First Nations Development Institute

A nonprofit organization

First Nations is the most highly-rated American Indian nonprofit in the nation. We improve economic conditions for Native Americans through direct financial grants, technical assistance & training, and advocacy & policy.

What our community partners are saying - 

"I love working with First Nations! They actually listen to our needs and have provided support to reach short term and long term goals. I have often felt the need to fit into funders "boxes" or try to meet their "expectations". But working with the California Fund program has been a dream come true for us. Always listening to us and providing suggestions, they have never exploited our relationship but rather encourage us to help ourselves and others.. Hutwima!"

Read more on our GreatNonprofits profile


Our mission is to strengthen American Indian economies to support healthy Native communities. We invest in and create innovative institutions and models that strengthen asset control and support economic development for American Indian people and their communities.

With the support of individuals, foundations, corporate and tribal donors, First Nations Development Institute improves economic conditions for Native Americans through technical assistance & training, advocacy & policy, and direct financial grants in multiple key areas:

*Achieving Native Financial Empowerment

*Investing in Native Youth

*Strengthening Tribal & Community Institutions

*Nourishing Native Foods & Health

*Stewarding Native Lands

Background Statement

First Nations Development Institute is a national 43-year-old Native American-led nonprofit organization headquartered in Longmont, Colorado.

Over its history, First Nations has educated and supported hundreds of Native communities by providing the training tools, program models and financial resources required for creating, strengthening and retaining community-based Native nonprofit and tribal organizations.

Our core belief is that only solutions provided by Native peoples, for Native people, and defined within their own development strategies and cultural values, will succeed. In harmony with this philosophy, we work with Native communities where we are welcomed and invited - ensuring that our assistance will help projects move forward and be implemented in accordance with Native community values and priorities.

First Nations began its national grantmaking program in 1993. Through mid-year 2023, we have successfully managed 3,052 grants totaling $64.7 million to Native American projects and organizations in 45 states, the District of Columbia, and U.S. Territory American Samoa.

Organization Data


Organization name

First Nations Development Institute

other names

First Nations

Year Established



Community Improvement & Capacity Building

Organization Size

Large Organization


2432 Main St
Longmont, CO 80501


4263 Montgomery Blvd NE Suite I-230
Albuquerque, NM 87109

Service areas








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