Each year since it established the Community Benefit Fund in 2015, NTEC has given between twenty-five and thirty-five different non-profit or Navajo chapter organizations recognition and financial support by way of microgrants.
The grant money is typically awarded to organizations working on projects related to education and youth development, environmental stewardship, economic development, or cultural sustainability. To date, NTEC has awarded more than $1.8 million in microgrant funds to small projects or projects that might not have been funded otherwise due to budgetary constraints.
“We are constantly inspired by the community organizations that work so hard to empower the Navajo people and elevate the quality of life across the Nation,” Vern Lund, NTEC CEO said in a media release. “We’re proud to rally alongside them and offer our support through the Community Benefit Fund, and are looking forward to seeing this money in action – from providing necessities to building community infrastructures like playgrounds and trails.”
“Every year we advertise the Community Benefit Fund, hold community workshops, and invite all 110 Navajo chapters and other non-profit organizations on and off the Navajo Nation to learn about the grant application process,” said Cortasha Upshaw, NTEC government and community relations coordinator. “We’re always encouraged by the diversity of applications we receive and are excited to continue growing participation in the program.”
The application period for grant funding is from August through October each year, and in 2023, Kaye Nave-Mark, NTEC community relations coordinator, will oversee the program.
“We realize that there are many projects that get overlooked because they are smaller in scope and might not get the attention they deserve. With the CBF, we give those projects a chance,” Nave-Mark said in the statement.