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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Education, Elementary & Secondary Schools, Literacy, Special Education

Mission: St. Joseph's Indian School partners with Native American children and families to educate for life - mind, body, heart and spirit.

Target demographics: Native American children and families

Direct beneficiaries per year: 220 Native American children

Geographic areas served: South Dakota

Programs: Residential Care including Food and Clothing, Education, Counseling, Medical Care, College Scholarships

Community Stories

40 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

67

Donor

Rating: 1

My elderly father sent donations to St Joseph's Indian School for years. His dementia had deteriorated his natural perspicacity, but not, unfortunately, his ability to write checks and sign up for monthly donations. When he died in 2014, I wrote this "charity" requesting they take him off their mailing list. They did, but added mine. almost every month since then, I have received large envelopes full of lots of junk: tablets, note pads, post-it notes, stickers, address labels, dream catchers, greeting cards, postcards, calendars, etc., etc. I have written back twice asking to be removed from their list, to no avail. I do NOT give to charities who waste donations sending unsolicited crap to unlikely donors. I don't know what % of donations actually go to the kids but it must be pretty small.

Comments ( 1 )

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stjo1927 09/26/2016

We apologize if you do not wish to receive mail from us. If you give us a call at 1-800-341-2235 we can update that for you. Due to the number of mailings we receive, written requests can unfortunately sometimes be missed. $.71 of every dollar goes to the children and our cost to raise a dollar for fiscal year 2015 was approximately $.29.

Review from Guidestar

23 Barbara271

Donor

Rating: 5

I care very much for the Lakota children at St. Joseph's Indian School. Some of them were abandoned children, some had parents who had drug and alcohol issues, some parents had no job, enough food to feed the children. God bless the St. Joseph Indian School for all they do! I help whenever possible through donations from time to time. Children need to know they are not forgotten and are loved!

Comments ( 1 )

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stjo1927 09/26/2016

Thank you for your comment! Life on the Reservations is difficult and the Lakota children face many difficulties in South Dakota. Children face high suicide rates, drug and alcohol abuse, poverty, and many never make it past the 8th grade. Thank you for your support and helping provide a safe environment for the Lakota Sioux children!

12

Donor

Rating: 5

I am only a little Native American but my family instilled a great regard for my long ago ancestors. When viewing this video and seeing and hearing the powwow, my heart kept beat and swelled with pride for these children who will carry forth the traditions of the Lakota peoples." Pilamaya" to the supporters, the advisors and the children of St. Joseph's. My limited means of support will continue as often as I can give.
Sincere Blessings,
Donna Yates-Johnson

Comments ( 1 )

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stjo1927 09/26/2016

Thank you so much for your comment and support! We hold our annual powwow every September. This years video can be seen here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BdVKKVDdrTw

15

Donor

Rating: 5

We orginally started donating to St Joseph's School in the 1970s and have on an off over the years. We have now started monthly donations. They have helped so many children over the years.
There are so many good and honest places to donate to our there, but this is one of the best. Maybe you don't have the money to donate but St Joseph's can use box tops or labels from your cereal boxes or soup cans etc., they can use new clothes or personal supplies for the kids.
Please help.

Comments ( 1 )

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stjo1927 09/26/2016

Thank you so much for your monthly support! Because of friends like you, we can provide a safe, stable home for the Lakota (Sioux) children in need. We do accept non-monetary donations such as Box Tops and you can find are constant needs list here: http://www.stjo.org/site/PageServer?pagename=help_non_monetary_needs

13

Donor

Rating: 5

These folks with negative comments should be ashamed. I absolutely adore the gifts I receive, therefore, I donate. I think it is wonderful what they do for the children. Don't forget folks, we took the land from Indians. Yes, some do have casinos and I am proud that they were able to do so. GOD Bless all of you for what you do for the children. Wish I could donate more, however I am on a fixed income. Miriam

Comments ( 1 )

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stjo1927 09/26/2016

Thank you so much for your comment! We appreciate your support! In terms of casinos, most reservation casinos located in South Dakota are in small isolated locations and are unable to attract large groups of people. There are also state regulations which restrict certain types of gaming. Only a small percentage of federally-recognized Indian nations have high stakes gaming. Because reservations lack basic services and infrastructure, the few dollars generated by the casinos are unable to meet all of the community's needs. Such areas of need are health clinics, schools, water systems, housing, job training, daycare and services for the elderly, all of which are under-funded and lacking on many reservations.

26

General Member of the Public

Rating: 1

Received a phone call from someone asking for myself and husband by name. He proceeded to thank us for our donation to the St Joseph Indian School. We have never made this donation(he wanted to argue the fact) and he seemed to be asking for additional money. I hope that others aren't being preyed on and duped by this scam.

Comments ( 1 )

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stjo1927 09/19/2016

We apologize that there was any confusion. We make thank you calls on a regular basis. We are not calling for more money, we sincerely just want to say thank you to those who support our mission. You can certainly give us a call at 1-800-341-2235 and clear up any confusion. If you did not make the donation and we some how have your number, we can update that we do not call again.

Review from Guidestar

36

General Member of the Public

Rating: 1

I have no problem donating to a charitable need, however when I looked St. Joseph's up I immediately saw that this organization either didn't respond to or outright declined a request from the Better Business Bureau. Why? I'm assuming it's because this charity has something to hide. Perhaps St. Joseph's is proud of the money brought in, but not exactly willing to allow an outside entity to analyze how it's being spent? This is a direct quote from the BBB. "BBB encourages charities to disclose accountability information beyond that typically included in financial statements and government filings in order to demonstrate transparency and strengthen public trust in the charitable sector."

Comments ( 1 )

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stjo1927 09/12/2016

Thank you for your comment. St. Joseph’s Indian School is accredited by the Council on Accreditation (COA) regarding our finances. We believe it is a better use of time and resources to submit to a comprehensive review of our organization, rather than the limited assessment provided by the Better Business Bureau. The evaluation with COA includes visits to the school, interviews with staff and families of the children, and evaluates more than just our finances. More information can be found at www.stjo.org/bbb. You may call us at 1-800-341-2235 and we would be happy to answer any questions you may have.

54

Volunteer

Rating: 1

THIS IS A CORRUPT ORGANIZATION THAT PREYS ON THE ELDERLY AND THOSE WITH A HEART TO HELP. MY MOTHER IS CONSISTENTLY BOMBARDED WITH THEIR MAIL AND REQUEST FOR FUNDS AS WELL AS THEY HAVE SOLD HER NAME TO OTHER TRIBES SO THEY COULD GET IN ON THE FUND RAISING. SAVE YOUR HARD EARNED MONEY, THIS ORGANIZATION RECEIVES SOMEWHERE AROUND $50 MILLION PLUS OR MORE SAPPING OFF YOUR FEELINGS TO HELP. THEIR FINANCIAL STATEMENTS SHOW THEY HAVE AMASSED QUITE THE FORTUNE IN PROPERTY AND ASSETS YET THEY SHOW YOU PHOTOS OF POOR DESPERATE CHILDREN IN NEED. IF THEY CAN RAISE THIS AMOUNT OF MONEY IN ONE YEAR HOW MUCH DO YOU REALLY FEEL THERE FEW HUNDRED KIDS NEED TO OBTAIN AN EDUCATION. THEIR ANNUAL INCOME SHOULD BE BUILDING AND DONATING TO OUR PUBLIC SCHOOLS, WHAT FACILITIES WE COULD HAVE AND BUILD. PLEASE ADVISE YOUR ELDERLY FAMILY MEMBERS AND OTHERS ON THE SCAM THAT THIS IS. YOU NEED YOUR MONEY MORE THAN THEY DO.

Comments ( 1 )

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stjo1927 09/09/2016

Thank you for your input. St. Joseph’s Indian School is indeed blessed to have had net assets of $153 million as of June 30, 2015. Property, plant, and equipment make up $28 million of that figure and our Annuity Reserve Fund (which is restricted for payments to our charitable gift annuitants) makes up $60 million. Our current assets and investments (less liabilities) are $45 million which will be used to fund future programs at St. Joseph’s, but would also allow us to keep St. Joseph’s operational for two years without our fund raising program. While the argument could be made that $45 million is more than enough for future programs, there’s no guarantee that donors will continue to give to our children and school at the level they have in the past. As a direct mail fund raising program, we know that the number of checks being written is decreasing rapidly, and the U.S. Postal Service is showing signs of insolvency – both very ominous signs for future direct mail efforts. St. Joseph’s, from time to time, does exchange its list with other charities in an effort to find new supporters. Anyone may contact us and ask for their information to not be shared. We will honor when this request is made and we will never sell or exchange your name with any other organization.

Review from Guidestar

29 Pascale M.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 1

I find it very offensive to name the school St. Joseph's Indian School. If you know your history, you would know why they are referred to as Indians not natives or their tribal names- story of Columbus. Also the fact that it's run by a priests? This sounds like exploitation to me. Columbus and other settlers brought what they felt is the only true religion and forced it on the natives, then took their land, and disregarded their culture. That's a slap in the face of the natives. The catholic priest is exploiting these kids and gaining from their heritage. Please help the native children retain their culture and identity and let's stop giving to these opportunistic organizations.

Comments ( 1 )

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stjo1927 08/24/2016

Thank you for your comment. Since 1927, St. Joseph's has served the needs of the Lakota (Sioux) people in South Dakota. The topic of changing the name of our organization has come up in the past. We are grateful to have the input and support of the families and communities we serve in not changing our name at this time. It's also important to know our students are not required to be Catholic to attend. We are blessed to work hand in hand with families who enroll their children at St. Joseph's for a variety of reasons. Additionally, Lakota culture plays a strong role in all aspects of our curriculum with students learning the language, traditions and values of their people from elders and Native American teachers. To learn more about our cultural programs, please visit www.stjo.org/culture.

54

Donor

Rating: 3

I am a recent donor to St. Joseph's Indian School, and plan to continue. www.stjo.org has the information I need to feel comfortable about financially supporting the charity. If you spend a few minutes on the website, you will find the Annual Report, Strategic Plan, Donor Bill of Rights and Communication Preferences, where you can adjust how often you are contacted. It's always a good idea to research a charity before giving, no matter how heart-tugging the appeal may be. As it stands now, St. Joseph's Indian School meets my qualifications.

Comments ( 1 )

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stjo1927 09/09/2016

Thank you for your comment and your support. Our website is a wonderful resource. You can also stay in touch on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/saintjosephs If you should ever have any questions, please feel free to contact us at 1-800-341-2235 and we will be happy to help. Thank you again!