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In a blog post late last year, we mentioned that the next iteration of our “zone grant” activity would be focused on the Native American Recovery Fund at the New Mexico Foundation. In the intervening months, the collaborating funders and partners have made a lot of progress in pooling funds, selecting grantees and making initial awards.
The majority of the grant decisions were made in November and December of last year, with the Strategy Tables (which are composed of Native American community leaders and representatives from participating funders) engaging in productive conversations to arrive at consensus-based decisions. The Water Resilience Strategy Table decided to seek additional applications and did so, significantly increasing the scope of proposals it received and reviewed. As of a month ago, all 12 of the “Phase 1” grantees were selected across all the tables, with notifications and initial awards of $25,000 dispersed to the organizations, with each grantee also poised to receive an additional $200,000 each over the next two years. For a summary of the grantee organizations and projects, please visit the New Mexico Foundation website here:
There were 2 grantees each in the Local Food, Health Systems and Family Economic Security areas and 3 grantees each in Water Resilience and Opportunity Youth. As a next step, grantees were invited to an Orientation Webinar, which took place at the end of March, where they learned more about the history of the Recovery Fund, were provided with details about the various opportunities connected to the Fund, and invited to participate in the development and design of the forthcoming capacity building network.
We have been very fortunate in our fundraising efforts. The Phase 1 grants (which are the 12 $225,000 grants mentioned above) are close to fully-funded. The Leadership Capacity Building Network is also in good shape, with a bit more funding needed for the programmatic elements, while the stipends are already covered.
Our next big challenge will be the Participatory Grantmaking effort. We intend to raise a total of $2 million for this element, with $1 million coming from donors across New Mexico (we are in conversations with multiple Community Foundations in the state to build partnership toward this end) and $1 million coming from a national funding partner. Stay tuned for more details as this campaign comes online.
We anticipate that once we have completed the orientation process for the Phase 1 grantees, we will have an opportunity to invite them to meet the strategy table members to share their work and begin building relationships. Our goal is that the tables will evolve with the inclusion of these leaders and take a new shape to carry through the implementation years that follow.