Study after study confirms that philanthropy remains predominantly white. The Council on Foundations (COF) reports that over 75 percent of US foundation staff are white. According to the D5 Coalition, 92 percent of foundation CEOs, 84 percent of executive staff, and 87 percent of foundation boards are white.
Today, fewer than 35 Native people control giving portfolios or serve in key leadership roles at private foundations — nationwide. According to the COF report, as of 2015, “Individuals with American Indian or Alaskan Native heritage constituted .09 percent of administrative positions, .06 percent of executive positions, and .30 percent of professional positions.” Consequently, Native American, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian communities continue to be minimized in foundation giving portfolios and invisible within the hiring and board compositions of U.S. foundations. In fact, only 4/10 of one percent of funding invested by private foundations goes to Native causes. Further, about half of those funds are invested in institutions that are not Native-controlled, such as universities and museums.