First Nations Development Institute (First Nations) has received a grant of $50,000 from the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians of Highland, California. First Nations will use the funding on a project called “Building a Sustainable Future for Native Organizations.”

In particular, First Nations will host participants from selected Native American nonprofit organizations at an in-person fundraising “boot camp” and virtual study sessions, and help them achieve certification in grantwriting. This will better prepare these grassroots organizations to more effectively raise funds for their own efforts in the future.

This type of capacity building training is a hallmark of First Nations’ approach to strengthening Native communities and economies. Besides trainings such as this, First Nations often provides direct grants, advocacy and policy assistance, and other technical assistance.

Previously, in 2017, the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians provided a $50,000 grant to enhance First Nations' broad "Nurturing Native Givers and Giving Initiative" and, in particular, its pilot project that provided a fundraising platform for small, grassroots Native American nonprofits.

About First Nations Development Institute

For 38 years, using a three-pronged strategy of educating grassroots practitioners, advocating for systemic change, and capitalizing Indian communities, First Nations has been working to restore Native American control and culturally-compatible stewardship of the assets they own – be they land, human potential, cultural heritage or natural resources – and to establish new assets for ensuring the long-term vitality of Native American communities.  First Nations serves Native American communities throughout the United States. For more information, visit

About the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians

San Manuel Band of Mission Indians is a federally recognized American Indian tribe located near the city of Highland, California. The Serrano Indians are the Indigenous people of the San Bernardino highlands, passes, valleys, mountains and high deserts who share a common language and culture. The San Manuel reservation was established in 1891 and recognized as a sovereign nation with the right of self-government. Since time immemorial, the San Manuel tribal community has endured change and hardship. As an Indigenous community the origins and history of the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians stem from its relationship with the land and to all who share it. Since ancient times San Manuel is able to answer the call of Yawa' (Serrano word meaning "to act on one's beliefs") through partnerships with charitable organizations. San Manuel Band of Mission Indians has been drawn upon its history, knowledge, expertise and cultural values to direct philanthropic giving in the local region, as well as to Native American causes nationwide.


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