Indigenous Community Leadership in Response to COVID-19: A Call to Action for the Philanthropic Sector

Indigenous Community Leadership in Response to COVID-19: A Call to Action for the Philanthropic Sector

The disproportionate impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Native Americans — the legacy, in part, of generations of failed federal policy, inadequate infrastructure, and limited access to health care, nutritious food, and safe, affordable housing — has seen tribal communities mobilize and leverage their resources to mitigate those impacts, a report from Native Americans in Philanthropy finds. According to the report, Indigenous Community Leadership in Response to COVID-19: A Call to Action for the Philanthropic Sector (30 pages, PDF), Naive communities received more than $32 million in philanthropic funds between March and October, including nearly $23.5 million raised by fifteen nonprofits and $8.7 million raised by fifty-six GoFundMe campaigns. Based on interviews with Indigenous community leaders, the report outlines lessons learned from the efforts for Native-focused philanthropy in the future: prioritize partnerships and community knowledge; increase support for access to information resources; reassess how philanthropic investments can better support the building of infrastructure; prioritize general operating support for Indigenous community organizations; integrate practices that empower and support Indigenous youth; and reevaluate performance metrics through the lenses of needs and impact.

(Photo courtesy of Navajo & Hopi Families COVID-19 Relief Fund)