Kindle Project Indigenous Women’s Flow Fund

Kindle Project Indigenous Women’s Flow Fund

Kindle Project is looking for donors for an exciting new program that shifts the power of grantmaking into the hands of Indigenous women. The Indigenous Women’s Flow Fund (IWFF) is an Indigenous-led grantmaking program that nourishes community-sourced initiatives offering solutions and alternatives to systems in crisis.

Indigenous Women as Solution: Keepers and Makers

Indigenous women are critical to revitalizing cultural lifeways. They are guardians of intergenerational ancestral knowledge, take the lead in honoring and defending nature, and have unique perspectives that create change when empowered to sustain their communities.

Indigenous women suffer disproportionately from failing systems, yet are uniquely positioned to address the root challenges of our time. Indigenous women are on the frontlines of where our systems are collapsing and therefore are already leading the way to new pathways for planetary well-being. From addressing climate crises to societal unrest, Indigenous women have forged approaches that are critical in our times. This Flow Funding program will show the powerful change that happens when Indigenous women move resources—with trust, wisdom, and from a place of strong community. Now is the time to invest your trust and resources in Indigenous Women.

What is Flow Funding?

Flow Funding is a grantmaking approach that redistributes philanthropic decision-making to the communities and individuals that the money is meant to serve. Instead of giving grants directly to organizations, Flow Funding empowers individuals with funds to re-allocate to the communities and initiatives of their choice. It relies on the principle that there is deep knowledge of change-making within communities that can otherwise go unseen by traditional, top-down grantmaking. Flow Funding also serves to build more trust, and it leverages the existing networks of visionary leaders to create sometimes unexpected results.

How does the Indigenous Women’s Flow Fund work?

The IWFF program was informed by feedback from Indigenous community members and longtime funders of Indigenous communities.

Via nominations by an Indigenous Advisory Council and Kindle Project staff, the IWFF program will select 5 Indigenous women who are emergent leaders actively engaged in their native communities from around the United States (on reservations or serving urban diaspora) to participate in a 3-year Flow Fund cohort.

The cohort members will support each other in identifying and prioritizing grantees, ensuring that funds go to Indigenous-led projects that represent long-term, holistic alternatives to systems in crisis. Each member of the cohort will have an individual giving budget of $50,000, and will be sustained with a $15,000 honorarium for their participation. Additionally, $75,000 will go into a pooled fund for the cohort as a whole to re-grant to projects of their choice.

Why Kindle Project?

Kindle Project is an outside-the-box grantmaking organization supporting wild solutions by unusual suspects. As an intermediary, we play an important role in bridging donors and communities. For over a decade, we’ve built committed programming that is both creative and responsible. As the home for the IWFF, Kindle Project does all the behind-the-scenes work to make the program function healthily, so that the Indigenous women cohort members can focus on the work they’re doing so well already.

IWFF Program Director Rowen White (Akwesasne Mohawk) is leading the program and facilitating the cohort. She brings a diverse intertribal facilitation toolkit and embodied experience as a previous Kindle Project Flow Funder. She holds a deep commitment to empowering emerging leaders and a solutions-oriented lens focused on holistic, intergenerational change-making.

As longtime leaders in participatory grantmaking, we’ve witnessed how game-changing it is to work with communities and in collaboration. We bring that wisdom, joy, and enthusiasm to our work.

Why Become a Donor?

Supporting the IWFF is an opportunity to invest in so much more than a grant. It’s an opportunity to share your power and resources by holding trust and relationships at the heart of your giving. Flow Funding has proven to be a powerful tool for donors to feel less isolated and to have their money reach beyond the usual suspects. Flow Funding seeds projects that are central to a donor’s vision for change but otherwise remain invisible or under-resourced.

To meet the great challenges of our time, we need all hands on deck. The IWFF opens the door for you to invest in a collective vision for a vibrant future. As the program unfolds, we will be exploring and co-creating opportunities for authentic donor engagement and learning.

Our Fundraising Goals

We are raising $588,000 per year for 3 years. We currently have commitments of $150,000 per year for 3 years. We hope to secure the remainder of our budget in the next few months, so we can launch with confidence in early 2020. We will provide a detailed budget and a program outline upon request.

We are thrilled to share this groundbreaking Flow Funding program and would love to welcome you along on the journey with us and the Indigenous women leading it. Please join us!

Donate online here, and be sure to include “IWFF” in the comment box. Checks should be made out to “Common Counsel Foundation” with “Kindle Project IWFF” in the memo line. Please send checks to Common Counsel Foundation, 1624 Franklin Street #1022, Oakland, CA 94612.

For more information please contact:
Sadaf Cameron, Executive Director of Kindle Project     505-913-0040