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The Quaker Fund for Indigenous Communities Granting Group is dedicated to supporting and funding initiatives that sustain Indigenous communities and preserve Indigenous cultural heritage.
We also serve as an educational resource for Friends seeking to understand Indigenous concerns better. We grant funds to Indigenous people, which vary widely from year to year in geographical representation and content. We favor projects of a one-time nature, pilot projects, and seed money to help initiatives get off the ground and projects that serve a community rather than a single individual.
For years, the group was known as the Indian Committee. After much thought and discussion, our Granting Group discerned that it was time for a new name to identify our role better. Quaker Fund for Indigenous Communities was chosen because we are Quakers from all parts of PYM who support Indigenous communities through grants and advocacy.
The Committee began its ongoing relationship with Native peoples in 1795, and in the past, Quakers were complicit in efforts to “civilize” Native peoples, including the operation of boarding schools where children were stripped of their culture. Supporting Indigenous communities in their efforts to sustain their identity and culture is one way to redress the wrongs of the past.
Who Can Apply?
Indigenous communities or individuals can apply for projects to benefit their indigenous community.
How Do I Apply?
Consult the application and funding guidelines [PDF] for additional details.
Please provide the following information in preparing your funding request. Providing clear and concise information makes it easier for us to determine if we will be able to support your request.
- Describe in detail your project and funding need. How will the funding be used? Please give us a specific amount for the funding you are requesting. How does this fit into your total budget?
- Who will benefit from the proposed project or funding? Please introduce yourself and the community/organization to benefit from the support. You are welcome to attach additional materials such as an Annual Report or newsletters, etc., that might provide background.
- Tell us the time-frame for the project and use of funding? Have you set goals for completion or do you have deadlines to meet?
- Please provide names and contact information for people who have put together the request and/or who will be in charge of its completion. In the event that we are able to provide funding, tell us how a check should be made out and where it should be mailed.
- Have you looked for other sources of funding? Please describe (sometimes we can offer suggestions for additional funding sources, so it is helpful for us to get an idea of what you have already done). We favor requests where there is clear evidence that an effort was made to find as many other funding sources as possible.
- If funded, we expect you to provide a brief written follow-up report to document how the PYM Quaker Fund for Indigenous Communities funding was used and how your project is progressing. For local organizations or individuals we would welcome you to make a brief presentation in-person at an Quaker Fund for Indigenous Communities granting group meeting (we would try to make this as convenient to you as possible).
Thank you for providing the information requested. We will try to get back to you in writing or by telephone as soon as possible after the meeting in which your request is considered.
Please keep in mind that it normally takes at least 60 days from the time we receive a funding request to the time we are able to send a check, since we must submit paperwork to our Yearly Meeting Finance office for the release of approved funding. Emergency requests requiring a shorter turn-around time may be considered occasionally but are very difficult to meet.
Annual reports include grant requests funded and other actions, education, and sharing.
- Download 2021-2022 Annual Report
- Download 2020-2021 Annual Report
- Download 2019-2020 Annual Report
- Download 2018-2019 Annual Report
Granting Group Membership
Appointed by PYM’s Granting Committee:
- Cherie Clark (recording clerk)
- Miriam Fisher-Schaefer
- Thomas Grabe
- Lois Kuter (clerk)
The Quaker Fund for Indigenous Communities serves Philadelphia Yearly Meeting which is made up of approximately 11,000 individual Friends (Quakers) who meet in thirteen Quarterly Meetings which are in turn made up of over 100 Monthly Meetings in eastern Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware. The Quaker Fund for Indigenous Communities is, today, one of PYM’s granting groups, under care of the Administrative Council. Some projects and working groups have a short life and others, like the Quaker Fund for Indigenous Communities, have been active for many years – over 200 years in our case.
It is our responsibility to try to assist the Friends of Yearly Meeting to act upon their concerns and to help them keep informed on issues of concern to Native Americans.
The Quaker Fund for Indigenous Communities granting group meets on the second Saturday of each month (except July and August). As is the case for all Quaker business meetings, our monthly meetings for business are also meetings for worship. In making any decision the Quaker Fund for Indigenous Communities granting group works on the basis of consensus and not “majority rule.” Every member of the granting group must be comfortable with a decision. If just one person is not comfortable, we continue to seek the right decision. This can be time-consuming, but it is important in insuring that we make decisions by drawing on the Spirit within us rather than by following one individual’s strong will. The clerk of the granting group is not so much a leader, but more of a convener who makes sure that decisions are based on consensus and our spiritual leading.
The Quaker Fund for Indigenous Communities granting group includes from six to ten active members at any given time. We are all volunteers and our membership changes. We are all individuals with different levels of knowledge and experience to contribute to the granting group who share a commitment to supporting Native American cultures. We welcome those interested in joining the granting group or attending a meeting to get in contact. Contact the Clerk, Lois Kuter, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The committee was establish by the wills and bequests of Mary W. Trimble, Edward Woolman, Huldah H. Bonwill, Marshall & Johnson, Parrish, and Marjorie Trent. Committee established 1795 and added to in following years.
Concerned Friends have bequeathed money to the Quaker Fund for Indigenous Communities during its two hundred years of work and this is held in trust by Yearly Meeting for our use. Our yearly budget is the interest from the investment of these contributions.
In considering grant requests, we favor projects that are initiated by Native Americans themselves and that are of a “one-time” nature—pilot projects and seed money to help Indian initiatives get off the ground. We also favor projects that will benefit a community, and we consider requests with national impact as well as a local focus. We are particularly interested in learning about Native American initiatives and new programs in the tri-state area (PA, NJ, DE).
We examine each funding decision as it comes before us, and the fact that we have supported something or some particular tribe or organization in the past does not mean we will find spiritual clearness to support it in the future. This allows us to adapt to changing needs and concerns brought to us by Indigenous peoples. The grant applications the Quaker Fund for Indigenous Communities received in the 19th and 20th centuries are very different from those we receive today.
Please send your funding request and supporting documentation to