Support Native people and Native nations

Percent of 2022 grantmaking to support Native people and Native nations
Why it’s important to us

We believe that investing in Native people and Native nations is one of the highest impact things we can do.

The challenges facing Native communities are profound. For example, if you overlay a map of child poverty in our region with the boundaries of reservations there is significant overlap.

But philanthropic impact is not just about addressing a profound need. Impact comes from investing in extraordinary people and institutions to address that need. It comes from investing in big ideas for change. We see extraordinary people and institutions with big ideas throughout Native nations and Native communities in our region. Read more about our commitment to support Native nations and Native people.

How we’re doing

In 2022, 68% of our grantmaking went to support Native people and Native nations in the region. This is a high-water mark for the Bush Foundation — and includes a $50 million grant made to create a community trust fund for Native people in the region. In the last few years, we have averaged about 24% of grant payments to Native nations and people.

We are regularly listed in national reports as one of the top funders in the country in the total funding that supports Native communities and issues. The recognition is nice, but at the same time, we would love to see the big national funders give more to Native communities and knock us down the list!

What’s next

We are committed to influencing the field of philanthropy to invest more to benefit Native people. We want to encourage more funders to consider the unique challenges and unique strengths of Native communities in their grantmaking strategies. We have experience we hope could be helpful to others.

We will also continue to seek out opportunities to invest in great ideas and the people who power them in Native communities in our region.