First Alaskans Institute

OVERVIEW: This Anchorage-based funder supports community efforts related to early childhood education, high school graduation rates, connecting elders and youth, and youth leadership. Unsolicited applications are accepted.

FUNDING AREAS: Early childhood education, high school graduation rates, connecting elders and youth, youth leadership

IP TAKE: Grantmaking activity isn’t huge with this funder, but youth-focused nonprofits in Alaska should still get familiar with the institute's work.

PROFILE: The First Alaskans Institute (FAI) addresses the needs of Alaska Native people through community engagement, information and research, collaboration, and leadership development. This profile will focus on the organization’s community engagement activities. This group adopted its current name in 2002; learn more about the institute’s history here.

FAI introduced its Community Investments Awards funding initiative in 2007 to support collaborative efforts among community organizations. It also uses these awards to support programs that build healthy and vibrant communities. Areas of focus for grants are early childhood education, high school graduation rates, connecting elders and youth, and youth leadership. This funding project came about through the Native community’s feedback and recommendations, as well as the organization’s participation in summits, conferences, and advisory groups.

Funding typically goes towards collaborative efforts among community groups, including family and community partnerships. The board of trustees at the institute has distributed over $831,000 to groups with missions that align with its goals. On the institute’s Community Investments page, you can find downloadable publications with examples of a funded budget, sample completed application, fillable application, and sample outcomes and measures. Applications should be mailed to the institute (ATTN: Community Engagement Awards).

In addition to funding awards, the institute also supports research about Alaska Native demographics to improve the lives of this population and helps develop the next generation of Alaskan leaders. Part of this effort includes developing internship opportunities in Juneau and Washington, D.C. and implementing the Elders and Youth Conference.

Questions about grant applications should go to the institute staff at 907-677-1700 or via email at info@fistalaskans.org. The foundation is run by a president/CEO, operations manager, sustainability coordinator, vice president/operations director, policy center director, leadership coordinator, and sustainability director. The mailing address is 606 East Street, Suite 200, Anchorage, Alaska 99501.

Keep up with this funder on its newsroom section. First Alaskans Magazine is also a good resource for nonprofits working with this community. 

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