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Native American Nonprofit Economy Report

posted Mar 6, 2013, 1:28 PM by Rebecca Baumann
Last week I attended a community forum where Dr. Jane Harstad presented a report entitled, Native American Nonprofit Economy Report. The research and report was a joint project of the Native Americans in Philanthropy and the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits.   The report itself is focused on Minnesota, but the recommendations should have wider impact.  As Ms. Harstad said during her presentation, "This report is the first to look at Native Americans as a whole, and hopefully future research will build from here.”

Here are some of the recommendations from the report. 

For Funders
  • Learn about the Native community. First use Native intelligence and development relationships with Native nonprofits that can inform the work. Develop joint evaluation metrics that make sense for the community and add value for the nonprofit.
  • Provide long-term funding support both for programming and operations, and for public policy advocacy.
  • Adopt logic models that are based on community assets as opposed to community deficits.
  • Support youth and leadership development as part of program funding.

For Nonprofits
  • Develop partnerships with Native nonprofits to provide culturally relevant programming to Native clients.
  • Learn about Native nonprofits and identify those organizations that have similar missions and programming to work collaboratively on improving conditions in the broader community.
  • Engage and include Native nonprofits in your networks when working on broader community issues that affect Native people.

For Native-Led Nonprofits
  • Learn about other Native nonprofits that serve the community and look for opportunities to work collectively toward broader community change.
  • Support youth engagement in programming efforts. Proactively address changing demographics and incorporate into future thinking.
  • Prepare for transitions in leadership and mentor the next generation of nonprofit leaders.
  • Strengthen relationships and support with tribal governments that are providing services in urban areas.