The Quapaw Nation Grants Office was established in 2008. Its purpose is to research and write grant proposals for funding for other departments of the Quapaw Nation. Most grants are funded through federal agencies such as the Department of Justice, Health and Human Services, and Housing and Urban Development. Some grants are an annual allocation to the Tribe with an amount that is based on a formula that usually pays for ongoing tribal expenses. Most grants however are competitive where the federal agency has more requests for funding than they can award. In those cases, the agency must use a scoring process to determine which projects are awarded a grant. Some of those grant applications are so competitive that only the top 10% or less of project applications are successfully awarded a grant. For fiscal years 2016 – 2022, the Grants Office has helped receive a total of $29.1 million. Some of those projects include 20 elder housing units, the Emergency Operations Center, and the Ki-ho-ta Center just to name a few.
Because grants require complex and in-depth information within their application process, the grant writers and managers must work together to understand the program, its financial details, and where to find appropriate funding. In today’s grant writing environment, a successful proposal is based on a well-planned project that matches the requirements of the federal program to the verifiable needs of the tribal department who will be implementing the project.
The Quapaw Nation is often encouraged and sometimes required to hold citizen participation meetings for many of its grant programs. Tribal members and the local public at large are encouraged to attend these meetings to assist the tribe with determining and verifying priorities and the overall needs of the community. Sometimes points are awarded for citizen participation, so community involvement in a highly competitive grant application could be the determining factor for whether a grant is funded or not.
The duties and responsibilities of the Grants Office do not end with submitting a grant application. Should an application be successful, we must assure that the implementing department is compliant with the terms of the project agreement throughout the life of the project. Compliance is critical for maintaining the Quapaw Nation’s very fine reputation in grant circles and amongst the funding agencies. Not to maintain a high standard could possibly mean the loss of future funding, which in turn would negatively affect our tribal community and the Quapaw community in general