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The American Indian College Fund invests in Native students

The Denver Post Names American Indian College Fund a Winner of the Colorado Top Workplaces 2019 Award

The American Indian College Fund has been awarded a Top Workplaces 2019 honor by The Denver Post. The list is based solely on employee feedback gathered through a third-party survey administered by research partner Energage, LLC, a leading provider of technology-based employee engagement tools. The anonymous survey measures several aspects of workplace culture, including alignment, execution, and connection, just to name a few.

“Top Workplaces is more than just recognition,” said Doug Claffey, CEO of Energage. “Our research shows organizations that earn the award attract better talent, experience lower turnover, and are better equipped to deliver bottom-line results. Their leaders prioritize and carefully craft a healthy workplace culture that supports employee engagement.”

The American Indian College Fund aims to lift up American Indians through education. It raises funds and distributes scholarships for students to pursue higher education. After entry to school, the College Fund stays with students through a holistic support system to ensure their success. Half of the College Fund’s 60 employees are American Indians. Even off the clock, employees attend lectures, meetings and workshops.

The fund was founded in 1989. In its decades of helping students, its work has been fueled by a very motivated staff. In a 2018 employee engagement survey, 98 percent of employees responded that they were always or nearly always motivated by the mission and vision of the fund.

“The College Fund’s team is very appreciative of this award as we recognize that it is a reflection not only of the great environment we strive to have for our work but it also honors the people we serve. Indigenous people value relationships, industriousness, and creativity. We are proud to honor their values as we accept this recognition.” said Cheryl Crazy Bull, president and CEO. “To achieve our mission, we know it is important to have a collaborative and healthy workplace incorporating Native values to serve not only our Native students, tribal colleges and universities, and communities, but also our employees, who dedicate their careers to bring our mission to life.”

“Becoming a Top Workplace isn’t something organizations can buy,” Claffey said. “It’s an achievement organizations have worked for and a distinction that gives them a competitive advantage. It’s a big deal.”


The College Fund places its mission at the core of everything we do and how we do it. Our team is focused on creating and improving opportunity for Native individuals and communities who need it most. We thrive in our dedication to accomplishing our work together as a whole team.

President’s Team

Cheryl Crazy Bull (Sicangu Lakota)
President and Chief Executive Officer

Carrie Basgall
Executive Assistant to President and CEO

Lisa Smith
Human Resources Director

Emily White Hat, J.D.l (Sicangu Lakota)
Director, Strategy and National Outreach


Tammy Miller-Carlson, CPA
Chief Financial and Operations Officer

Doug Duniphin
IT Services Administrator

Veronica Schultz
Accountant/Building Manager/Benefits Administrator

JoAnna Thompson
Front Desk Administrator

Megan Thoms
Data Services Administrator

Norma Theisen

Cherylynn Tsikewa (Zuni Pueblo)
Assistant to the Chief Financial and Operations Officer

Program Initiatives

Tarajean Yazzie-Mintz, Ed.D. (Diné)
Vice President, Program Initiatives

Bridget Skenadore  (Diné)
Program Officer Native Arts and Culture

Kendra Teague
Program Officer

Cheryl LaRose
Program Officer

Hannah Gonzales 
Program Assistant

Research, Evaluation & Faculty Development

David Sanders, Ph.D.(Oglala Lakota)
Vice President, Research, Evaluation and Faculty Development

Aleks Humeyumptewa  (Hopi)
Administrative Assistant, Office of Research and Development

Crystal LoudHawk-Hedgepeth (Diné)
Research Associate

Natalie Youngbull, Ph.D. (Cheyenne & Arapaho/Assiniboine & Sioux)
Faculty Development Program Officer

Rebecca Garvoille
Research and Evaluation Associate

Stephanie Renteria-Perez 
Intern, Office of Research and Sponsored Programs

Resource Development

NancyJo Houk 
Chief Marketing and Development Officer

Jamie Schwartz 
Director of Major Gifts

Karen Cheung 
Director of Marketing

Jordan Cooper
Grant Writer and Researcher

Antwan Martin
Donor Services Coordinator

Ted Downum
Grant Writer and Researcher

Emi Deguchi
Planned Giving Officer

Liana Epstein
Development Coordinator

Dan Khouri
Development Coordinator

Katie Keating
Community Engagement Manager

Amita Manandhar
Marketing Coordinator

Mackenzie Parker
Major Gifts Grant Manager

Elissa Regan
Development Coordinator  Corporate Partnerships

Elizabeth Russell
Manager, Corporate Partnerships

Aaron Smith
Assistant Director of Major Gifts

Kimberly Urish
Major Gifts Officer

Janna Stieg
Major Gifts Officer

Kim Williams
Resource Development Coordinator

Nancy Slyter
Database Manager

Student Success Services

Tiffany Gusbeth  (Northern Cheyenne)
Director of Student Success Services

David Bledsoe 
Communications Administrator

Cheryl DeGraff  (Potawatomi)
Administrative Assistant

Jacqueline “Jacque” Demko (Arikara, Ojibwe & Hidatsa)
College Admission Coach

Leia Fish (Blackfeet)
Transfer Program Coordinator

Alex Darling (Navajo)
Student Success Coach

Shonday Randall Muscogee (Creek) Nation
Senior Admissions Coach

Cody Emrick
Program Administrator – Scholarships

Matthew Makomenaw, Ph.D.  (Grand Traverse Bay Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians)
College Pathways Manager

Teresa Melendez (Pokagon Band of Potawatomi)
College Success Coordinator

Kelley Mitchell  (Diné)
Full Circle Program Coordinator

Jack Soto (Diné/Cocopah)
Career Readiness Pathways Program Manager

Owen Sapulpa Jr.  (Sicangu Lakota/Mvskoke Creek)
Administrative Assistant

Public Education

Dina Horwedel, Esq 
Director of Public Education and Communications

John Williams

Why Work Here

The American Indian College Fund is a top-rate national charity making a difference in Native peoples’ lives and communities, while working to effect policy change in higher education.

We asked our staff..."What are your top reasons for working here?" they said:

  • Working in a great team with the same focus to support Native Scholars

  • Motivated and united by our mission

  • Support of cultural values

  • Great salary and benefits

  • Flexible work schedule

  • Consistent and supportive learning environment

  • Great office culture

  • Promotion of healthy work/life balance

  • The staff are hardworking and fun!

  • Ethical and transparent practices

In our 2018 employee engagement survey we asked our employees to tell us about some things we are doing great here. Some replies included:

  • The College Fund continues to be an organization with our mission at the core of what we do and how we do it. Our team is focused on creating and improving opportunity for individuals and communities who need it most. We thrive in our dedication to accomplishing our work together as a whole team.

  • I feel like leadership and my boss go out of their way to make us feel appreciated. I am happy and proud to work here.

  • Our mission is incredible and it is clear that individual staff members are deeply passionate about service to that mission.

  • We are always trying to figure out how to do things better, we are clear about the importance and focus on our mission and work, overall we are generous and treat employees/staff well.

  • There is an extremely warm and welcoming culture at this organization.

Diversity and Inclusion comments

  • This is the most inspiring work to me because Native people at the College Fund are spearheading these programs and are giving Native communities the chance to form their own pathway through these programs as well.

  • I like that we incorporate Indigenous perspectives in how we treat each other and go about our work.

  • We thrive in cultural literacy, which helps us understand a distant place our students come from.

  • I also get a strong sense of mutual respect and inclusion from all staff members at the College Fund.

College Fund Career Opportunities

Data Entry Specialist II

Job Details

Job Title

Data Entry Specialist II



Position Type


Interview Group:

Information and Technology Services

Reports To

Data Services Administrator


Denver, CO

Date Modified

June 11, 2019


This position performs the entry of constituent and gift data and other functions associated with processing gifts and managing a sophisticated database. This position is critical because so many functions within the College Fund are dependent on the accurate and timely entry of this data; fundraising, accounting, scholarship, and programs. The Data Entry Specialist uses relationships and reasoning to work closely with various College Fund teams, and to make judgment calls and procedural suggestions to enhance data entry processes. This position provides for an opportunity to grow and learn many aspects of data management, integrity, and reporting within a highly sophisticated fundraising environment

Essential Job Functions

  • Implements data entry of gifts into donor database

  • Enters data efficiently and expeditiously .

  • Enters data accurately according to College Fund policies

  • Ensures gifts are committed within specified timeframe.

  • When needed, takes the lead in data entry processes

  • Maintains database

  • Assists with ongoing database clean-up projects

  • Proactively identifies data integrity issues.

  • Cross-departmental collaboration and information sharing.

  • Distribute donor notes and create action items within database to ensure donor requests are addressed.

  • Provide information to and collaborate with finance team to support appropriate accounting .

  • Actively communicate ideas to enhance processes.

  • Administrative responsibilities

  • Assists with acknowledgement letter process

  • Sorts weekly mail from donors and other constituents, and processes appropriately according to College Fund policies

  • Support Front Desk Administration as needed

  • Assists with other administrative functions as needed

Job Requirements


  • Strong computer, data entry, and typing skills .

  • Very strong attention to detail

  • Able to manage multiple projects at once and prioritize appropriately

  • Desire to demonstrate initiative to learn and implement new processes

Education/ Experience

  • High School Graduate or GED

  • One year of data entry experience .

Preferred Qualifications

  • Associate degree

  • Experience using Raiser’s Edge database or other Customer Relationship Management (CRM) database .

  • Experience helping other people learn data entry or database management techniques

  • Experience in a fund-raising or not-for-profit environment

Work Environment and Physical Activities

  • Professional office setting

  • Ability to:
    - Sit for long periods of time
    - Type on a computer routinely for extended periods of time
    - View multiple computer screens routinely for extended periods
    - Lift 25 pounds

  • Flexible to work additional days if needed

  • Comfortable working with colleagues that work remotely

  • Must have visual acuity

To Apply

Send your cover letter and resume to

Please put your name and the job title in the subject line.

Note: The intent is not to provide an exhaustive list of all duties, responsibilities, or qualifications associated with this position. Incumbent may perform other duties as assigned.

American Indian College Fund is an Equal Opportunity Employer

Donor Services Coordinator (Senior)

Job Details

Job Title

Donor Services Coordinator (Senior)



Position Type


Reports To

Database Manager/Report Writer/Analyst


Denver, CO

Date Modified

May 29, 2019


The American Indian College Fund (College Fund) strives to positively impact the lives of American Indians by supporting their higher education and career objectives. College Fund team members believe education is the answer and collectively we raise funds, provide scholarships, and holistically support students in achieving their goals. Programming, research, and enhancing the capacities of tribal colleges and universities are also integral elements of our mission.

This position will support the Office of Resource Development. Professional communication skills, the ability and desire to take initiative, expert knowledge of CRM software (including producing queries and reports), Word, and an outward mindset for supporting others are essential to supporting this department.

The work environment is both dynamic and fast-paced; and the organizational culture is one that focuses on accountability, teamwork, and a strong passion for our mission. This position will have the opportunity to work with individuals across the organization, along with other business partners and donors of the College Fund.

Essential Job Functions

  • Develops and executes processes for donor service/support functions, including

  • Responds to all donor outreach/feedback/inquiries/requests in response to outbound fundraising communications and general population awareness outreach .

  • Documents donor communications in customer relationship management database

  • Updates Donor records based on donor communication preferences

  • Updates Donor acknowledgement letter copy

  • Creates and provides reporting to team members to identify potential mid-level and major donors to prompt additional research/cultivation

  • Oversight and management of:

  • Back-end processes for monthly sustainer program

  • Stock gift processes and processing .

  • Failed payment follow-up .

  • Combined Federal Campaign .

  • Additional Administrative Tasks:

  • Orders supplies

  • Back up support for Front Desk coverage

  • Assist with other project needs within the College Fund

Job Requirements


  • Familiarity with philanthropic sector and understanding of fundraising concepts and trends .

  • Outstanding customer service skills resulting in consistent customer delight

  • Excellent listening and problem resolution skills

  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office Suite

  • Expert knowledge of CRM software/applications

  • Ability to work well within a diverse team and across departments

  • Flexibility to adapt to a fast-paced and dynamic work environment

  • Ability to multi-task, organize and meet deadlines

  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills via all channels

  • Personal characteristics sought include initiative, discretion, mature judgment, positive behavior and performance

  • Knowledge of and/or interest in learning about American Indian/Alaska Native education

Required Education/ Experience

  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent experience

  • 3-5 years of relevant experience with above qualifications .

  • Extensive experience working in non-profit CRM applications


  • Experience with fundraising, including building donor relationships

  • Experience working with tribal nation communities and knowledge of Indigenous culture

Work Environment and Physical Activities

  • This position is often required to pack boxes and lift them for shipping, and to lift equipment (computers, printers, recorders, screens, etc.), up to 20 to 30 pounds

  • Frequent keyboarding

To Apply

Send your cover letter and resume to

Please put your name and the job title in the subject line.

Note: The intent is not to provide an exhaustive list of all duties, responsibilities, or qualifications associated with this position. Incumbent may perform other duties as assigned.

The American Indian College Fund is an Equal Opportunity Employer

Volunteer Or Contact HR

Are you looking to find a place where your contributions make a difference? Have you some free time to lend a hand? Looking to find a place where you can develop your job skills in a fun and learning environment?

If you answered yes, then we would like to meet you.

The American Indian College Fund is seeking a civic minded individual/s who can volunteer their skills in the following area: Office or clerical support – answer phone, file, data entry.

Contact Info

Human Resources

Send your resume to

American Indian College FundHuman Resources 8333 Greenwood Blvd. Denver, CO 80221

The American Indian College Fund is an Equal Employment Opportunity Employer

The American Indian College Fund is dedicated to the principles of equal employment opportunity in any term, condition, or privilege of employment. We do not discriminate against applicants or employees on the basis of age, race, gender, color, religion, national origin, disability, genetic information, sexual orientation, or any other status protected by federal, state, or local law.

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