Published: Oct. 13, 2021

Catalytic Capital Research GrantFirst Peoples Worldwide is honored to be among 14 Evidence Base grantees, and to receive support from the Catalytic Capital Consortium (C3) Grantmaking program towards a project to evaluate how catalytic capital is being deployed in Indigenous communities and to Indigenous-led enterprises and entrepreneurs. First Peoples is pleased to work with Jen Astone at Integrated Capital Investing and David LeZaks at the Croatan Institute to develop this research around catalytic capital.  

About the Project 

Native Americans comprise 2 percent of the U.S. population, but Native nonprofits attract just 0.23 percent of philanthropic funds, and estimates of investment in Native communities also fall short. First Peoples’ research will provide essential learnings and frameworks to create a pathway to provide Indigenous enterprises with access to capital that aligns with their priorities, benefitting their communities for generations to come. 

First Peoples is working alongside consortium partners Croatan Institute and Integrated Capital Investing to research the impact of catalytic capital on Indigenous entrepreneurs and enterprises. By articulating knowledge gaps to a broad audience around catalytic capital deployed to Indigenous-led projects, this research aims to encourage deployment of catalytic capital to address some of the starkest racial and socio-economic disparities in North America. 

The research will collect examples of catalytic capital in Indigenous communities throughout the U.S. and Canada. Working with investors and capital seekers to identify differing perspectives and common challenges, the team will develop a framework for a shared understanding of the role and purpose of catalytic capital in Indigenous communities—all to be communicated through a research publication, webinars, and collaborative discussions with impact investing and Native networks. 

About Project Partners 

Croatan Institute is an independent, nonprofit research and action institute whose mission is to build social equity and ecological resilience by leveraging finance to create pathways to a just economy. With initial funding from foundations, sustainable investment groups, civil society, and community development organizations, the Institute’s activities address some of the most complex sustainability challenges of our time, often in close partnership with practitioners in the field and movements for social and environmental change. Examples of this work can be drawn from campaigns around philanthropic divestment from fossil fuels and investment in a clean energy economy and place-based projects providing technical assistance focused on the role of finance and investment readiness for value chains in some of the country’s most persistently impoverished rural areas.  

Integrated Capital Investing is an independent consulting firm that works with foundations seeking to provide integrated capital and move their portfolios in value-aligned ways. In particular, Integrated Capital Investing works to connect foundations with Indigenous entrepreneurs and tribes in North America and around the world, with special expertise in food systems and Indigenous agricultural systems. Integrated Capital Investing has connections with a network of foundations focused on Indigenous self-determination, knowledge systems and biodiversity as well as Indigenous entrepreneurs and tribes seeking capital. 

Established in 2019, Catalytic Capital Consortium (C3) is an investment, learning, and market development initiative created and led by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, The Rockefeller Foundation and the Omidyar Network. Together, these partners jointly fund the C3 Grantmaking program, which is housed at and administered the New Venture Fund (NVF). C3 aims to increase the flow and impact of catalytic capital to make social and environmental progress that would not otherwise be possible.