Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Company Foundation

OVERVIEW: The Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Company Foundation is the philanthropic foundation of a tobacco company based in Santa Fe, New Mexico. It backs projects that support American Indians through entrepreneurship, higher education, and the preservation of culture.

FUNDING AREAS: American Indian entrepreneurship, higher education, cultural preservation

IP TAKE: This is a tobacco company foundation, but it's also an American Indian-focused foundation. Proposals promoting the arts and education tend to do better than those focused on health or the environment.  

PROFILE: Established in April of 1997, the Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Company Foundation (SFNTCF) is based in Santa Fe, New Mexico. It is solely funded by the Santa Fe Tobacco Company, which makes contributions each year. Santa Fe Tobacco Co. manufactures and markets Natural American Spirit cigarettes and roll-your-own tobacco products. It has a facility in Oxford, North Carolina, that sources tobacco and has been organic tobacco programs with independent farmers. The company was founded in 1982 and often highlights its Santa Fe culture and connection, as well as its sustainability practices. The foundation’s areas of interest are American Indian entrepreneurship, higher education, and cultural preservation.

Grants go to groups that preserve, promote, and advance American Indian self-sufficiency and culture in the U.S. The foundation gives money to programs that develop entrepreneurism within the American Indian culture, promote college, graduate and post-graduate education for American Indians, and preserve and enhance the culture in a variety of ways. SFNTCF makes grants to nonprofits, but not individuals. Grants have gone to Friends of Ganondagan, The Indigenous Language Institute, The Institute of American Indian Arts, T.R.E.A.T.Y. Total Immersion School, the Tennessee Indian Education Fund, the Piegan Institute, the National Museum of the American Indian, the Tazzla Institute for Cultural Diversity, The School of American Research, the Green Policy Institute, the Southwestern Association for Indian Arts, the Fourth World Center, the Iroquois Youth Leadership Program, the American Indian College Fund, and the Native American Rights Fund.

The foundation does not have an online grants database to review past grants. While it does not focus strictly on New Mexico, many grants are awarded here and around the city of Santa Fe. General operating support requests are not considered, as this is a funder of specifically identified projects.

This funder accepts unsolicited grant applications from nonprofits. Download the grant application at the funder’s website and complete it along with the proposal, project request content, financial data, governing board information, proof of tax exempt status, and any other pamphlets or flyers to include. The foundation board meets quarterly in March, June, September, and December to review applications. It awards grants four times per year, with deadlines typically on the last day of the month preceding the meeting month. Distributions are made within about 30 days of the foundation board meeting. Grant applications can be submitted by mail or email, but not fax. The foundation’s email is to contact the staff.


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