AMERICAN INDIAN COLLEGE FUND
In the event you wish to participate in a constructive direction and do something to directly support the American Indian college fund movement; may we submit you consider donating to American Indian Services (AIS) where you can make a world of difference? AIS is a non-profit organization that encourages Native Americans around the country by providing resources like scholarships, STEAM summer schools for Native American middle schoolers, emergency aid, and agricultural aid. AIS commits a lot of time and energy into fundraising and providing amazing American Indian college fund scholarships; a small amount of money can go a long way. Click here to learn more about American Indian Services.
According to the Native American Rights Fund tax filing and audit of September 30, 2017:
“Approximately 58% of all contributions received were from 2 donors in 2017.”
“$30,700,865 of contributions earnings was received from approximately 30 tribal governments.”
“During the years ended in September 30, 2016 and 2017, NARF used the services of the consulting agency that is owned with a relative of NARF’s executive management. Payments to the consulting agency accounted to $77,500 and $71,000, respectively.”
The $30,700,865 noted above previously constitutes about 85% of the total contributions and licenses documented on NARF’s fiscal 2017 Form 990 Statement of Revenue (Section VIII, line 1h).
Having read this and now being more educated about our American Indian college fund charities; donors should be careful of the growing amount of charities that purport to alleviate poverty in Native American communities but that instead use donated money to stuff their particular wallets. AIS is highly scored with Charity Navigator amongst other charity watchdogs. You can donate to our organization with confidence that your money is actually going toward the benefit of a true Native American charity for educational scholarships.
Less than shady so-called American Indian college fund charities exist because of poor government supervision. The US Supreme Court has prohibited states from setting limits on what percentage of the Native American Charities funds must be used on programs. Therefore, the majority of charities fall into two different categories; one being religious/spiritual organizations and two, charities with gross premiums less than $25,000. Both of which can be exempt from making IRS tax information readily available for the public. The inner workings of 2/3 of American Indian college fund charities remain a puzzle for that reason.
The inner workings of some American Indian college fund charities really are a mystery because of federal laws that protect church-related organizations from government meddling. Southwest Indian Foundation (SWIF), a charity in Gallup, NM, is not a church but nonetheless doesn’t have to make its financial statements available because it was set up by a Catholic priest.
Given the history of those not-so-charitable organizations, it’s easy to become cynical and withhold help for American Indian college fund charities in common. But before you turn a cold shoulder to donating to AIS, you should remember that AIS has plenty of charitable operations doing major and much needed work on reservations and strives for transparency. You can weed out fraudulent/unethical American Indian college fund charities by simply looking at their spending behaviors that might be listed online by the charity watchdogs like Guidestar and Charity Navigator. American Indian Services has top ratings on these sites because they are committed to the highest ethical standards.
All of these misconceptions and more make it challenging to break through the apathy and help the rest of America understand what is really happening on the reservations. Because some organizations do not truly serve the interests of American Indian college fund charities; bonafide programs like American Indian Services has to receive further help to ensure scholarships are continually granted. There’s a tremendous need to help the great people of the diverse Native Tribes/Nations.
It is surprising and troubling to see just how little of Americans actually understand the true conditions on the reservations or that third world conditions exist right here in America. A major misconception in the US is that Native Americans are taken care of under the treaties amongst the tribes and the US government.
Furthermore, that Native Americans are given a check from the government every month; or even absolutely totally free housing and healthcare. Did you know that the reservations forced upon the tribes by the US government continue to oppress the Native American people and limit economic opportunity? Give AIS a call or fill out our application form today to get the scholarship you deserve!
Here are a few more important facts to consider when looking for the right Native American Charities to donate to:
Fact: Unemployment for American Indians as of June, 2020 is at 12% with some reservations experiencing unemployment rates as high as 80%. This is partly on account of the shortage of opportunity on the reservations and partially on account of the bias that exists off the reservations.
Fact: Unemployment for Americans as a whole averaged at 7.1% in June of 2020.
Fact: Per capita income for Native Americans living on reservations is less than half of the US average, and half of those 10 poorest counties in the US are on reservations.
Fact: Comparatively, the 2015 Federal poverty guidelines allow $24,300 for a four-person household in America.
Fact: Nearly 1/4 Native Americans live with low food provisions; meaning uncertain or limited access to food for an active, healthy lifestyle, typically because of a scarcity of money.
Fact: American Indians have food insecurity longer than any other ethnic group in the US.
Fact: Senior high school dropout rates on the reservations range from 30% to 70%. About 13% of Native American students attain a college degree.
Fact: Other non Native Americans are almost three times as likely to obtain a degree.
Fact: 1 in 200 Native Americans report being homeless. About 30% of homes are overcrowded with families “doubling up” in homes and most being multigenerational. Also approximately 18% of reservation homes are deficient of utilities and running water, with some reservations experiencing deficient infrastructure rates as high as 30%.
Fact: In contrast, 1 in 1,000 Americans in the general population report experiencing homelessness per year.
There is a shortage of healthy food, safe drinking water, healthcare and stores in most all reservation communities; and now more than ever with COVID-19 spreading rampant. Elders who need the most help are finding the store shelves vacant and many Elders and families have”stay at home” orders. If you are considering giving to our American Indian college fund charities, please see if you are in alignment with American Indian Services as your dollars will make a huge difference. Asserting and protecting Native American rights is an essential step in helping all of Americas people to achieve equality and educational opportunity.