The First Ever Native Nonprofit Day is May 20: Become More NativeAware

   By Joshua Arce

This May 20, Partnership With Native Americans (PWNA) joins other Native nonprofits to promote Native Nonprofit Day. Organized through the Native Ways Federation, Native Nonprofit Day is aimed at raising awareness of the importance of supporting Native causes and reducing the funding inequities that Native nonprofits face.

Did you know that less than 1% of all charitable giving in the U.S. supports Native causes – even while Native Americans face some of the greatest inequities in America? And why is this? In part, it’s because foundations and corporations lack Native representation within their grant or corporate social responsibility groups. They also lack knowledge about working in Indian Country, are concerned about navigating cultural sensitivity and don’t always believe Native-led nonprofits can deliver on grant initiatives.

After more than 30 years of working in Indian Country, PWNA knows Native-led nonprofits can deliver on large and small grants. They are meeting their missions every day. We also know:

  • For funding to be fair and relevant, non-Native organizations need to be more NativeAware™.
  • Native-led organizations have the solutions to the issues our communities are facing. We know our strengths and are best positioned to help our people.

Native-led nonprofits maintain at least 51% Native Americans on their Board and leadership team. PWNA, which is Native-led and Native-serving, has 100% Native American representation on its Board as well as Native senior executives. We focus on immediate relief and long-term solutions in underserved reservation communities… issues such as food insecurity, safe drinking water and education barriers… and we serve as an intermediary to connect outside resources to Tribal communities for greater impact.

On this first ever Native Nonprofit Day, we are encouraging foundations, individuals and other allies to learn about the groundbreaking work in the Tribal communities PWNA serves, as well as those served by American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES), National Indian Child Welfare Association (NICWA), Native American Rights Fund and other Native-led nonprofits.  

The Native Nonprofit Day giving campaign began on May 1 and ends on May 20. Please sign up for emails to become more NativeAware™ and donate to support Native causes.

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