All Oklahomans Benefit from Tribal Generosity
A strong culture of giving is necessary to meet the needs of citizens. And Oklahoma has an asset most states don’t — strong tribal nations who can support and help grow communities. The tribes headquartered here have long been stepping up to meet philanthropic needs.
First responder equipment. Arts programs. Scholarships. Home health care. STEM initiatives. Affordable housing. Medical technology. Transportation services. Elderly programs. Infrastructure improvements.
There’s hardly an area that goes untouched by tribal kindness. The tribal nations of Oklahoma have a long history of providing support and stability to the communities that they call home. In city after city, town after town, the tribes are making a critical difference.
They have also lent a consistency to giving. When an economic downturn hits, tribal nations can stabilize communities with steady support through the valleys. “The only consistency you have is with the tribes,” notes Debby Hampton, president and CEO of the United Way of Central Oklahoma. “We are so fortunate to have the support of the tribes. We are dependent on the tribes.”
A Helping Hand to Nonprofits
Many nonprofit organizations statewide are grateful to be on the receiving end of tribal generosity that adds up to millions of dollars in donations. Anne Clouse, former vice president and executive director of the INTEGRIS Foundation, raves about the long history of support the tribes have provided and the stability they bring. “I would hate to think that, if we didn’t have that tribal support through philanthropy, what our nonprofits would look like in this state,” Clouse says. “They’re very passionate about taking care of all Oklahomans.”
Boosting Rural Communities
The tribes serve as active and willing community partners throughout the entire state — from bustling metro hubs to smaller cities and towns. But it is perhaps the more isolated and remote rural areas who are most impacted by tribal giving.
“What I don’t think a lot of people understand is how the tribes really fill that need so greatly in rural communities,” says Alison Anthony, president and CEO of Tulsa Area United Way. The tribes help fund everything from new fire trucks and transportation services to youth and elderly programs, housing and health care. “Without them, that would leave a vast hole that would affect thousands of Oklahomans.”