Top Native American Charities On Charity Navigator

September 15, 2020

Top Native American Charities On Charity Navigator

Did you know that American Indian Services is one of only four nonprofits serving Native Americans with top Charity Navigator ratings? It’s true, American Indian Services, the American Indian Science and Engineering Society, the Native American Heritage Association, and the First Nations Development Institute are the only charities with 4 stars on Charity Navigator’s rating system as of this writing. And we are thrilled and honored to be in such great company!


What is Charity Navigator?

Charity Navigator is a charity watch site that rates nonprofits based on their transparency, ethics, and impact. There are 4 main charity ratings sites, and Charity Navigator has investigated more charities than the other 3 sites combined. They also go far more in depth with their investigations, and they are a nonprofit themselves, so they’re a charity rating site you can trust.


Why is a 4 star Charity Navigator rating a big deal?

When you make a donation to a charity you are trusting that they will be good stewards of those funds. Before the days of sites like Charity Navigator, that trust was based on blind faith. But thanks to charity watch sites, you can now dig deep into a charity’s tax information, administrative expenses, impact, etc. in order to investigate whether they really are trustworthy. And the result is that you can sleep well at night knowing that your dollars are going toward the greatest good.

But if you don’t want to go dig through document after document, you can trust Charity Navigator to do it for you. They hold the strictest standards of any site, and only 4% of the charities they investigate have a 4 star rating.


Which Native American charities have top Charity Navigator ratings?


  1. American Indian Services

    The beginnings of the organization were in 1971 as a college affiliated program, and we became a 501(c)(3) public charity in 1981. Our mission is to provide education to Native Americans in need through scholarships and educational programs. And we aim to ensure that their cultural values are preserved as we do so. Over the decades we have helped tens of thousands of students receive a college education through scholarships. We have also helped hundreds of middle schoolers to raise their science and math scores. And lastly, we have created many urgent projects where we distributed food, supplies, and agricultural equipment. Read this post to learn about our latest project, the COVID-19 Relief program. Check out our financial page to learn more about us and to view our various charity watch ratings. And if you’d like to make a donation you can do so here.

  2. The First Nations Development Institute

    Their mission is to strengthen American Indian economies to support healthy Native communities. They invest in and create innovative institutions and models that strengthen asset control and support economic development for American Indian people and their communities. Over the last 40 years they have distributed 1,928 grants totaling 40 million dollars in support of Native American programs.

  3. The Native American Heritage Association

    The Native American Heritage Association (NAHA) is dedicated to helping Native Americans living on the tribal reservations in South Dakota. The state of South Dakota is home to some of America’s most scenic landscapes, the Badlands, and also the home to the poorest people in our nation. NAHA supports the Sioux people through medical, food, fuel, and clothing programs. They have been in operation since 1993.

  4. The American Indian Science and Engineering Society

    The American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES) is a national, nonprofit organization. Their focus is on substantially increasing Native American representation in STEM.  The society began in 1977 and they are a wonderful resource for Native American engineering students and professionals. Their magazine Winds of Change offers timely and informative articles on STEM subjects.




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