After a forced relocation separated the Gwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’xw Nations from their homelands, the creation of a Guardian Watchmen program is helping strengthen the Nations’ stewardship practices and cultural connections.
Coast Funds offers a straightforward process to collaboratively form your stewardship vision and design strategies to increase sustainable finance. Working closely with your staff and leadership we can create a tailored fundraising strategy for your First Nation to build its endowed funds and provide self-determined revenue for future generations.
Form Your Long-term Stewardship Vision
Coast Funds is committed to working directly with your staff and leadership to form your stewardship vision, from establishing a new stewardship program, to envisioning the next decade of stewardship across the lands and waters of your territories. This 10-year vision guides your fundraising efforts and provides a stable foundation from which to build your endowed stewardship funds.
In a close working partnership, we can reflect on current and past stewardship activities, exploring how those efforts can be scaled up to meet your long-term vision for stewardship.
Evaluating and learning
Since 2008, Coast Funds has worked in close partnership with First Nations to leverage their endowed funds, securing annual funding for their stewardship operations (more than $53 million has been leveraged to date, and growing).
Forming a long-term vision
Working in partnership with your staff and leadership, we embrace a ‘dream big’ philosophy to explore the future of your stewardship authority. We ask a key question: “If you weren’t limited by today’s revenues, how would you invest in fulfilling your First Nation’s stewardship responsibilities?”
Together, we consider your human resources, organizational structure, infrastructure and equipment, training, and programming requirements as we build your vision together.
Creating an actionable plan
In partnership, we determine timelines for scaling your stewardship authority or Guardian program over a ten-year period, working within the broader context of your unique path to sovereignty.
Setting financial goals
Using your current operating expenses and revenues as a baseline, we’ll work with you to forecast the operating costs required to scale-up and sustain your long-term vision. We can also explore opportunities to build and diversify your revenue sources. You plan the revenues sources to focus on, and these priorities direct us in determining the fundraising goal(s) that will provide the financial sustainability to achieve your vision.
Endorsing the vision, establishing a mandate
Following formation of the stewardship vision, your First Nation’s hereditary and/or governing councils reviews the 10-year stewardship vision. This provides an opportunity for governance oversight in setting the vision. Typically Elders and Chiefs will have been engaged throughout the process, as determined by your leadership, but convening a council review enables the First Nation to formally endorse the vision, setting the goals for building and sustaining stewardship efforts for the next decade. With this consensus, your First Nation will have a mandate to initiate fundraising, knowing that your efforts are directly aligned with a consensus long-term vision from your leadership.
Working on stewardship finance alongside each First Nation uniquely positions Coast Funds to collaboratively assess the financial sustainability of stewardship revenues. This information can inform your plan to secure new revenues to fulfill your long-term goals for stewardship across your territories.
Develop Your Fundraising Strategy
Your long-term stewardship vision serves as a foundation and target for your fundraising efforts. Using your vision as a guide, Coast Funds can support you to develop a fundraising strategy. We can work with you to identify opportunities, harness new and existing relationships, and strategize on funding from prospective donors.
Launch Your Fundraising Campaign
Your stewardship fundraising strategy will guide your efforts to leverage your First Nation’s unique relationships towards securing major contributions to your growing stewardship endowment. First Nations are building the value of their stewardship endowments through unique partnerships to provide sustainable, ongoing investment income that directly realizes their long-term vision for stewardship across their lands and waters.
Coast Funds can support your efforts to develop new revenue sources to finance your stewardship authority—in particular assembling contributions that will increase your sustainable, self determined revenue from your growing endowment.
Examples of how First Nations have leveraged their position to develop and diversify sustainable stewardship revenue sources include:
- Raising permanent contributions alongside establishing new Indigenous Protected and Conserved Areas (IPCA);
- Building endowed funds from own-source revenues such as forestry, gaming, industry engagements, and more;
- Securing contributions under agreements with the Crown governments; and,
- Legacy contributions from high-net-worth individuals, industry, and philanthropy who are working directly with the First Nations towards achieving their long-term stewardship vision.
Coast Funds is ready to work with you as you turn your fundraising plan into sustainable finance in perpetuity. We are here to work closely with you to achieve you goals by:
- Assisting you with coordination and support for your fundraising campaign and activities;
- Creating communications materials and providing support for telling your unique story;
- Researching and qualifying new prospects as you identify emerging opportunities;
- Coaching and advising you on strategies as you engage key donor prospects, as you cultivate relationships and ultimately solicit major contributions; and,
- Supporting you with the legal and governance components of receipting charitable contributions to your endowed funds;
- Tools and templates to assist with your campaign and relationship management.
Coast Funds is committed to working with you to grow your stewardship endowment. Together, we can partner with funders who align with your priorities and who are keen for your First Nation’s to fulfill your inherent stewardship responsibilities for generations to come.