Our Mission

In this section

NAP is a Native-led organization that reshapes the philanthropic sector by applying Indigenous values to build more impactful and authentic relationships in philanthropy.

Our Mission

Native Americans in Philanthropy promotes equitable and effective philanthropy in Native communities.

With more than 30 years of experience, we work closely with our counterpart organizations advocating for Tribal communities. The cornerstone of our work is our relatives and our networks. We support several communities that work together to build knowledge, community, priorities, and power in the sector. These networks include Native professionals in philanthropy, elected Tribal leaders, Native youth leaders, and Native non-profit leaders.


Our Vision

Our vision is for all Native communities to be restored to full health, sustainability, and self-determination. To accomplish this, we commit to the following goals:

  • Increase philanthropic investment in Native communities to strengthen and expand community-based solutions.
  • Strengthen support for Native, philanthropic, and non-profit leaders to increase Native representation in the sector.
  • Improve the availability of regular, reliable data and Indigenous-led research on Native communities and their relation to philanthropy.
  • Support Tribal Nations with more opportunities for awareness, connection, and collaboration with each other and with the philanthropic sector.

NAP's Guiding Values

Our guiding values are grounded in Indigenous knowledge and traditions and is what steers us through a system that was not created by us or for us.
When working with Indigenous Peoples, philanthropy often tries to define these communities by their needs and deficits. It’s important for funders to see and acknowledge the important resources and strengths that Indigenous Peoples draw from their cultural power and bring to the table.
Generosity is not the same as charity. Giving without strings attached avoids harmful stereotypes that position funders as the saviors and Indigenous Peoples in need of saving. Instead, it uses an asset-based approach to invest in Indigenous community strengths and leadership.
Indigenous Peoples view giving as a moral responsibility to support each other. Under the framework of Indigenizing philanthropy, giving is about acting ethically and with accountability to support the existence of Native cultures, values, and languages.
Reciprocity is critical for giving because it creates a culture of generosity and long-standing relationships. Giving should be a two-way exchange that acknowledges each other's needs and cultures to create a mutually beneficial partnership.

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