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2012 Top-Rated Nonprofit

American Indian College Fund

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Education, Higher Education, Scholarships, Scholarships & Student Financial Aid

Mission:

The American Indian College Fund transforms Indian higher education by funding and creating awareness of the unique, community-based accredited tribal colleges and universities, offering students access to knowledge, skills, and cultural values which enhance their communities and the country as a whole.

Programs: The Fund provides approximately 6,000 scholarships annually to American Indian students attending the nation's tribal colleges. Each scholarship awarded can mean the difference between a student receiving a college degree or dropping out. In survey after survey, scholarship recipients indicate that securing financial aid is the key factor contributing to their ability to attain their educational goals. Ninety-five percent of tribal college students applying to the American Indian College Fund demonstrate financial need. Thus, increasing the number of scholarships awarded each year is the Fund's first priority. The Fund also supports cultural preservation initiatives; tribal college faculty training and development programs; capacity building programs; an operational endowment and other programs at the tribal colleges.

Community Stories

14 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The American Indian College Fund has been serving American Indians and Tribal Colleges and Universities for almost 25 years. During this time is has awarded over $100 million to is scholarships and support to tribal colleges and universities and has served tens of thousands of American Indian students working to better their lives through education. Education has always been the prominent means for improving health, social, and economic well-being and while a given for many Americans, it is just a dream for others, including most American Indians living on and near reservations. The American Indian College Fund helps turn the dream of an education into a reality and change the lives of thousands of families. The American Indian College Fund is transparent with the work they do and how they use the donations they receive. Go to www.collegefund.org and read their audit, 990 tax return, annual report and multiple stories, articles, and reference materials for yourself. The American Indian College Fund uses its donations wisely, supports students and tribal colleges passionately and compassionately, and is making a difference.

1

Donor

Rating: 4

I'VE BEEN A REGULAR DONOR FOR SEVERAL YEARS NOW. IT MAKES ME FEEL REALLY GOOD TO KNOW THAT I'M HELPING A YOUNG OR OLD PERSON GET AN EDUCATION. IT'S A WAY OUT FOR MANY TO A BETTER LIFE FOR THEMSELVES AND THEIR COMMUNITIES. PERSONALLY, MY LIFE WOULD NOT HAVE BEEN SO GOOD HAD I NOT STRUGGLED TO BECOME EDUCATED AND BETTER MY SITUATION - I'M A HEALER & DR OF ORIENTAL MEDICINE. MY HUSBAND IS EDUCATED TOO - AN ELECTRICAL ENGINEER. BECAUSE WE LEFT A SMALL TOWN WHICH HAD LITTLE OPPORTUNITY & WAS VERY ECONOMICALLY DEPRESSED, OUR LIFE JOURNEY TOGETHER HAS BEEN RICH WITH GROWTH IN EVERY WAY AND NOW WE'VER BEEN TRYING TO GIVE BACK. THAT FEELS REALLY GOOD. CUDOS TO OUR NATIVE AMERICAN BROTHERS & SISTERS ON THEIR JOURNEY - THE UNIVERSE IS WITH YOU. WOULD LIKE TO SEE MORE OF THE MONEY APPLIED TO PROGRAMS & LESS TO FUNDRAISING - COULD GET MORE CREATIVE IN THAT AREA. THANKS FOR ALL YOU ARE DOING -YOU'RE MAKING A HUGE DIFFERENCE ON THE PLANET. A VERY WORTHWHILE CAUSE. LOVE & BLESSINGS. LYNN PUTNAM

Review from CharityNavigator

6

Client Served

Rating: 5

As a Tribal College administrator, I know firsthand the value and positive impact that the American College Fund has on the lives of Native students. There is a misconception in the general public that American Indian students receive a free education, but that is highly misleading. In fact, a very small percentage of our students receive sufficient funding to cover their educational costs. The truth is that the majority of Native students do not have the financial means to support themselves through college, and have to rely on financial aid and limited scholarship opportunities, when available, to navigate their way to degree completion. Financial constraints are consistently one of the most significant barriers to student persistence and completion. Put simply, student success is not possible without adequate financial support. This is where the AICF steps in. If it were not for their outstanding fundraising efforts, the college and career aspirations of many Native students would remain unfulfilled. I am confident that any financial contributions that are donated to the AICF ultimately reaches the hands of tribal college students, and in turn, provides for their educational costs, and eases the financial burdens for their families while in college. The AICF is a stellar organization, and with the new President/CEO Cheryl Crazy Bull now at the helm, she will undoubtedly take the Fund to new heights and continue its long standing tradition of successfully supporting tribal college students.

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

The American Indian College Fund is the premier organization for raising funds to assist Tribal Colleges and Universities, help Native American students attend college and assists both groups to meet their hopes and dreams.

1 Susan154

Donor

Rating: 5

We have been involved with the Fund for over 5 years and because of the great work they do for Indian students, have become more and more committed. When we have participated in Indian Fund tours, we see the impact that our donations have made on the lives of underprivileged Indian students. It is very rewarding to hear from the students themselves of their gratitude for the help they receive from the Fund. Everyone we have met who is associated with the Fund is extremely committed to bettering the lives of Indian young people.

Donor

Rating: 5

they do a great job.they help alot of people.They put hope in people where there may be none.

3 Kim_50

Board Member

Rating: 5

Like many others, I had never heard of tribal colleges and universities until I reviewed the literature sent to me by mail. Fascinated, I went to visit on of the colleges - the College of the Menominee Nation in Wisconsin was the first of many I ended up visiting. Each college is different, and each special. They are little miracles in indian country that too few people are aware of. The College Fund raises money to support these colleges by providing scholarships to Native American students and in other ways. I give my donations to education generally, and these colleges need the help so much more than mainstream schools. As a Board member, I can attest to the fact that we run a very tight organization, so most of our donations go striaght to where they are needed - to the colleges on the reservations.

2

Board Member

Rating: 5

I joined the Board in the summer of 2011. I've visited several of the Tribal Colleges and am very familiar with not only the purpose of the Fund but also it's health as a nonprofit organization. Having spent my professional career working with some of the world's best companies, I've got good benchmarks in the public and private sector to compare AICF. I'm extremely impressed with the work that the Fund has been doing in Indian country. The opportunities provided to Native Americans through the Fund and our Tribal Colleges are better than ever, and the future looks much brighter than the past. A dollar spent through AICF is a dollar spent on the education of some of the poorest and most disadvantaged citizens in our country. It's also a dollar spent on promoting the diversity of thought and culture as well as the development of our nation's indigenous resources. I'm very proud of what the Fund offers and where it's leading Indian Country!

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

My involvement with the AICF was first as a client served but now donate to the organization. I am a graduate of a Tribal College. I attended college on the hope for a better life and the education I would need to help my family. My parents scraped together enough money to pay for my first semester in school. I had no idea of how I would pay for subsequent semesters but just kept the hope that I would find a way. Towards the end of my first semester I applied for and received a scholarship through the AICF. The money I received payed my tuition that next semester. Every semester I would apply for and receive a scholarship through the AICF. Because of the help I received from the AICF I was able to graduate. I would never have been able to go to college without the AICF and will be eternally grateful for the support they gave me. The opportunities I have received as a result of the AICF support and my education have changed not only my life but have also changed the lives of my family. Today I work for a company that matches payroll deduction contributions to the AICF. I use this program to help increase the financial support I now give to the AICF. I hope someday to be able to repay the gift the AICF gave to my family and I.

2

Donor

Rating: 5

The AICF does incredible work in helping young men and women from Indian Country equip themselves with the necessary tools that will allow them achieve their personal and professional goals. The scholars are tremendous individuals and role models for all of us in the US. They all want to be in school and achieve their education against all odds. I have never seen such a desire to succeed against all odds. I have no doubt that funds allocated to assist the AICF are having tremendous impact today and will have positive rippler effects for years to come!

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have worked with the American Indian College Fund for over 10 years and have served on the Board for 5. I have found my work with this group to be fulfilling and meaningful. The staff is totally committed to the cause of Indian education and the students are hungry for knowledge and grateful for opportunity.The American Indian College Fund is the largest national scholarship provider for American Indians and has provided 76,000 scholarships since it's founding in 1989. It consistently earns top ratings from independent charity advisors, has a strong Board of Trustees comprised of Tribal College Presidents and independent sector members, is strong financially and consistently receives excellent audit results. The 33 accredited Tribal Colleges serve 16,000 full-time enrolled certificate and degree- seeking students. They operate at 75 campuses in states where the majority of American Indian reservations are located, providing access to higher education to those who cannot move to attend college. Native language and cultural knowledge are included in their course work along with traditional college studies. This is especially important since so much of this has almost been lost forever and is an important part of the tribal heritage and tradition...which I believe is also important to the heritage and traditions of our whole country.I am proud of this work, proud to be associated with this organization and incredibly proud of the students who are working hard to improve their lives, the lives of their families, and their communities. This organization helps the students build futures as well as pride in themselves and their traditions.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am a recent graduate of a tribal college. Throughout that time, I had the opportunity to receive academic scholarships from the AICF. I cannot fully express my gratitude and appreciation for this organization. The impacts that they have had on Indian Country are significant, and should be recognized. I also had the opportunity to work with the college fund on while in school to share my story with other Native Students. I can honestly say that the individuals who work in and with this organization have a genuine interest in helping Native students achieve their goals. I now have an amazing career that I truly enjoy. The journey to this point in my life would have been much more challenging without the help of the AICF. I plan to remain engaged with the College Fund, and look forward to the day that I am able to become a donor myself.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

I was delighted to learn about the American Indian College Fund from two individuals in Colorado who actively support the AICF and the tribal colleges. I was so taken by the work of the AICF and the tribal colleges that am now a happy donor. My family will support the AICF and its efforts from now on!

1 Terra H.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

They provide financial means to help native american students get an education! I'm so appreciative of AICF, thankful for all they do!