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2014 Top-Rated Nonprofit

American Indian Youth Running Strong aka Running Strong for American Indian Youth

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Arts & Culture, Children & Youth, Cultural & Ethnic Awareness, Food, Food, Agriculture & Nutrition, Human Service Organizations, Human Services, Youth Development Programs

Mission: Our mission is to help American Indian people meet their immediate survival needs - food, water and shelter - while implementing and supporting programs designed to create opportunities for self-sufficiency and self-esteem, particularly for tribal youth. Our goal is to build the capacity of communities, grassroots Indian organizations, and individuals to leverage their strengths to solve problems. Through long-term development programs such as organic gardening, housing, water resource development and healthcare, we strive to foster self-sufficiency on Indian reservations throughout the United States. BILLY MILLS, Olympic Gold Medalist and an Oglala Lakota from the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, serves as Running Strong's national spokesperson. He travels throughout the nation speaking to American Indian children and their families spreading his message of inspiration and opportunity for many Indian youth based on dignity, character and pride.

Target demographics: American Indian youth. We tackle complex challenges that stem from years of oppression and poverty.

Geographic areas served: American Indian communities

Programs: safe housing, basic needs, culture and language preservation, emergency assistance programs, organic gardens and food, schools and youth centers, women’s health, and seasonal programs. We implement our own programs but we also support independent groups who align with our mission, such as nonprofits, community centers, and grassroots projects. Running Strong's program involvement reaches far and wide. With our longstanding partnerships in Indian Country, we work to create sustainable change in Native communities.

Community Stories

3 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters


Client Served

Rating: 5

My family was one of many in our community who benefited from Running Strong. Plenty of times the food donation they provided for us was all we had to eat.


Client Served

Rating: 5

Billy Mills is one of the greatest contemporary heros of the Lakota Oyate. This nonprofit has been essential in providing opportunities for the young people of the Rosebud and Pine Ridge Reservations in South Dakota, as well as other areas across the country. I applaud the organization for all the good work they have done!

1 Leona C.

Client Served

Rating: 5

We at Teton Coalition support the Billy Foundation they have helped each year for our Christmas party for about 250 clients through out Rapid City, South Dakota. Many of the children just love the party seeing the elders and visiting with the elders. About 10 volunteers put this party on along with dancers, Santa visits, last year we made turkey, salads, gravy, potatoes, ham, bread, desserts for the meal. Many of the people said this party was their Christmas dinner because they can't afford to buy this stuff. The laughter, the get together, and mostly the children enjoyed this party. If Running Strong didn't help us help these families we couldn't help the families in Rapid City. We was also able to buy small gifts for each child, small candy box for the Elders. I express your kindness during the holidays. Please consider the children they are our future.