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St. Joseph's Indian School

Rating: 2.37 stars   27 reviews 12,840

Nonprofit Issues:

Education, Religion

Address:

1301 N. Main St PO Box 89 Chamberlain SD 57325 USA

Mission:

Since 1927, St. Joseph's Indian School has been serving the Native American people in South Dakota. By responding to the needs of the whole child through an enriched and integrated living and learning environment, we provide opportunity for a balanced, healthy lifestyle through education, group home living, the development and appreciation of spirituality and culture, and the promotion of personal growth and self-esteem.

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http://www.stjo.org

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Reviews for St. Joseph's Indian School

Rating: 1 stars  

2 people found this review helpful

I was giving to this charity for several years then looked up it's financials.. I was giving so they could heat the school of 200 kids in the cold winter.. Then I looked at the financial statement.. They raise $67M a year and have $145M in the bank for 200 kids.. And they have Catholic priests run the place. God save them. THe foodbank that feeds everyone in my state doesn't have as much money. They are shameful.

http://www.stjo.org/site/DocServer/Annual_Report.pdf?docID=1761

Jon

 
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Rating: 1 stars  

10 people found this review helpful

this place is a huge scam. they do not care one bit about the money you send. my mother in law used to send these people money until we got ahold of her finances. i told them to stop sending me their ridculous info after seeing the expose about their kickbacks from the company that makes the crap they send. they told me they will keep me in their system for 3 months, even though i will not send them a dime. they know this and will not even try to stop this stuff from coming to me. if they do, they do not get their kickback
a complete joke of a charity
now they sold my info to another scam of a charity and they are sending me stuff!!! like i said, they care nothing about the school or kids, only the kickbacks for the crap they send.

 
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Rating: 2 stars  

18 people found this review helpful

Like perhaps most of you I'm a generous non-profit supporter who gets St Joseph's Indian School mailings. Check out the CNN report. It tells the complicated story of this school with happy-looking children, generic student pleas for help, and a $30 million fundraising budget. I've chosen not to donate.

http://www.cnn.com/2014/11/17/us/south-dakota-indian-school-fundraising-investigation/

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

8 people found this review helpful

I've donated here for many years and while never a visitor there, I have asked friends to stop in and check them out. Universal praise for the children and persons they met there and the apparent good work they try to do. A skeptic as well, I've looked into these many "gifts" and courtesy phone calls. Apparently some organizations donate the gifts as their contribution in lieu of cash; other cover mailing and phone fees. Clearly from the School's follow-up activities, this is a very well-managed organization...far better than most others I've donated to. I wish they'd better conform to rated organizations (Charity Navigator's screens for example) but for my money, theirs is a worthwhile exempt charity to donate to.

 
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Rating: 3 stars  

8 people found this review helpful

I also have been receiving the "free gifts" asking for a donation - I have donated for several years but an skeptical. Seems as though I'm not the only one as I was thinking I was - not sure what to do - I don't need the gifts - save the money on printing all this stuff.

 
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Rating: 1 stars  

32 people found this review helpful

I have donated many years to this organization. They keep sending me 'junk' that I don't want/need...stickers, note pads, cards, address labels, dream catchers, etc...a lot of money could be saved if they would stop this practice and instead spend it on the children, etc
Until I see a full financial statement disclosed I am stopping my contributions.

 
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Review from Guidestar
Role: General Member of the Public
Rating: 1 stars  

54 people found this review helpful

Does this Catholic "non-profit" even need donations???? St. Joseph's has over $122 million in assets! Yet it raises over $50 million per year in donations, but spends less than 60% of funds on services. If 60% ($30 million) is actually spent to support the 200 Native American children at the school, each child's annual support is $150,000!!!

St. Joseph's will not report to Give.org. (Better Business Bureau). I give to reputable charities who disclose their donations and expenses to the public at Give.org, Charity Navigator, or similar outside agencies and where over 80% of funds raised go to actual services.

St. Joseph's spends 30% on fundraising, mailing fat packets to potential donors. Do donors really want $15 million per year (30% of $50 million) to support direct mail companies?! The 2015 packet I received contains a Windcatcher (made in China), 3 Christmas cards, an Advent calendar, Christmas gift tags, Christmas stationery seals, 2016 calendar, personalized Certificate of Appreciation, personalized address labels, large notepad and small notepad. Personally, I'd rather see the money spent on books and educational supplies for the children.

Also, even though 50% of the students are NOT Catholic, the administration acknowledges that " we do make our kids go to mass on Sunday." OUTRAGE! How is this different from the indoctrination of the 1920's, forcing Native American children to learn the "white man's religion?"

Hope more people will investigate before giving.
SEE: http://www.give.org/charity-reviews/national/american-indian/st-josephs-indian-school-and-missions-in-chamberlain-sd-675
SEE: http://www.cnn.com/2014/11/17/us/south-dakota-indian-school-fundraising-investigation/
SEE: http://www.charitynavigator.org/index.cfm?bay=content.view&cpid=1209


Will you volunteer or donate to this organization?

No

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

A little

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2015

 
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Role: General Member of the Public
Rating: 1 stars  

40 people found this review helpful

I have also done research and am VERY concerned about this organization. I see reviews here that folks who donate say that the school is doing a great job with the kids and to trust them. Fine. But why can they not be open about their finances? What have they to hide?

The simple financial calculations are these: They raise $50 million a year or more per year through their mass mailings. They have 200 kids in their school. At the finest boarding schools in the country tuition tops out in the $40,000 range with all the perks. That means that that they should be able to run this school for $8million. If they spend half of what they receive on mailing materials and postage that would be $25 million to the advertising companies. That the still leaves 17 million per year unaccounted for.

Bottom line: This is clearly a scam.

 
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Role: General Member of the Public
Rating: 1 stars  

38 people found this review helpful

I looked into this charity, saw that there are no ratings from multiple charity rating organizations that I hold in high esteem, so there is no breakdown of their financials (religious organization that doesn't need to disclose this) and how they spend their donations/fund raising. Also found this :

http://www.cnn.com/2014/11/17/us/south-dakota-indian-school-fundraising-investigation/

Make your own decision. Based on all this information, I personally will not donate to them.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization?

No

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

A little

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2015

 
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Role: General Member of the Public
Rating: 1 stars  

50 people found this review helpful

I would simply like to ask this question: How much did it cost this organization to send me a donation request that contained ALL of the following items: a pen, notepad, calendar, 3 cellophane-wrapped greeting cards with envelopes, a dream catcher (presumably made in China or Taiwan) with a color-printed legend enclosed, gold embossed self-adhesive personalize address labels, personalized "checks" in specific donation amounts, and a beautifully embossed gold-trimmed certificate of appreciation for my financial support - which I have not yet given???

If that's how this organization spends its public donation money, I'm appalled.

 
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Review from Guidestar