As we continue to learn and acknowledge the rich and complex history of our country, it is important to remember and support the Indigenous communities that have been marginalized and oppressed for centuries. One way to make a meaningful impact is by donating to Native American charities working tirelessly to preserve and uplift the culture, traditions, and well-being of these communities.
Not only does your donation help support crucial programs and initiatives, but it also serves as a powerful act of solidarity and recognition for the people who have been historically ignored and silenced. So, let’s take a moment to explore some of the best Native American charities to donate to, and discover how we can all make a difference in our own small way.
Here are the 9 Best Native American Charities to Donate to:
- 1. Native American Rights Fund
- 2. First Nations Development Institute
- 3. National Indian Child Welfare Foundation
- 4. American Indian College Fund
- 5. Native Youth Leadership Alliance
- 6. Notah Begay III Foundation
- 7. Running Strong for American Indian Youth
- 8. Indigenous Environmental Network
- 9. Seventh Generation Fund for Indigenous Peoples
- Final Thoughts
Starting the list, we have the Native American Rights Fund (NARF). It is a non-profit organization founded in 1970. NARF’s mission is to defend and advance the legal rights of Native American tribes, communities, and individuals in tribal sovereignty, natural resources, education, cultural preservation, and voting rights.
With its strong record of success, NARF has secured legal victories for Native American communities, including landmark cases such as the recognition of tribal jurisdiction over non-Indians on reservation lands and the protection of Native American religious freedoms. NARF’s mission is to defend and advance the legal rights of Native American tribes, communities, and individuals in a variety of areas. The charity has 3 stars on Charity Navigator with an 85% score.
Another remarkable organization is the First Nations Development Institute (FNDI), established in 1980 to support economic development and self-sufficiency in Native American communities. FNDI provides grants, technical assistance, training, and other resources to support economic development activities such as small business development, sustainable agriculture, community development, and leadership and capacity building. With over 35 years of experience supporting economic development in Native American communities, FNDI has a strong track record of success.
FNDI’s mission is to strengthen and revitalize Native American economies and communities through a variety of programs and initiatives. Furthermore, talking stats, they have 4 shiny stars on Charity Navigator with a clear 97% score.
The National Indian Child Welfare Association (NICWA) is a nonprofit organization established in 1983 to promote the well-being of Native American children and families. NICWA ensures that Native American children remain connected to their culture, community, and traditions. NICWA provides advocacy and policy development, training and education, research and data, and community engagement to support this mission.
NICWA has been instrumental in promoting the implementation and enforcement of the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA). This federal law protects Native American children and families involved in state child welfare systems. They have excellent ratings on Charity Navigator – straight 3 stars with a 89% score.
Next is the American Indian College Fund (AICF), a nonprofit organization established in 1989 to support Native American higher education. AICF provides scholarships, grants, student support services, programmatic support, and advocacy and outreach to Native American students attending tribal colleges, universities, and other higher education institutions across the United States. With over 30 years of experience supporting Native American students and higher education, AICF has a strong track record of success.
AICF provides various support services to help Native American students succeed in college, including academic advising, mentoring, tutoring, and career counseling. Noting numbers, Charity Navigator gave them 3 stars with 86% scoring.
Next up is the Native Youth Leadership Alliance (NYLA), founded in 2011 to empower Native American youth and help them create positive change in their communities. NYLA offers a range of programs and services, including youth leadership development, cultural preservation and revitalization, advocacy and activism, and community engagement and networking.
With a network of over 1,500 Native American youth leaders and a strong track record of success, NYLA is making a real difference. The organization has a perfect 100% score on Charity Navigator with a bright 4 out of 4 stars.
Another great organization is the Notah Begay III Foundation (NB3F), founded in 2005 to promote healthy lifestyles, physical activity, and cultural connections and to reduce childhood obesity and type 2 diabetes among Native American children. NB3F provides a range of programs and initiatives, including nutrition education, physical activity programs, and community-based wellness initiatives, all of which incorporate Native American traditions and culture.
They also conduct research and evaluation to measure the impact of their work. NB3F has a strong track record of success, with a range of successful programs and initiatives that have made a positive impact on the health and wellness of Native American children and families. As per Charity Navigator, the foundation has 3-star ratings and an 88% score.
Founded in 1986 by Olympic gold medalist Billy Mills, it is dedicated to providing critical resources and support in areas such as health, education, and economic development for Native American youth and their families. Their programs and services include community building and outreach, education and scholarship programs, health and wellness assistance, and cultural preservation initiatives.
They have served more than 50,000 Native American youth and their families nationwide. The foundation has straight 4-stars for their actions on Charity Navigator.
Talking about Indigenous Environmental Network (IEN), is a vital nonprofit organization founded in 1990 by Indigenous environmental and economic justice activists. Their mission is to protect the sacredness of Mother Earth from toxic contamination, to preserve and respect Indigenous cultures, and to empower Indigenous Peoples to address environmental and economic injustice.
In addition, the IEN promotes sustainable development practices that respect Indigenous knowledge, values, and sovereignty, and support local economies and cultures.
Last but not least is the Seventh Generation Fund for Indigenous Peoples, which has been supporting Indigenous-led initiatives for self-determination since 1977. The organization provides grants and technical assistance to Indigenous-led projects and organizations in cultural revitalization and preservation, environmental justice, community development and economic justice, and leadership development for Indigenous youth and emerging leaders.
They have a long history of supporting hundreds of organizations and projects across the United States and Canada. Seeing the final numbers, they have a solid 100% score on Charity Navigator leading to 4 stars.
As we wrap up our exploration of the best Native American charities to donate to, it’s important to remember that donating is just one piece of the puzzle. To truly support Indigenous communities, we must continue to educate ourselves, acknowledge their history and present struggles, and advocate for change on a systemic level. The road to reconciliation is long and winding, but every step we take, every dollar we donate, and every voice we amplify can make a significant impact.
Let’s commit to continue learning, supporting, and amplifying the voices of Indigenous communities, not just today, but every day. Together, we can work towards a future where their culture, traditions, and well-being are respected and celebrated.