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Choctaw Nation, OK

Learn how the Choctaw Nation Is Funding More Impactful Projects Through Grant Software.


  • Using eCivis’ pre-award grant software to streamline research and acquisition of grants as well as improve transparency for Tribal Council and project directors.

  • Able to better vet and target grant opportunities that align with tribal strategic vision.

  • Empowered to win more grants that matter and deliver true impact to tribal members, preserve sovereignty and grow prosperity of the Choctaw Nation.

  • Attained visibility to win grants that matter based on impact and not just dollar value– like a community garden project that was recently featured in the Annual State of the Nation address.

The Challenge

The Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma comprises over 10,700 employees serving surrounding communities that make up the sovereign land base in Southeastern Oklahoma. However, with so many employees and internal clients to serve and many layers of leadership, finding the right grants can be especially challenging. This has been the case for our hero, Delene Rawls, Director of Grant Development for the Choctaw Nation and leader of a mighty grants team of eight.

For Delene and her team, ensuring grants align with the tribal strategic vision as well as various priorities of many project directors within the agency can be especially difficult due to the following:

  • Accepting restrictions that come with federal or agency funds of any type.
  • Understanding how to draw a line from vision to expenditure.
  • Demonstrating good stewardship to awarding entities.
  • Being able to quickly determine true eligibility through a Notice of Funding Announcement (NOFA).

The Solution

Our hero, Delene, and her team have a background of service and compassion-based motivation. With grants being a substantial part of annual revenue for the tribe, their motivation to help tribal members impact communities and the entirety of the Choctaw Nation drove them to eCivis’ pre-award grant software. Using eCivis helped them to leverage:

  • Search tool that gives an extra layer of analysis for funding opportunities and streamlines the search for opportunities.
  • Automated awareness of grant opportunities through email notifications.
  • Search engine with research keywords and the ability to save searches to hit a wider range of funding possibilities.
  • Ability to better vet federal, state, and foundation funding opportunities and pursue grant applications with full clarity and more confidence.

The Results

Through eCivis’ pre-award grant software, Delene and her team were able to quickly search for, find, and apply for grants that mattered–no matter the dollar amount. They never missed out on important opportunities that could deliver real impact to their tribal members.

Recently, Delene’s team won a grant for $6,000 for a 12-month Community Garden project. While the dollar amount was small, the impact was monumental because of the involvement of seniors and teenagers who worked on the garden together. Ultimately, the project was featured in the Choctaw Nation’s annual state of nation address and is still delivering returns for the community today.

Federal, State, and Foundation Grants to Access

Having a research tool that doesn’t rank opportunities in terms of dollar amount but treats every possibility with equal importance helps us incorporate it when we process and handle grants according to our tribal strategic vision. If a grant opportunity comes from eCivis, it’s treated with the same importance, regardless of dollar amount.

Delene Rawls

Director of Grant Development

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