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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


Board Member

Rating: 5

Running Strong for American Indian Youth has for been a presence for decades, celebrating the culture and history of Native Americans and finding innovative solutions for the pressing challenges they face today.

1 Frank25

Board Member

Rating: 5

Running Strong is an organization with a great reputation among Native American organizations for stepping in to deliver when people are in need. The Organization respects the autonomy of and works closely with many Native American groups. The Organization has a long history of getting the most bang for donor dollars. I am beyond proud to be associated with the Organization.


Board Member

Rating: 5

From the top of the organization to the bottom, everyone involved in Running Strong is singularly focused on the mission of helping those in need. I'm proud to volunteer what time I do have and to help where and when I can; but even more importantly, I am frequently in awe, and quite humbled, each time I see the actions of this great organization quietly going about doing the right things to do, when no one else is.