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St. Joseph's Indian School

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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

159 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

52

General Member of the Public

Rating: 1

http://www.cnn.com/2014/11/17/us/south-dakota-indian-school-fundraising-investigation/index.html?hpt=hp_t2

Why is there cash on hand increasing so much? It seems the only money they are spending is on their own salaries. The children in the commercials are actors. They are another company who's primary purpose is to make more money and give themselves bigger salaries. I would not send them a dime.

Comments ( 1 )

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stjo1927 09/12/2016

Please visit http://www.stjo.org/site/News2?page=NewsArticle&id=11353 to read more about the CNN story. Admission and all services to Native American children and families remains free. We also have outreach programs on several South Dakota Reservations. You can review our financial information at www.stjo.org/report and please feel free to call us at 1-800-341-2235 if you have any questions.

9

Donor

Rating: 4

I have been supporting St. Joseph's Indian School for about 20 years. Research that I have done supports my belief that St. Joseph's has done and continues to do works that benefit native American Indian children and their families. Over the years my grown children and several siblings have joined me in financially supporting St. Joseph's. I sincerely hope that you will join us.

Comments ( 1 )

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stjo1927 09/12/2016

Thank you so much for your comment and your support. You truly do make a difference in the lives of the Lakota boys and girls.

57 Chuck18

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 1

I am very suspicious of the few positive comments about this facility. After so many negative comments the positive ones just do not seem real. I would imagine that it is the staff or Board of Directors person making the comments in hopes of defusing some of the negative aura of the whole place.

I will not give to an organization that will not remove you after repeated attempts to be removed. They seem to be a "Mill" running rampant and flooding any possible market in hopes of getting some cash. Well, not from me.

Chuck
CEO of Phoenix Rehabilitation Organization, Inc.

Comments ( 1 )

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stjo1927 09/12/2016

You can visit our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/saintjosephs and review the many positive comments about St. Joseph’s. We believe in transparency and would love to answer any questions you may have. We will respect anyone who wishes to be removed from our mailing list. It can take up to 90 days for mail to completely stop, but we will honor that request. Please call us at 1-800-341-2235 with any questions, concerns, or requests concerning mail.

32

Donor

Rating: 5

I have read some earlier posted reviews and they do not seem accurate.
I help these people and they are great.
The people running the school are kind and very passionate about what they do.
My suggestion is to just call them and ask where your money is going, you may be surprised at how much they do for these children.

-DC

Comments ( 1 )

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stjo1927 09/12/2016

Thank you for your comment and your support! We truly appreciate it. We welcome any questions or concerns about the school. Anyone may call 1-800-341-2235 and we would be happy to explain our mission, programs, financials, or answer any other questions.

82

Donor

Rating: 1

I started donating a few years ago because I thought they were doing a good service to the Indian community. I have since then received tons of unsolicitated junk...dream catcher, lousy blankets etc... When I found out that they go all the way to solicitating donations from my family in Europe, I realized that very little of what I donated goes to the cause. I stopped donating about 5 yrs ago but still regularly receive junk from them. I suggest you look them up and.....send your money somewhere else! This organization is definitely not worth receiving donations!

Comments ( 1 )

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stjo1927 09/12/2016

We apologize that you consider the things we send as junk. Part of St. Joseph’s mission is to help preserve and promote the Lakota (Sioux) culture. By sharing the dreamcatcher and other cultural items, we hope people will be encouraged to learn more. Anyone may contact us about their mailing preferences and we will honor their wishes. If someone does not wish to receive gifts and they let us know, we can update that for them.

67

General Member of the Public

Rating: 2

According to the BBB, this organization does not meets its Standards for Charity Accountability.

http://www.bbb.org/charity-reviews/national/american-indian/st-josephs-indian-school-and-missions-in-chamberlain-sd-675/all

I've given to them in the past, and figure they probably help some kids, but according to the its consolidated audited financial statements for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2012, the organization spent $30,278,951 or 57% of its total expenses ($53,021,662) on program service activities. So only about 30% of the income actually went to help the program/kids.

Comments ( 1 )

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stjo1927 09/12/2016

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. Please visit http://www.stjo.org/site/News2?page=NewsArticle&id=9199 for more information. Regarding contributions, of each dollar raised, .71¢ goes to caring for the children and their needs, including: Immediate needs like food, clothing, heat, lights and all their school needs (teachers and their salaries, textbooks, desks, etc). Future planned program growth, for things like renovation of the students’ campus homes and saving for the future, which ensures St. Joseph’s ability to keep helping the Lakota people for as long as necessary. Outreach programs for the Lakota people on three reservations. These services include a shelter for abused women and children, a licensed adolescent group care center and counseling services. The additional .29¢ is invested in donor development and fundraising.

64

Donor

Rating: 1

We also have received numerous extravagant give packets from St. Joseph's Indian School. Although we made a small donation once long ago, we will not do so again. This last gift packet was the last straw. It included a form "letter" from a child at the school (obviously written by an adult) which blatantly says the child's home and family would not be a safe place to live. Here is the actual wording of the form letter:

"Dear Ms.________, Things are so fun here at St. Joe's. I like the other girls, we giggle at each other all day. I asked my teacher if I could write you and tell you about the school. My name is Stacy. I'm 12. Anyway, I've only been at St. Joe's for a couple of months. I's so warm and safe, not like my house on the reservation. School's awesome. I have lots of things to do and read. I really, really, like the science project I'm doing with Tasha and Tommy. The food is good here. What I enjoy most is the campus home I share with 11 other girls and my houseparents. My bed is so comfortable. I know I don't have anything to worry about when I go to sleep!
"Well I have to go now but I'll pray for you when I pray for my mom, my sister and my uncle. And thanks a lot! Love, Stacy"

I wonder if the children's families know what is being said about them. We find this unconscionable. That, and the lavish gifts intended to solicit by guilt. The money used for these mailings could benefit the Lakota people and their children… and their families deserve more respect than this.

Comments ( 1 )

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stjo1927 09/13/2016

The stories we share in our marketing information are based on real situations. However, in order to protect the privacy of the children, we do not use their real names in our letters to supporters. The photos we use are also real students, but not the photo of the child described in the letter. In some reservation communities, pervasive poverty means that innocent Native American children have to fight for survival. From one day to the next, they might not know where they will sleep, if they will eat or who will take care of them. It is never meant to be disrespectful, just an accurate portrayal of experience’s the children have gone through. You may read more about reservation life, the children, and our mission at St. Joseph’s Indian School on our website: http://www.stjo.org

40

General Member of the Public

Rating: 2

I keep checking on the validity of this organization and know that they are a 501c3
http://www.stjo.org/site/PageServer?pagename=about_501c3

.....but since they're 'religious' they don't have to report their administrative costs. http://www.guidestar.org/organizations/46-0235912/st-josephs-indian-school.aspx#recommendations WHY should they be exempt????????

It just sounds suspicious. They are completely outside of some of the best practices for 'savvy donors':
http://www.charitynavigator.org/index.cfm?bay=content.view&cpid=419

According to 'The Non-Profit Times', "The average American believes that a charity should spend no more than 23 percent on overhead but that charities actually spend 36.9 cents on the dollar."
http://www.thenonprofittimes.com/news-articles/survey-charities-should-spend-23-on-overhead/

If they don't report anything, how do we know how they use the donations???

I want to check out any charities, before I blindly donate to them. (e.g. Better Business Bureau?)
http://interact.stltoday.com/pr/non-profits/PR111113112115009

It is VITAL to support our Native American population. I just want my donations to go where they are most effective......

Comments ( 1 )

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stjo1927 09/13/2016

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 contact us at 1-800-341-2235 if you have any additional questions.

Previous Stories
25

Donor

Rating: 4

I did some research and found that South Dakota has 7 of the 10 poorest counties in the US! ( http://www.onjinjinkta.com/native/reservationindex.html ) Note: Since they're a religious organization (St Joseph's) they're not evaluated by 'Charity Navigator' ( http://www.charitynavigator.org/index.cfm?keyword_list=st+joseph%27s+indian+school&Submit2=GO&bay=search.results ) I carefully select what organizations I donate to and feel that this one deserves my contribution.

Comments ( 2 )

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stjo1927 09/13/2016

Thank you for your comment and support! Life on the reservations in South Dakota is extremely difficult. Many children never make it past 8th grade, suicide rates are high, and drug and alcohol abuse is extremely common. In addition to providing an education, home, food, medical, dental, and a safe environment for over 200 Lakota Sioux Children every year, St. Joseph's also provides outreach programs to several South Dakota reservations.

profile

stjo1927 09/13/2016

Thank you for your comment and support! Life on the reservations in South Dakota is extremely difficult. Many children never make it past 8th grade, suicide rates are high, and drug and alcohol abuse is extremely common. In addition to providing an education, home, food, medical, dental, and a safe environment for over 200 Lakota Sioux Children every year, St. Joseph's also provides outreach programs to several South Dakota reservations. In terms of Charity Navigator, St. Joseph’s Indian School is accredited by the Council on Accreditation (COA) regarding our finances.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.

41

Donor

Rating: 1

REgardless of whether they are religious or not, if they want more donors they need to be more trnasparent with a 3rd party audit for how much money (percent) goes to the people they are helping.
Old data suggests that they are very self serving with 34-55% going to the people they want to help. This nobel group needs to make significant improvements.

Comments ( 1 )

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stjo1927 09/13/2016

The average cost is $57,138 per year per child to take care of all individual needs. That breaks down to about $226 per day per child. These costs include the salaries of all the teachers, counselors and support personnel needed to run the school and its programs along with maintenance. We have over 200 students each year, so we need a large staff. Regarding contributions, of each dollar raised, 71¢ goes to caring for the children and their needs, including: Immediate needs like food, clothing, heat, lights and all their school needs (teachers and their salaries, textbooks, desks, etc). Future planned program growth, for things like renovation of the students’ campus homes and saving for the future, which ensures St. Joseph’s ability to keep helping the Lakota people for as long as necessary. Outreach programs for the Lakota people on three reservations. These services include a shelter for abused women and children, a licensed adolescent group care center and counseling services. The additional 29¢ is invested in donor development and fundraising.

129 Mac B.

Donor

Rating: 1

A few days ago, I received an extravagant packet from this organization, including return address stickers, notepads, a dreamcatcher keychain, and more. Never having heard of nor received an solicitations from this organization before, I considered making a donation until I started checking them out. The only info I could find was from the American Institute of Philanthropy (AIP) (http://www.charitywatch.org/articles/not-accountable-not-commandment.html), which had info only from audited statements of 2004. These showed that St. Joseph's Indian School used roughly 34% of its budget on programs that directly benefited those whom it purports to help. Based on this info, AIP awarded them an F rating, noting that the majority of the organization's donations are used for fund-raising.

Armed with this knowledge, my decision to donate or not became quite easy, because I refuse to contribute to any organization that uses such a paltry portion of its donations to actually help people.

Comments ( 1 )

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stjo1927 09/13/2016

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. In terms of contributions and each dollar raised, 71¢ goes to caring for the children and their needs and the remaining 29¢ is invested in donor development and fundraising. Please contact us at 1-800-341-2235 if you have any additional questions.

45

Donor

Rating: 1

Less than 55% of this charity's money is returned in services. They do not regularly disclose their financial statements. It is impossible to be removed from their mailing list (after 18 months of asking!).

To me they are clearly a direct marketing machine that primarily feeds the administrative staff of the charity and not the children they contend to support. Find another place to put your money.

Comments ( 1 )

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stjo1927 09/13/2016

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. In terms of contributions and each dollar raised, 71¢ goes to caring for the children and their needs and the remaining 29¢ is invested in donor development and fundraising. We will honor anyone's wishes to be removed from our mailing list. Please contact us at 1-800-341-2235 if you have any additional questions.

6

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

This charity rocks!! They deal with poor kids and that's great

Comments ( 1 )

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stjo1927 09/13/2016

Thank you!

36

Donor

Rating: 5

I have been a supporter of St. Joseph's Indian School for 3 years now; I always receive a thank you for my donation, along with updates on the children, and the community. I receive invitations to important functions in SD as well as MD and greetings throughout the year. They really make you feel as though you are truly making a difference for them. USPS has different sized shipping boxes for one price, I frequently send items to SD that are easily purchased at your local value store like individual hygiene items, blankets, sheets, clothes, toys, etc. etc.. I am a thrifty shopper and many have been the times that I have found name brand clearance items; at high end stores to fill a box. If you truly want to feel as though you are making a difference in a child’s life or a community; St. Joseph’s Indian School is the place for you!

Comments ( 1 )

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stjo1927 09/13/2016

Thank you so much for your comment and support! We are thankful. Anyone is welcome to visit St. Joseph's campus. We have our annual Powwow every September and donors from all the over country try to make the event. Our Donor Luncheons are held in different locations every year. Our Native American students will share thoughts about their experiences at St. Joseph's, as well as life on the South Dakota Indian reservations.