There are Native American tribes with long histories of philanthropic giving, but one that stands out is the Cow Creek Umpqua Indian Foundation (CCUIF). This private grantmaking foundation was established in 1997 to formalize its giving and has since awarded over $14 million to nonprofits.
CCUIF just made headlines with a $6,000 grant to Bay Area Enterprises to support its Community Employment Expansion Project. This money will expand the Career Development transportation fleet. “Typically, clients of this program have limited transportation options,” according to local news coverage. “By expanding the fleet of the Career Development Division, Bay Area Enterprises will be able to serve clients that otherwise would not have access to these vital services.”
The primary beneficiaries of these funds are adults with disabilities. The grant will help disabled individuals find quality work in the community. Past Bay Area Enterprises projects include the drawbridge in Charleston, composting work, janitorial services and an electronics recycling program.
CCUIF supports a range of causes for youth, families, and the community through the following fields of interest: basic needs, abuse prevention and intervention, health, education and community needs. Funding is built upon the beliefs that no one should go hungry, every child should feel safe, education builds character, and healthy bodies and minds translate into healthy communities.
Grantmaking is limited to nonprofit organizations in Coos, Deschutes, Douglas, Jackson, Josephine, Klamath, and Lane counties in southwest Oregon. This is the seven-county homeland territory region for the tribe. The foundation awarded almost $500,000 to 67 organizations in its most recent grant cycle.
The outfit welcomes unsolicited online proposals from qualified applicants. Take a look at the Grant Guidelines page if you’re based in this area and focus on issues of work and opportunity, or one of the other areas mentioned above. Grants are accepted by two annual deadlines, March 1 and September 1. Nonprofits can expect a response within 12 to 16 weeks of the deadlines. Recent grant recipients are listed on the page with press releases. The foundation regularly reevaluates its grantmaking priorities, so check the website for the most up-to-date information.
The CCUIF board of directors is composed of five tribal members, four community members, and two individuals appointed by Oregon’s governor. Day-to-day operations are managed by a staff of four, including an executive director and three program managers. The staff can be reached for questions by calling 541-957-8945. Definitely plan to give the staff a call to discuss your proposal idea before submitting anything.