Human Services

National Relief Charities

Addison, TX

This organization has not appeared on the IRS Business Master File in a number of months. It may have merged with another organization or ceased operations.

This organization's exempt status was automatically revoked by the IRS for failure to file a Form 990, 990-EZ, 990-N, or 990-PF for 3 consecutive years. Further investigation and due diligence are warranted.


Partnership With Native Americans (PWNA) is a 501(c) (3) nonprofit committed to championing hope for a brighter future for Native Americans living on remote, isolated and impoverished reservations. Collaborating with our reservation partners, we provide immediate relief and support long-term solutions for strong, self-sufficient Native American communities. Partnership With Native Americans is a BBB-accredited charity, a GuideStar Gold Exchange member, a Top-Rated Nonprofit, and an approved charity for the Combined Federal Campaign (CFC). PWNA provides consistent aid and services for Native Americans with the highest needs in the U.S. We care about quality of life and support self-determined goals of the tribes, providing critical supplies, supporting education and community initiatives, and building capacity of local leaders. PWNA also connects outside resources directly to the reservations through our distribution network. PWNA provides aid for 250,000 Native Americans each year, yet there is more to do.

Notes from the Nonprofit

We have changed our name. Formerly National Relief Charities, we are now Partnership with Native Americans (PWNA). Please see our GuideStar profile under that name and EIN number.

PWNA relies solely on monetary and in-kind donations from corporations, foundations, nonprofit collaborators and individual donors. Over 25 years, PWNA provided nearly $300 million in aid to the reservations, including essential supplies, services and scholarships – but the most important thing PWNA provides on the reservations is hope. Only 3% of donations go toward administration.

By choosing Partnership With Native Americans, you join the PWNA network of reservation partners and volunteers, gift-in-kind and foundation funders, individual donors, nonprofit collaborators and staff who care about quality of life for Native Americans. PWNA collaborates with more than 1,000 reservation partners who provide input about reservation needs and goals, helping PWNA deliver the right services, goods and solutions for maximum impact. These partners include grassroots community leaders, volunteers and community-based organizations dedicated to improving the quality of life for their tribal members. Nearly 90 percent of them report they are more effective in meeting program goals for their communities with PWNA's support and services. Working together, we improve quality of life for 250,000 Native Americans each year, yet there is more to do.

Ruling Year



Robbi Rice Rice Dietrich

Main Address

16415 Addison Road

Addison, TX 75001 USA


Native American, American Indian, tribes, poverty, scholarships, food, healthcare, emergency relief, animal welfare, grants, volunteers





Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Human Service Organizations (P20)

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PWNA focuses on remote, isolated and impoverished Native American communities with limited employment opportunities or access to basic necessities. Our partnerships with Native Americans help improve quality of life and support positive change on 60 reservations in the Northern Plains and Southwest. PWNA works with 1,000+ reservation partner agencies to improve their programs and develop local leaders who can drive social change. This is the primary goal behind our vision, whether a reservation partner is focusing on immediate needs (such as nutrition, education or healthcare) or championing long-term, grassroots solutions.

PWNA recognizes that poverty is a social problem with a social solution. We are also aware of the difficult history of disempowering and oppressive federal policies that have shaped many of the current difficult living conditions in remote reservation communities. This knowledge informs our programmatic approach, which is building upon assets within the communities we serve, bringing together individuals, programs, training, outside resources and encouragement to address challenges and support positive change.

Our community-driven model leverages the social capital of a larger network mobilizing toward a common solution. Local participation and empowerment are known to lead to sustainable gains and social change for the communities and people involved. Whether we approach this through our Material Services or Long-Term Solutions, the key is developing and supporting momentum with many future leaders across many reservations and maintaining it over the long run. Collaborating with reservation partners, PWNA believes this approach will lead us toward our vision of strong, self-sufficient Native American communities. We look forward to the time when the communities with whom we work no longer require PWNA's support because they are accessing other resources, most of which come from within their communities.

Examples of how change happens at a community level as a result of our work with partners include situations such as:

• A student who receives our scholarship earns a college degree and feels better equipped to serve their community
• A number of diabetics in a community who have become informed and feel better equipped to self-manage their disease
• An Elder whose housing and related health risk has been resolved through home improvement
• A thriving food bank that was needed and planned, but not yet established, received a start-up grant

Over the next three to five years, PWNA's work entails training and empowering more tribal employees that are change agents and leaders in their communities, continuing to support higher education for American Indian students who are motivated to make a difference for their tribes and continuing to identify and support high-impact efforts that lead to long-term solutions for the people we serve.

Each reservation PWNA serves has different goals and needs. PWNA employs four service strategies to ensure relevant and meaningful support for each community:

• MATERIAL SERVICES: Our Material Services address immediate needs for Northern Plains reservations, Southwest reservations, education and animal welfare. PWNA provides the supplies and seasonal services our isolated reservation partner agencies need to provide an improved or more substantial service, such as food provided to soup kitchens that enables them to provide more or better meals. Some of our partner agencies also incorporate our materials as incentives to motivate participation, volunteerism, and retention in their programs. For example, diapers and baby wipes (needed items) may be incorporated into a program to encourage women to receive prenatal care.

• HIGHER EDUCATION SERVICES: The purpose of Higher Education Services is to increase college access and support retention of Native American students in school. These services, along with upcoming enhancements to our scholarships and transition camps, are one of our Long-Term Solutions for strong, self-sufficient Native American communities.

• COMMUNITY INVESTMENT PROJECTS: In these projects, we aim to positively impact the lives of tribal members and to deliver some type of sustainable gain for Native communities — thus the name “Community Investment Projects” (CIP). PWNA supports and convenes community networks to address long-term concerns such as food sovereignty, nutrition-related health issues or youth development. We help bring together reservation needs and identified solutions with off-reservation resources. We also support community members leading grassroots projects in catalyzing local residents around the issues they want to address. The end goal is identifying, resourcing and implementing long-term, sustainable solutions in reservation communities. One example is supporting a food sovereignty initiative that started with garden tilling to help a reservation partner motivate local gardening and ultimately generate in interest in fresh produce, canning, a greenhouse and a farmer's market.

• CAPACITY BUILDING: The purpose of our Capacity Building services is to better equip reservation partners that want to make a greater contribution to their communities. This type of service helps build leaders in reservation communities through formalized personal and professional development, exposure to new resources and networking opportunities. Capacity Building helps motivated professionals at our partner agencies be more effective at work and have more impact on the people they serve.

All of these approaches empower communities, leaders and catalysts for positive change, while meeting immediate needs or supporting long-term solutions.

• CULTURAL COMPETENCY: PWNA has been working on the reservations for 25 years. This has equipped us with extensive knowledge of the history, cultures and concerns of the Native American tribes and communities we serve.
• A STRONG NETWORK ON THE RESERVATIONS: More than 1,000 reservation agencies partner with PWNA and keep us informed about needs and changes in Indian country. These are the people we must influence for our work to be successful, as they are the catalysts for change in reservation communities.
• THE PWNA WAY: At the core of our work, what distinguishes PWNA from other Native-serving charities is supporting the self-determined goals of our reservation partners. These partners identify the needs and solutions in their communities, and we involve them and local volunteers in the delivery of the service. This is a respectful way of working with Native communities.
• PROGRAM LOGIC MODEL & FEEDBACK LOOP: Partnership With Native Americans has a program model based on sound logic, partner input and monitored results. Our services involve specific guidelines and indicators that help us know we are delivering the right type of service to the right communities at the right time.
• COMMUNICATION TOOLS: Communication is an important part of moving our vision forward. In isolated reservation communities, communication is often a challenge due to limited infrastructure or access to Internet, stable phone lines and sometimes post offices. PWNA has a variety of ways to stay in touch with our partner agencies, ranging from focus groups, talking circles, town hall meetings, and site visits to newsletters, a resource site, a networking site, phoning, faxing and email messaging.
• INDUSTRY & PROFESSIONAL NETWORK: PWNA collaborates with other organizations such as the American Red Cross, FEMA, VOAD (Volunteer Organizations Active in Disaster), and food banks. By working together, we can do more and have more impact.
• DIVERSE & CONCERNED DONORS: Material donors such as Mathew 25, International Aid, and Feeding America give quality products such as school supplies, hygiene items, and winter coats, hats, and gloves that are used in PWNA services. We also receive monetary donations from foundations and about half a million individual donors concerned about conditions on the reservations.
• DISTRIBUTION SYSTEMS: Strategically located distribution centers in SD and AZ give us affordable reach to 60 reservations, which otherwise have limited access to the goods and services we provide. Each distribution facility stocks an inventory of more than 700 types of products.
• HUMAN CAPITAL: Our staff is passionate about our mission, and 100% of our program staff has experience working in Indian country. Being knowledgeable of the issues, lands, culture, history, and tribal programs and processes supports strong partnerships and maximum impact for the communities we serve.

PWNA has a strong feedback loop that is tied our Vision through a Program Logic Model (available on our website). This model illustrates the change for our reservation partners, showing that as partners become more effective, they are more likely to create positive impact for their communities. This moves us toward our vision of strong, self-sufficient Native American communities, and it underscores the need for PWNA to maintain long-term relationships, high customer satisfaction and continuous feedback from our partners. The logic model includes key indicators to show we are on track. The key indicators reflect critical aspects of community participation and engagement, improved skills, improved networking and resources, and stages of evolvement along our logic model. PWNA regularly monitors the established indicators and reports them out monthly, quarterly, and annually to key stakeholders.

Over the past five years, PWNA collected a baseline of quantitative outcomes data through annual partner agency surveys, which show that nearly 90% of our reservation partners report being more effective with PWNA's support. PWNA also understands the importance of spending a great deal of time in the communities we serve, interacting with partners and participants first-hand so that we can see first-hand the issues and impact of our projects. We also hold focus groups with partners to obtain customer feedback, and we track direct services data. One example is that 90-95% of the students who receive a scholarship from PWNA complete the academic year for which awarded. Another example is that 91% of participants from our fall cohort of Four Directions Leadership Development training were demonstrating the use of new skills by mid-cohort.

In addition, PWNA sets annual targets for key service indicators based on past performance and input from reservation partners. When our reported results are significantly different from our intended targets, PWNA researches the reasons for the disparity and plans for adjustments. Our indicators, as well as our feedback loop with partner agencies and Native advisors, enable us to do this. PWNA is able to monitor our results monthly and determine which adjustments affect our results. The monitoring and the partner agency feedback lead us to the best combination of approaches to achieve results ongoing.

Any adjustments PWNA makes ensure that our services effectively support our partner agencies that are the catalysts for positive change on the reservations. Recently, for instance, we adjusted the indicators for some of our long-term services, and we will continue to tweak them for optimal measurement as our work proceeds.

Over 25 years, PWNA has evolved to a level of programming and cultural competency that allows us to work effectively year-round on 60 reservations. Together with our tribal partners, we are improving quality of life for one-quarter of a million Native Americans a year.

PWNA is empowering and developing community leaders who are in the best position to create long-term change and advocate for policy change for Indian country. PWNA cannot bring about the legal, government, healthcare, and tribal policy change required for our long-term vision, so we focus on the people who can – our reservation partners. Our effectiveness depends on their effectiveness and 89% of them report being better able to serve due to working with PWNA. That's a lot more local leaders who are better at creating change. This moves us toward our vision of strong, self-sufficient Native American communities.

• Involving the people we serve in the delivery of the service.
• Challenging dependency and poverty through involvement.
• Treating our community partners as customers, and listening to our customers to strengthen service and outcomes.
• Ensuring the right infrastructure and gift-in-kind network to support our work.
• Looking to industry experts for input about moving toward our vision.

PWNA effectively supports tribal communities by:
• Responding to the need for new services. Recently, reservation partners reported the need for training and in three training classes provided by PWNA, more than 90% of attendees reported skills enhancement. In 2014, we piloted a formal capacity building program for personal and professional development of NRC program partners.
• Providing a range of support for Long-Term Solutions related to food sovereignty, nutrition-related health issues and youth development via community members and collaborators tackling pressing problems.
• Providing a range of Education Services to support learning, motivation and retention of K-12 students and post secondary students, including scholarships, emergency and retention grants, college transition/readiness camps, school supplies and literacy.
• Providing reservation partners with materials they can use to enhance their programs. PWNA transports 5+ million pounds of goods annually for nutrition, health, education, holiday, animal welfare and emergency relief. These supplies help our partners boost participation in diabetes screenings, nutrition education, parenting classes, community projects and many other critical services.

OUR NEXT STEP: In moving toward our vision, PWNA is continuing to empower reservation change agents and leaders by strengthening existing services, efficiencies and public education. Learn more about Partnership With Native Americans at

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