Crossing the Divide: Philanthropy and the Native American Community
Carly Hare, Emerging Leader, International Fellows Program ~ 2006
Crossing the Divide examines current and future roles of philanthropy and community foundations within
Native American communities. It examines current efforts and research, while questioning the feasibility
for a community foundation to serve as a model for reciprocal relationships between the mainstream
funding and Native worlds.
The main research questions addressed: How are mainstream foundations currently supporting Native
national and regional nonprofits and Tribal programs? How do Native national and regional nonprofits and
the philanthropic sector collaborate to increase funding through cultural appropriate avenues? Could a
regional or Tribal community foundation serve as a connection between culturally appropriate
organizations and mainstream funding sources?
This paper seeks to develop recommendations that will help bridge the divide. Recommendations were
made after literature review, an analysis of foundation giving from 2001-2004, and surveys and interviews
with mainstream funders and Native nonprofit professionals. Crossing the divide is not just a matter of
cultural competency, but integrating native integrity and culture into philanthropic models.
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