Mission: First Nations Development Institute is a national, nonprofit, Native American organization whose mission is to strengthen American Indian economies to support healthy Native communities.

We believe that only solutions designed by Native peoples, for Native peoples, through the control of their assets and based on their cultural values, will succeed.

Our strategies are to:

*Educate Grassroots Practitioners through training, technical assistance, and peer learning.

*Advocate For Systemic Change by building power in Native communities and affirming tribes' peer-to-peer status with the federal government.

*Capitalize Indian Communities through grants to tribes and Native groups to ensure that Native people receive physical, environmental, socioeconomic, and cultural benefits.

First Nations' board is 100% Native American and our staff is majority Native.

First Nations Development Institute is a 501(c)(3) organization, with an IRS ruling year of 1984, and donations are tax-deductible.

Is this your nonprofit? Access your Star Rating Portal to submit data and edit your profile.


Contact Information

  http://www.firstnations.org/

 2432 Main Street
Second Floor
Longmont CO 80501 

  303-774-7836


You are viewing this organization's new Charity Navigator profile page. To view the legacy version, click here.

Star Rating System by Charity Navigator


Charity Navigator evaluates a nonprofit organization’s financial health including measures of stability, efficiency and sustainability. We also track accountability and transparency policies to ensure the good governance and integrity of the organization.




Exceptional

This charity's score is 96.81, earning it a 4-Star rating. Donors can "Give with Confidence" to this charity. 

This score is calculated from two sub-scores:

This score represents Form 990 data from 2020, the latest year published by the IRS.

View this organization’s historical ratings.


Back to Top

Star Rated Report

This beta feature is currently viewable only on desktop or tablet screens. Check back later for updates.

Program Expense

Program Expense Ratio

84.0%


The Program Expense Ratio is determined by Program Expenses divided by Total Expense (average of most recent three 990s).


This measure reflects the percent of its total expenses a charity spends on the programs and services it exists to deliver. Dividing a charity's average program expenses by its average total functional expenses yields this percentage. We calculate the charity's average expenses over its three most recent fiscal years.


Source: IRS Form 990

Administrative Expenses

9.3%


As reported by charities on their IRS Form 990, this measure reflects what percent of its total budget a charity spends on overhead, administrative staff and associated costs, and organizational meetings. Dividing a charity's average administrative expenses by its average total functional expenses yields this percentage. We calculate the charity's average expenses over its three most recent fiscal years.


Source: IRS Form 990

Fundraising Expenses

6.6%


This measure reflects what a charity spends to raise money. Fundraising expenses can include campaign printing, publicity, mailing, and staffing and costs incurred in soliciting donations, memberships, and grants. Dividing a charity's average fundraising expenses by its average total functional expenses yields this percentage. We calculate the charity's average expenses over its three most recent fiscal years.


Source: IRS Form 990

Liabilities to Assets Ratio

6.0%


The Liabilities to Assets Ratio is determined by Total Liabilities divided by Total Assets (most recent 990).


Part of our goal in rating the financial performance of charities is to help donors assess the financial capacity and sustainability of a charity. As do organizations in other sectors, charities must be mindful of their management of total liabilites in relation to their total assets. This ratio is an indicator of an organization’s solvency and or long term sustainability. Dividing a charity's total liabilities by its total assets yields this percentage.


Source: IRS Form 990

Fundraising Efficiency

$0.04


The amount spent to raise $1 in charitable contributions. To calculate a charity's fundraising efficiency, we divide its average fundraising expenses by the average total contributions it receives. We calculate the charity's average expenses and average contributions over its three most recent fiscal years.


Source: IRS Form 990

Working Capital Ratio

2.38 years


Determines how long a charity could sustain its level of spending using its net available assets, or working capital, as reported on its most recently filed Form 990. We include in a charity's working capital unrestricted and temporarily restricted net assets, and exclude permanently restricted net assets. Dividing these net available assets in the most recent year by a charity's average total expenses, yields the working capital ratio. We calculate the charity's average total expenses over its three most recent fiscal years.


Source: IRS Form 990

Program Expense Growth

9.43%


We compute the average annual growth of program expenses using the following formula: [(Yn/Y0)(1/n)]-1, where Y0 is a charity's program expenses in the first year of the interval analyzed, Yn is the charity's program expenses in the most recent year, and n is the interval of years passed between Y0 and Yn.


Source: IRS Form 990

Governance


Charity Navigator looks to confirm on the Form 990 that the organization has these governance practices in place.


Sources Include: IRS Form 990

Governance:
Independent Voting Board Members  ... (More)
No Material Diversion of Assets ... (More)

A diversion of assets – any unauthorized conversion or use of the organization's assets other than for the organization's authorized purposes, including but not limited to embezzlement or theft – can seriously call into question a charity's financial integrity. We check the charity's last two Forms 990 to see if the charity has reported any diversion of assets. If the charity does report a diversion, then we check to see if it complied with the Form 990 instructions by describing what happened and its corrective action. This metric will be assigned to one of the following categories:

  • Full Credit: There has been no diversion of assets within the last two years.

  • Partial Credit: There has been a diversion of assets within the last two years and the charity has used Schedule O on the Form 990 to explain: the nature of the diversion, the amount of money or property involved and the corrective action taken to address the matter. In this situation, we deduct 7 points from the charity's Accountability and Transparency score.
  • No Credit: There has been a diversion of assets within the last two years and the charity's explanation on Schedule O is either non-existent or not sufficient. In this case, we deduct 15 points from the charity's Accountability and Transparency score.
(Less)
Audited Financials Prepared by Independent Accountant ... (More)

Audited financial statements provide important information about financial accountability and accuracy. They should be prepared by an independent accountant with oversight from an audit committee. (It is not necessary that the audit committee be a separate committee. Often at smaller charities, it falls within the responsibilities of the finance committee or the executive committee.) The committee provides an important oversight layer between the management of the organization, which is responsible for the financial information reported, and the independent accountant, who reviews the financials and issues an opinion based on its findings. We check the charity's Form 990 reporting to see if it meets this criteria.

  • Full Credit: The charity's audited financials were prepared by an independent accountant with an audit oversight committee.

  • Partial Credit: The charity's audited financials were prepared by an independent accountant, but it did not have an audit oversight committee. In this case, we deduct 7 points from the charity's Accountability and Transparency score.
  • No Credit: The charity did not have its audited financials prepared by an independent accountant. In this case, we deduct 15 points from the charity's Accountability and Transparency score.
(Less)
Does Not Provide Loan(s) to or Receive Loan(s) From Related Parties ... (More)
Documents Board Meeting Minutes ... (More)
Distributes 990 to Board Before Filing ... (More)
Compensates Board ... (More)

Policies


Charity Navigator looks to confirm on the Form 990, or for some metrics on the charity's website, that the organization has these policies in place.


Sources Include: IRS Form 990 and organization's website

Policies:
Conflict of Interest  ... (More)
Whistleblower ... (More)
Records Retention and Destruction ... (More)
CEO Compensation Process ... (More)
Donor Privacy ... (More)

Donors have expressed extreme concern about the use of their personal information by charities and the desire to have this information kept confidential. The exchanging and sale of lists for telemarketing and the mass distribution of "junk mail," among other things, can be minimized if the charity assures the privacy of its donors. Privacy policies are assigned to one of the following categories:

  • Yes: This charity has a written donor privacy policy published on its website, which states unambiguously that (1) it will not share or sell a donor's personal information with anyone else, nor send donor mailings on behalf of other organizations or (2) it will only share or sell personal information once the donor has given the charity specific permission to do so.

  • Opt-out: The charity has a written privacy policy published on its website which enables donors to tell the charity to remove their names and contact information from lists the charity shares or sells. How a donor can have themselves removed from a list differs from one charity to the next, but any and all opt-out policies require donors to take specific action to protect their privacy.
  • No: This charity either does not have a written donor privacy policy in place to protect their contributors' personal information, or the existing policy does not meet our criteria.

The privacy policy must be specific to donor information. A general website policy which references "visitor" or "user" personal information will not suffice. A policy that refers to donor information collected on the website is also not sufficient as the policy must be comprehensive and applicable to both online and offline donors. The existence of a privacy policy of any type does not prohibit the charity itself from contacting the donor for informational, educational, or solicitation purposes.

(Less)

Partial

Transparency


Charity Navigator looks to confirm on the Form 990, or for some metrics on the charity's website, that the organization makes this information easily accessible.


Sources Include: IRS Form 990 and organization's website

Transparency:
CEO Salary Listed on 990 ... (More)
Board of Directors Listed on Website ... (More)
Key Staff Listed on Website ... (More)
Audited Financial Statements on Website ... (More)
Form 990 Available on Website ... (More)

Additional Information

Unscored

This beta feature is currently viewable only on desktop or tablet screens. Check back later for updates.

Total Revenue and Expenses

Total Revenue and Expenses

This chart displays the trend of revenue and expenses over the past several years for this organization, as reported on their IRS Form 990.

Salary of Key Persons

Presented here are this organizations key compensated staff members as identified by our analysts. This compensation data includes salary, cash bonuses and expense accounts and is displayed exactly how it is reported to the IRS. The amounts do not include nontaxable benefits, deferred compensation, or other amounts not reported on W-2. In some cases, these amounts may include compensation from related organizations. Read the IRS policies for compensation reporting



Michael E. Roberts, President

$202,207 (1.95% of Total Expenses)


Source: IRS Form 990 (page 7), filing year 2020

Business Master File Data

Below are some key data points from the Exempt Organization IRS Business Master File (BMF) for this organization. Learn more about the BMF on the IRS website


Activities:

Economic-political system of U.S. (BMF activity code: 521)


Foundation Status:

Organization which receives a substantial part of its support from a governmental unit or the general public   170(b)(1)(A)(vi) (BMF foundation code: 15)


Affiliation:

Independent - the organization is an independent organization or an independent auxiliary (i.e., not affiliated with a National, Regional, or Geographic grouping of organizations). (BMF affiliation code: 3)

Data Sources: IRS Forms 990

The Form 990 is a document that nonprofit organizations file with the IRS annually. We leverage finance and accountability data from it to form Encompass ratings. Click here to view this organization's Forms 990 on the IRS website (if any are available).

Pandemic Response

Due to the unprecedented nature of the pandemic, we give charities such as this one the opportunity to share the story of COVID's impact on them. Charities may submit their own pandemic responses through their nonprofit portal.


First Nations Development Institute reported being impacted by COVID-19 in the following ways:
  • Program Delivery

  • Revenue


How COVID-19 impacted the organization's operations financially:

When the COVID-19 pandemic began in spring 2020, First Nations launched our COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund. In the past year, First Nations has raised over $6 million to support COVID-19 response, vaccination and economic recovery in Native communities. As of July 1, 2021, the Fund has directed $3,939,608 in 306 grants to Native nations and Native-led organizations to help meet urgent daily needs (including food, clean water, and personal protective equipment) and longer-term economic and cultural resiliency related to the pandemic. First Nations also coordinated the in-kind donation of 28,800 gallons of water, 17,749 pounds of food, and $335,670 in PPE directly to Native communities. We passed through 100% of the COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund funds directly to Native communities without taking administrative fees. Therefore, First Nations covered our grantmaking management activities and the staff activities related to coordinating in-kind donations with general support funds.


How COVID-19 impacted the organization's delivery of programs:

In light of our community partners’ challenges of navigating through the pandemic and shutdowns, First Nations reduced grant application and reporting requirements. With the support of our funders, we shifted some project funding for our grantees to general operating funds so that they may better weather the pandemic and retain sustainable programs for the future. General operating grants to our community partners has been used to pay their staff salaries, provide food to their constituents, shift programming to virtual formats, and more. We know that the funds are being used in the best possible way to meet the needs of the grantees and their communities during these challenging years. A complete list of organizations and communities served can be found at www.firstnations.org/covid-19-emergency-response-fund/.


How this organization adapted to changing conditions caused by COVID-19:

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, First Nations’ operations shifted, with our staff working remotely and with staff travel suspended. Our training and technical assistance shifted to virtual platforms such as Zoom, conference calls, Microsoft Teams, email, and webinars.


Innovations the organization intends to continue permanently after the pandemic:

First Nations will continue to offer training and technical assistance to our community partners on a hybrid basis (both in person and virtually). In addition, some staff will be allowed to work at least part of the time virtually.


Historical Ratings

Date PublishedForm 990 FYEOverall ScoreOverall Rating
Rating Version: 2.1
10/1/20212020 96.81
9/1/20202019 94.71
7/1/20192018 97.13
6/1/20182017 98.23
11/1/20172016 96.65
3/1/20172015 96.66
9/1/20162015 94.74

This organization received multiple star ratings within this fiscal year, due to an update to it's Accountability and Transparency data and/or the receipt of an amended Form 990.

6/1/20162014 96.59
Rating Version: 2.0
11/1/20152014 97.02
7/1/20142013 93.68
6/1/20132012 97.04
3/1/20132011 94.34
2/1/20132011 92.00
7/1/20122011 87.98
9/20/20112010 82.86
Rating Version: 1.0
7/1/20112010 78.95
6/1/20102009 68.04
8/1/20092008 77.86
8/1/20082007 87.73
4/1/20072006 86.49
6/1/20062005 69.54
5/1/20052004 70.85
7/1/20042003 73.47
2/1/20042002 79.07

...   Impact & Results


This score estimates the actual impact a nonprofit has on the lives of those it serves, and determines whether it is making good use of donor resources to achieve that impact.


Impact & Results Score

Not Currently Scored

First Nations Development Institute cannot currently be evaluated by our Encompass Rating Impact & Results methodology because either (A) it is eligible, but we have not yet received data; (B) we have not yet developed an algorithm to estimate its programmatic impact; (C) its programs are not direct services; or (D) it is not heavily reliant on contributions from individual donors.

Note: The absence of a score does not indicate a positive or negative assessment, it only indicates that we have not yet evaluated the organization.

Learn more about Impact & Results.

Do you work at First Nations Development Institute? Join the waitlist for an updated Impact & Results score.


Back to Top

Additional Information

Unscored

This beta feature is currently viewable only on desktop or tablet screens. Check back later for updates.

Largest Programs

Largest Programs



First Nations Development Institute reported its three largest programs on its FY 2020 Form 990 as:


$3,348,258

Spent in most recent FY

37%

Percent of program expenses


Nourishing Native Foods & Health - First Nations recognizes that accessing healthy food is a challenge for many Native American children and families. Without access to healthy food, a nutritious diet ... (More)


$4,286,850

Spent in most recent FY

48%

Percent of program expenses


Strengthening Tribal & Community Institutions - Through grant support, technical assistance and training, First Nations provides tribes and Native communities with the tools and resources necessary to ... (More)


$667,009

Spent in most recent FY

7%

Percent of program expenses


Investing in Native Youth - First Nations believes that Native youth represent the future of Native communities, and that their health and well-being determine the future health and well-being of a co ... (More)


...   Leadership & Adaptability


This score provides an assessment of the organization's leadership capacity, strategic thinking and planning, and ability to innovate or respond to changes in constituent demand/need or other relevant social and economic conditions to achieve the organization's mission.


Leadership & Adaptability Score

100

out of 100

The score earned by First Nations Development Institute is a passing score.

Encompass Rating V4 provides an evaluation of the organization's Leadership & Adaptability through the nonprofit organization submitting a survey response directly to Charity Navigator.


Back to Top

Leadership & Adaptability Report

100

of 100 points

Mission

The nonprofit organization presents evidence of strategic thinking through articulating the organization’s mission


First Nations Development Institute is a national, nonprofit, Native American organization whose mission is to strengthen American Indian economies to support healthy Native communities. We believe that only solutions designed by Native peoples, for Native peoples, through the control of their assets and based on their cultural values, will succeed. Our strategies are to: *Educate Grassroots Practitioners through training, technical assistance, and peer learning. *Advocate For Systemic Change by building power in Native communities and affirming tribes’ peer-to-peer status with the federal government. *Capitalize Indian Communities through grants to tribes and Native groups to ensure that Native people receive physical, environmental, socioeconomic, and cultural benefits. First Nations' board is 100% Native American and our staff is majority Native.


Source: Nonprofit submitted responses

Vision

The nonprofit organization presents evidence of strategic thinking through articulating the organization’s vision.


In our vision, sovereign Indigenous communities control their physical, economic, social, cultural, political, and human assets. We trust in the inherent wisdom of Native communities themselves. We are striving toward: *Native communities that enjoy a locally-supported, healthy, and diverse economy; *Native families and youth that are grounded in their cultures and Indigenous languages, fostering social and mental health; *Native community members that have access to healthy, sufficient, and locally-produced foods; *Financially-capable Native families and youth who can successfully manage household budgets and savings; *Native-controlled institutions – nonprofit organizations, community groups, and tribes – that are stable, sustainable, and providing services to their communities; and *Policies and systems that support Native control of Native assets.


Source: Nonprofit submitted responses

Strategic Goals

The nonprofit organization presents evidence of strategic thinking and goal setting through sharing their most important strategic goals.


Goal One: Build the sustainability, cultural responsiveness, and infrastructure of Native community food systems, shifting focus from food insecurity to food sovereignty.

Goal Type: Grow, expand, scale or increase access to the existing programs and services.


Goal Two: Launch a new Tribal Lands Conservation Fund to place Indigenous worldviews and practices at the center of stewardship efforts and to support Native leaders at the forefront of environmental justice.

Goal Type: New program(s) based on observed changes in needs among our constituencies/communities served.


Goal Three: Support the post-COVID-19 pandemic sustainability and stability Native nonprofit organizations and tribal programs that are key players in their communities’ economic and community development.

Goal Type: Grow, expand, scale or increase access to the existing programs and services.


Source: Nonprofit submitted responses

Leadership Development

The nonprofit provides evidence of investment in leadership development


Describe an investment in leadership

During spring 2021, First Nations’ Board and staff began working on our 2021-25 Strategic Plan for our organization’s and programs’ long-term goals, objectives, strategies, and tactics. We anticipate a final product during summer 2021. In addition, our organization has been able to utilize resources to begin to plan for and even contract for consultants to help us with leadership transition, resource development and communications. This work has all been focused on helping the organization better define its value proposition and evaluate and better serve our constituents with our outreach and communications. In spring 2021, Catherine Bryan (Navajo), First Nations’ Director of Programs, was selected as an Emerging Leader for the Bank of America (BOA) National Neighborhood Builders Leadership Program. First Nations’ Dr. Raymond Foxworth will participate as a Senior Leader. Catherine and Raymond will network with more than 1,300 Neighborhood Builders across the country.

Source: Nonprofit submitted responses

Mobilizing for Mission

The nonprofit provides evidence of leadership through focusing externally and mobilizing resources for the mission.


This organization mobilizes for mission in the following ways:
  • Strategic Partnerships

  • Networks of Collective Impact Efforts

  • Thought Leadership

  • Raising Awareness

  • Community Building

  • Policy Advocacy

What are this organization’s external mobilizaton efforts?

First Nations presses the field of philanthropy to include Native-led organizations and programs. Our 2020 report, Searching for Inclusion in Philanthropy: A Guide to Equitable Practices in Foundation Hiring, addresses the exclusion of Native people from the philanthropic sector. Coverage in the NonProfit Quarterly confirmed, “Without Native representation in foundations, Native communities continue to be invisible, excluded, and minimized by the giving practices and overall social agendas of foundations.” During 2020-21, articles in Nonprofit Quarterly build awareness of Native initiatives, creativity, and need for support. First Nations partners with a philanthropic affinity group, the Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems Funders, to create a funders’ learning cohort on Native American food systems work. Over the last year, First Nations’ staff also spoke on 55+ webinars with funders on various topics related to the pandemic, food systems, and the Native nonprofit sector.

Source: Nonprofit submitted responses

Story of Adaptability

The nonprofit has an opportunity to tell the story of how the organization adapted to tremendous external changes in the last year.


First Nations learned from the COVID-19 pandemic in order to better position our future programs. The findings of our summer 2020 survey of nearly 300 Native community-based organizations were published as The Native Nonprofit Sector and the COVID-19 Pandemic: Charting a Path Forward. In response to needs confirmed by this survey, during 2021 and beyond, applicants to First Nations’ COVID-19 Emergency Response and Resiliency Fund may seek support for: • Capacity Building and Leadership Development to support sustainable and effective programs and organizations. • Advocacy Training to enhance Native access to philanthropic funding that will help to address community needs. • Strengthening Cultural Connectedness and Addressing Mental Health Issues among youth and elders who experience isolation due to the COVID-19 pandemic. • Financial Bridge Support: Provide support to help tribes, Native non-profits and community organizations weather the current economic crisis and remain operational. • Support for Communications and Technology: Funding for equipment (e.g. laptops, headsets, Internet, communications and technology access) that will allow staff, students, and families to work, learn, and access services remotely during and in response to the pandemic. First Nations’ 2021 report, COVID-19 in Indian Country: A Call to Integrate Food Systems and Food Security Toward Food Sovereignty, documented the need and opportunity to shift focus in Indian Country. Food security refers to an infusion of external food resources into a community, while food sovereignty is a systems- and culturally-based approach to community control of, production of, and access to food resources. In addition to highlighting successful tribal models of food sovereignty, the report calls for changes in federal policies, increased access for Native people to traditional lands for gathering and hunting, building infrastructure for food storage and transportation, and investing in Native communities.

Source: Nonprofit submitted responses

...   Culture & Community


This score provides an assessment of the organization's engagement with the constituents it serves, a practice we term Constituent Feedback. When organizations listen to constituents, they are able to better deliver on programs and meet the needs of stakeholders. A future version of this Beacon will also assess an organization's people operations and its Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) metrics.


Culture & Community Score

Not Currently Scored

First Nations Development Institute is currently not eligible for a Culture & Community score because we have not received its Constituent Feedback data. Nonprofit organizations are encouraged to fill out the How We Listen section of their Candid profile. This data will provide the basis for the initial evaluation of Culture & Community.

Note: The absence of a score does not indicate a positive or negative assessment, it only indicates that we have not yet evaluated the organization.


Back to Top

Culture & Community Report

Unscored

This beta feature is currently viewable only on desktop or tablet screens. Check back later for updates.

Constituent Feedback

Constituent Feedback


Constituent Feedback and Listening Practice data are not available for this organization. Nonprofit organizations are encouraged to fill out the How We Listen section of their Candid profile. This data will provide the basis for the initial evaluation of Culture & Community.


Charity Navigator believes nonprofit organizations that engage in inclusive practices, such as collecting feedback from the people and communities they serve, may be more effective. We award every nonprofit that completes the Candid survey full credit for this Beacon, in recognition of their willingness to publicly share this information with the nonprofit and philanthropic communities. Although the data is not evaluated for quality at this time, future iterations of this Beacon will include third party or other data that will serve to validate the information provided by the nonprofit.

Analysis and Research


Like the overall Encompass Rating System, the Culture & Community Beacon is designed to evolve as metrics are developed and ready for integration. Our partnership with Feedback Labs and Guidestar by Candid, and other partners including Fund for Shared Insight, GlobalGiving, and Keystone Accountability, enables us to launch the first version of this beacon with Constituent Feedback information collected on Candid's site.


Feedback practices have been shown to support better Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion outcomes, an essential area of assessment that we intend to further expand and develop in the future. Feedback Labs has documented several studies which indicate that beyond achieving organizational goals, nonprofits that are attentive and responsive to concerns and ideas raised by beneficiaries establish stronger relationships with the people they serve, promote greater equity, and empower constituents in ways that can help to ensure better long-term outcomes. You can find resources to help nonprofits improve their feedback practices here.

The Giving Basket had an issue with your donation. Please try again. If the problem persists contact us and include your Cart ID: Unknown