Making An Impact

Throughout the past 25 years as NRC, we developed and delivered a relevant mix of services to help our Native American partners address critical needs that contribute to self-sufficiency and help end the cycle of poverty.

Evolving from a small startup to a high-impact nonprofit with a clear mission, a dedicated team and committed donors who support our work, NRC established a steady, solid history of service with Native Americans.


Originally starting in Virginia, NRC established a donor office that we still operate today.


Enhancing our Northern Plains reservation aid, NRC moved its programming operation to Rapid City, SD.


Enhancing our Northern Plains reservation aid, NRC moved its programming operation to Rapid City, SD. We soon shifted our focus from serving individuals to serving Native American reservation community-based programs (known as our reservation Program Partners). By doing so, we could exponentially increase our reach into the communities and the number of lives we could touch.


Expanding to provide Southwest reservation aid, NRC opened a second program office in Phoenix, AZ. Our two program offices with 40,000 sf distribution centers are centrally located, enabling cost-effective logistics and distribution to 60 remote reservations most organizations cannot reach.


Due to low American Indian education funding and other challenges, NRC began offering services in support of Native students who had little access to traditional scholarship funding.


Distinguishing itself from other charities, NRC began establishing programming that included critical gift-in-kind (GIK) products a lesson borne of its first large GIK donation from Matthew:25 Ministries. Prior to this, PWNA purchased everything at retail prices. The enhanced focus on GIK also took us from shopping carts and pickup truck beds to warehouse equipment, large box trucks, and semis that truck out distributions 52 weeks a year.


Establishing a Program Logic Model based on generally accepted theories of social change and tied to long-term outcomes, NRC began measuring progress toward our vision. We also established guidelines and measurable indicators, tracked monthly, for each service offered.


By now supporting the good work of 500 reservation partners, NRC was integrating more than $500,000 worth of GIK products into our reservation deliveries and being supported by 500,000 individual donors concerned about living conditions in Indian country.


Recognizing the enormous challenge of stray animals and overpopulation, NRC launched a reservation animal rescue program to support animal welfare groups on the reservations improving quality of life for the animals and managing related human health risks.


Maintaining more than 1,000 reservation partnerships, NRC began conducting an annual partner survey to evaluate our impact on the effectiveness of social programs in remote, isolated and impoverished tribal communities.


Today, operating as Partnership With Native Americans, providing more than $30 million annually in aid and services, and collaborating with more than 1,000 reservation programs, a quarter of a million Native Americans benefit from our services. Our strength lies in remaining focused on effective programming and partnerships, and being a consistent resource to Indian country.

Our programming and relationships with reservation partners has evolved through shared learning such as this:

  • By partnering with reservation programs, we also became more familiar with the service structure on the reservations. This taught us about existing programs we could enhance and the importance of supporting local determination.
  • Learning about the service structure also helped us identify the service gaps and create new ways to help fill them. We created new services ranging from gardening to infant care to preventative healthcare — all based on the products available to us and the services being requested by the partners.
  • Adding more GIK and services also meant adding new reservation partners, and this required developing a process for handling requests from partners — just to manage and track the new volume. With this, we also added Program Partner reporting to ensure accountability for the goods going out. These processes also cleared up any notion of PWNA being a give-away charity — our Partners became actively involved planning, organizing and recruiting volunteers for their distributions and other activities.
  • To maintain our high service quality to our Native American reservation partners, we began hiring specialized semi drivers, warehouse staff, outreach and support specialists, and program managers.
  • Today, our reservation partnership with Native Americans remain at the heart of our work and our shared impact on the reservations.