Indigenous Peoples are at the front-line of environmental devastation as their sacred lands become targets for exploitation and economic gain. We support projects that protect our Earth and promote the values of reciprocity and respect that are at the heart of sustainable living.
We support projects that teach and inspire children and youth to learn from and participate in the traditional practices of their people: singing their songs, following their ceremonial cycles, and learning traditional knowledge from their community elders.
Food and Healing:
We support projects in Indigenous communities aimed at keeping traditional food, healing sources & teachings, and cultural practices alive, both for the sustenance of the people and for the creation of awareness about the ways in which the earth continually supports us, individually and collectively.
Language, Art and Culture:
We support projects that revitalize Indigenous languages and arts, celebrating the richness of diversity necessary for cultures to flourish.
Ritual and Ceremony:
We support the rituals and ceremonies of Indigenous Peoples that strengthen the fabric of connection between humans, the ancestors, the sacred and the natural world.
We support projects that help Indigenous youth understand and value their ancestral culture with dignity and strength, and to incorporate modernity in their lives in a balanced and effective way. The link between youth and elders is essential to the continuance of wisdom and to the survival of cultures.
Who can apply?
Awards will be made to individuals, groups and organizations whose initiatives are complementary to and further the mandate of Sacred Fire Foundation. Ideally, applicants are a community/organization/group/association of Indigenous Peoples and have non-profit status or a fiscal sponsor with non-profit status.
Organizations that are not a 501(c)(3) exempt organization may be considered but will receive an Internal Revenue Service form 1099 from Sacred Fire Foundation.
What are the requirements?
Sacred Fire Foundation will take the following criteria in mind during the selection process:
1. The application directly benefits an organization and/or a project that is Indigenous-led and has originated from within the community it will benefit. The maximum available for each project is US $5,000. The budget submitted must be based on a realistic assessment of local costs. The budget must be expressed in U.S. dollars.
2. Sacred Fire Foundation considers the contribution that Indigenous participants make to the development of the projects in their own communities. It is important to consider this contribution and describe it in the budget, though the contribution need not be quantifiable (ie. cultural practices, traditional knowledge and spiritual resources).
3. The timetable/calendar must be included, indicating the anticipated activities for the project over a period of 12 months. The date used to determine the 12-month period will be the date of Sacred Fire Foundation’s acceptance letter.
4. Grantees need to fully complete the first grant cycle, and comply with all reporting requirements, prior to considering re-applying to SFF. Applications from former grantees who have failed to submit a report will not be accepted.
6. Sacred Fire Foundation limits funding to 5 years per organization and/or project. During this time period, we encourage the grantee to find additional sources of funding to support the sustainability of the organization and/or project. Grants are based on availability of funds, project performance, and compliance with progress and financial reporting requirements. Incomplete applications will not be considered.
How to apply?
Applications will only be submitted online via the SFF grant application. Applications can be submitted in English or Spanish.
If the applicant needs assistance, please contact: Mercedes Caso
, Sacred Fire Foundation Director of Grantmaking.
When to apply?
Our 2020 Grant Cycle closes on Friday, March 20, 2020.
Applications must be received no later than March 20th at 11:59 p.m., Eastern Time.
Results will be announced to all applicants via email on Friday, June 19, 2020.
The Sacred Fire Foundation will consider the following criteria when making its granting decisions:
1. If the organization and/or project is Indigenous-led and has originated from within the community it will benefit. To determine project and organization leadership, we will favor those organizations with a majority (more than 51%) of
Indigenous leadership in their organizational structure.
2. The extent to which the initiative and the Foundation’s interests are compatible with the support and/or restoration of ancestral wisdom, Indigenous perspectives, and/or cultural or traditional spiritual practices.
3. The specific issue or situation that the project addresses and the relevance and contribution of the proposed project to the issue or situation.
4. The primary and secondary benefits that would accrue as a result of the initiative, especially the extent of long-term benefits.
5. The extent of the community’s volunteer involvement and contribution toward furthering the goals or desired impact described in the application.
6. The extent to which the initiative encourages or enhances cooperation and relationships between and amongst different groups.
7. The potential for the grant to be used to leverage additional funds from other funding sources for the same purposes, if required.
8. For requests that will produce a permanent program or project, evidence that the applicant organization plans to and is capable of financially sustaining the effort beyond the end of the award period.
Restrictions and Conditions
1. Awards will be made with the understanding that Sacred Fire Foundation assumes no obligation or commitment to provide additional support to the applicant organization.
2. Awards will not be made toward the support of political campaigns or attempts to influence a legislature or any other governmental body.
3. Awards will be made without discrimination on the basis of age, color, race, religion, sex, disability, veteran status, or national origin, and only to eligible recipients who do not unlawfully discriminate on these same criteria.
4. Project extensions and/or report submissions may be requested and approved if circumstances are justified.
1. First-class travel including: airfare, accommodation, car rentals, meal costs, etc., unless conditions require this for the success of the project.
2. International travel costs unless unavoidable for the success of the project.
3. Entertainment expenses for purposes other than those directly related to meeting program objectives as defined and agreed on in the proposal.
4. Pre-grant costs (i.e., project costs generated during the preparation of a proposal for the same project).
5. Endowment campaigns.
6. Construction, purchase, or renovation of facilities, with the exception of sacred and ceremonial buildings.
7. Regular salaries of pre-grant permanent staff.
8. Discretionary or emergency/disaster requests.
9. Scholarships and fellowships.
10. Missionary projects.
11. Deficit funding.
Learnings and Reporting
Grantees will be required to collect information throughout the duration of the grant for reporting purposes. The purpose of reporting is to be able to share findings and experiences, challenges and lessons, as well as positive changes or improvements that the project has fostered. Based on the length of the project, grantees may be required to submit an interim and/or a final report. The reports should include evidence (quantified if possible) that will permit Sacred Fire Foundation to evaluate the success of its financial support.
This is a guide of the information that will be requested:
Attainment of goals
1. What were some of the biggest changes generated as a result of this grant?
2. Discuss how your program met (or was unable to meet) each of its goals as defined by your organization in its grant application. Include any specific achievements or setbacks encountered.
3. Reflect and share, specifically, if the project increased and/or protected ancestral wisdom, Indigenous perspectives, and/or cultural and/or spiritual practices (native languages, traditional art, ceremonial practices, traditional medicine, etc.) If so, please explain how this was achieved.