Workforce Grantmaking in Native Nations and Communities (WGNNC) is an initiative of Workforce Matters, advised by Native leaders and funders to: (1) strengthen workforce-focused organizations, programs, and initiatives led by and for Native Nations and communities (collectively referred to as Indian Country); and (2) shift/influence thinking and behaviors of partners (funders, federal and state policymakers and agencies, and researchers) so they can effectively support Indian Country.

WGNNC is pleased to share its inaugural Request for Proposals (RFP) with Native-led workforce development entities seeking philanthropic support to establish, strengthen, or grow self-determined programs, projects, and initiatives designed to meet the distinct workforce development needs of Native Nations, and Native workers and learners. Listed below are key RFP details:

Number of grant awards WGNNC will issue:  7 to 9 awards

Grant award range: $50,000 to $70,000

Grant award term: Up to 24 months (May 1, 2024-April 30, 2026)

WGNNC’s Grant Priorities: The WGNNC grant awards are designed to enhance the capacity of Native-led workforce development entities to design, implement, refine, and/or expand programmatic systems and solutions that cultivate the skills, knowledge, and readiness of Native people to enter, thrive, and advance in their chosen career fields. 

This grant opportunity will prioritize funding for Native-led organizations and entities.

WGNNC has structured this grant opportunity to provide Native-led workforce development entities with maximum flexibility to deploy grant funds as they see fit to advance their organizational priorities based on their unique and cultural understanding of the challenges, needs, and goals of the people and communities they serve. 

For the purpose of this opportunity, “Indian Country” inclusively refers to American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian Nations and communities.

Key Dates and Submission Notes

The grant application process will be conducted in two phases--an initial letter of inquiry phase followed by invitations to selected applicants to submit full proposals. LOI and full proposal submissions will be reviewed by members of the WGNNC advisory committee as well as Workforce Matters staff/consultants. All LOIs and full proposals will be submitted through the Submittable platform.

December 6, 2023 - RFP launches

December 14 and January 12 - Informational webinar for applicants (Registration required)

December 14-January 14 - Q&A period; Q&A will be posted on www.workforce-equity.org

January 19, 11:59 pm CT - Letter of Inquiry (LOI) submission deadline

February 9 - Invitations issued for full proposal submission

March 8 - Full proposal submission deadline

May 1, 2024 - Grant Period Begins  

About Workforce Grantmaking in Native Nations and Communities

The Workforce Grantmaking in Native Nations and Communities Initiative (WGNNC) was initiated after a series of funder-to-funder conversations convened by Workforce Matters and supported by the Northwest Area Foundation starting in late 2021. This group of funders met regularly for a year to deepen its collective informed understanding and strategize about how philanthropy can increase the level and enhance the relevance, adaptability, and impact of its funding commitments in support of workforce development efforts designed by and for Native nations and communities (inclusively referred to as “Indian Country”).

WGNNC's grantmaking initiative is being supported by Workforce Matters' Fund for Workforce Equity.

Workforce Matters