Client Story: Thunder Valley Community Development Corporation

The relationship that would develop with Thunder Valley Community Development Corporation actually began in our Red Cloud Indian School days, when Matt, Kerry, and Ted were working on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. It was there that Liz Welchthe current director of advancement for Thunder Valleywas volunteering as college counselor, alumni support, and as a middle school science teacher and librarian.

Fast-forward to 2015 and Liz is leading a team of fundraising and communications professionals at Thunder Valley today, continuing the wonderful work she was doing so many years ago while at Red Cloud. 

Today, Thunder Valley is leading a comprehensive, innovative and grassroots approach to collaborating with and empowering Lakota youth and families on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation to improve the health, culture and environment of our community in a way that heals and strengthens our identity. They provide an ecosystem of opportunity that creates deliberate action and systemic solutions as large and comprehensive as the historic challenges facing its community. They seek to accomplish lasting change through dedicated grassroots practices, increasing the community's ability to flourish and setting an example for Native and rural communities everywhere.

Their results today are nothing short of impressive... and they are just getting started. For example, Thunder Valley is the lead organization for the Pine Ridge Tribal Promise Zone. The Promise Zone plan addresses “systemic poverty, violence, and economic distress [to] revitalize the region.” Through this, Thunder Valley is working “on creating worker owned businesses, developing innovative solutions to infrastructure challenges, and expanding good quality, affordable housing.”

We are grateful to walk alongside them in a number of capacity-building initiatives that their team will take the lead in the coming year. In 2015, we are working with Thunder Valley to expand their donor base by assisting with cultivation and stewardship strategies, ultimately developing a comprehensive individual door program. Additionally, we are:

  • Working to develop customized database management systems; 
  • Incorporating various fund raising tools into Thunder Valley’s efforts; 
  • Developing solicitation and stewardship strategies, 
  • Designing a communication program and overarching organizational messaging; and, 
  • Developing a new website. 

We are delighted to partner with Thunder Valley as they lead systemic change in their community, which is being recognized as a model around the country. Their work energizes ours, and we can't wait to see where they go in the coming months and year.