The next generation of Native American nonprofit sector leaders will receive a significant boost from a leadership training program organized by First Nations Development Institute

The next generation of Native American nonprofit sector leaders will receive a significant boost from a leadership training program organized by First Nations Development Institute (First Nations) and funded by a consortium of private foundations as well as contributions from individual supporters.

Grants of $300,000 over three years from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, $400,000 over two years from the Ford Foundation and $25,000 from American Express will support the Leadership and Entrepreneurial Apprenticeship Development (LEAD) program for up-and-coming, nonprofit executives serving Native American communities in Oregon, Washington and Colorado. In all, 60 Native American nonprofit professionals will be trained during the three-year grant period.

LEAD will develop a new pool of nonprofit leaders to meet the needs of the growing Native American nonprofit sector. LEAD Fellows are employed by a nonprofit organization or planning a career in the nonprofit sector, are committed to a career working in Native communities, and are affiliated with a tribe. In fall 2008, LEAD graduated 12 Fellows. For information about the 2007 – 2008 LEAD graduates and the 2008 – 2009 class of LEAD Fellows, visit www.firstnations.org.

In Oregon, Washington and Colorado, respectively, partner organizations – the Native American Youth and Family Center (NAYA), the Potlatch Fund and NVision– will organize and host the training sessions for the Fellows with facilitation and support fromFirst Nations.

“We are so pleased to expand this program that builds the capacity of Native nonprofit organizations,” said First Nations’ President, Michael E. Roberts. “By concentrating resources on our communities’ most important asset – our people – we can build strong communities and tribal institutions.”

The one-year mentorship program will train participants in areas critical to successful nonprofit leaders, including financial management, factors affecting Native or reservation-based nonprofit organizations, fundraising, program evaluation and service leadership.

About First Nations Development Institute
Through a three-pronged strategy of Educating Grassroots Practitioners, Advocating for Systemic Change, and Capitalizing Indian Communities, First Nations Development Institute is working to restore Native 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 communities. First Nations Development Institute is a national, nonprofit, Native American-led organization.

For more information about this program, contact Sarah Vermillion, Vice President of First Nations Development Institute, at 303-774-7836 / svermillion@firstnations.org.

Via EPR Network
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