FAQ - The Notah Begay III Foundation

Frequently Asked Questions 

What does NB3 Foundation's Native Strong program fund?

Native Strong funds community-driven programs focused on addressing childhood obesity and type 2 diabetes prevention for Native American children. Specific strategies that are currently funded will be outlined in the RFPs. Please refer to the website for RFP information.

Does Native Strong provide discretionary, operating grants, or multi-year grants?

Currently, Native Strong does not provide discretionary or operating grants.  However, depending on funding availability we may provide multi-year grants. Additionally, requests for funding outside of our funding priorities and/or published grant cycles are not accepted. Information on grant cycles and funding opportunities will be posted to the NB3F website and will be sent out via the Notah Begay III Foundation’s social media network, press releases and listserv.

What is the difference between a Promising Program Grant and a Capacity Building Grant?

While the end goal of both grants is to address childhood obesity and/or type 2 diabetes prevention in Native American children, each grant supports a different strategy. Promising Program Grants will 1) strengthen youth focused obesity prevention programming that has been in existence for at least one year and 2) build capacity for program evaluation. A Capacity Building Grant will support 1) community planning and/or 2) community health assessments to inform community driven childhood obesity prevention strategies.

Our organization is outside of the preference regions listed on the RFP. Can I still apply for a grant?

Based on our funders areas of interest, we may limit or broaden the scope of the grant and geographical regions. In the case we have identified “preferred regions”, we expect the majority of our grants to be from those areas. However, we recognize important work is being done across Indian Country. If indicated in the RFP, applicants will be accepted from outside of our “preference regions” and grants will be awarded for exceptional proposals.

What is a “Native American controlled nonprofit”?

A Native American controlled nonprofit is a 501(c)(3) organization in which the majority of their Board of Directors are Native American. 501(c)(3) organizations that are NOT Native American controlled are NOT eligible to apply (with or without a fiscal sponsor).

Are fiscal sponsors accepted for community-based groups?

US-based Native American community-based groups that do not have nonprofit 501(c)(3) status and are not tribal governments or tribal programs may use a fiscal sponsor to apply. While Native Strong does not designate fiscal sponsors, it must be evident that the fiscal sponsor’s mission aligns with or is consistent with the applicant’s. Furthermore, preference will be given to Native American controlled 501(c)(3) fiscal sponsors.

Community-based groups must still demonstrate that they are Native American controlled by indicating that the majority of leadership within the organization is Native American. If you are a community-based group and would like to apply, you are encouraged to contact Native Strong staff before applying. Contact grants@nb3f.org or (505) 867-0776 ext. 269.

What is a fiscal sponsor and what are the requirements?

A fiscal sponsor is a 501(c)(3) public charity that serves as the official recipient of charitable donations for another organization that does not have tax-exempt status. A fiscal sponsor must only offer a sponsorship to a group or project that shares a similar or consistent mission. When a 501(c)(3) nonprofit assumes sponsorship, the IRS considers it and the sponsored organization to be one and the same. All of the IRS 501(c)(3) nonprofit’s activities must align with its stated mission in order for it to retain its tax-exempt status. As per Native Strong’s policy, both the fiscal sponsor and the sponsored organization will be required to sign the grant agreement and submit a fiscal sponsorship agreement that outlines the terms, conditions and fees (if any and limited to no more than 15% of the total project budget). Native Strong can provide a fiscal sponsorship agreement template if there is not a fiscal sponsorship agreement already in place.

Are schools eligible to apply for a grant?

Only schools that are Native controlled with 501(c) (3) status are eligible to apply.

If the applicant serves Native American communities of all ages are they eligible to apply for a grant?

The applicant organization may serve all ages, but must demonstrate that the specific program/project they are requesting funding for will primarily serve and/or impact Native American children and youth. Please review the RFP for any specifically identified age ranges.

Can Urban Indian organizations apply for a grant?

Yes, if they are a Native American controlled nonprofit (as defined in question 4) or have a fiscal sponsor that is a 501(c)(3) organization (see question 5).

What options are available if a grantee doesn’t have reliable Internet access?

Organizations that are not able to access the Internet or have an unreliable connection must contact the Native Strong team well in advance of the application deadline at 505-867-0775 to discuss possible alternatives.

How long is the process between an application being submitted and notification?

The length of the notification process will vary by grant cycle, depending on the number of grant applications received and funding available. In order to make the final selection of grants, applications are thoroughly reviewed by NB3F staff and/or grant review teams before being approved. For specific notification dates and times, please refer to the website for the grant cycle calendars.

Can I charge indirect costs to the grant?

Native Strong allows indirect costs to be charged to the grant. Depending on the grant, they may typically range between a maximum of 10- 15% of the requested funds. Please see the RFA for the specific percentage cap. Indirect costs are costs not directly related to implementing your program (i.e. rent, utilities, etc.)

We have expenses between the grant period start date and the first payment. Can I charge those to the grant?

Yes, expenses may be applied retroactively, as long as they were accrued anytime between the defined grant period start and end date.

Can our organization submit multiple proposals for each grant cycle? (ex. 2 applications for the current Promising Program Grant Cycle)

No. Each organization may submit only one proposal per cycle.

Can our organization submit a proposal for both a Promising Program Grant and a Capacity Build- ing Grant?

Yes. However, due to limited funding, we strongly encourage organizations to identify which grant opportunity best addresses your organizations immediate needs.

What is the average size of award?

The average size of award varies depending on the grant cycle and funds available. In order to receive full funding, organizations must demonstrate a feasible and realistic budget. Please see the current RFP and website for the maximum award for each grant cycle.

I didn’t receive a grant. Why?

The majority of proposals that are received are fund worthy. However, the amount of funding available for each grant cycle is limited, making it impossible to fund all requests. Native Strong will review appli- cations based on eligibility and selection criteria and then use several priority and preference filters to make the final selection. Considering the number of applications received, Native Strong will not be able to review applications before submission. However, upon request and at the discretion of Native Strong staff, staff are available to provide reviewer comments to declined applicants.

If I do not receive a grant, can I apply again?

An organization that did not receive a grant is eligible to apply for future funding. However, we encourage you to review guidelines and funding priorities to ensure alignment.

If we are awarded a grant, when will we receive funds?

Funding disbursements will be posted to the respective grant cycle calendar. Please refer to the website and your grant agreement for the payment schedule. All disbursements are contingent upon receipt of grant agreements, and a satisfactory review of progress and final reports.

What technical assistance (TA) opportunities are available?

Depending on the grant cycle, various types of technical assistance may be available to grantees, includ- ing TA on program evaluation and customized one on one TA and/or in a group. Other TA opportunities as well as additional resources will be made available to the community and partners via our website and through our listserv.

What does capacity building mean?

“Any actions that improve your organization’s effectiveness”. There are many different ways that this could be done. For example, increasing your skills by participating in professional development and trainings, taking advantage of opportunities to network, collaborate and learn from peers, creating or updating strategic plans, etc. It really can be any steps you take to strengthen your organization and serve your community better.