Across the United States, Native communities are demonstrating rising interest in, and use of, creative ways to give with greater effectiveness and durability. Within each community, institutionalized giving is guided by the customs and traditions of the particular indigenous culture. Along with the cultural influences to giving, history also has played a significant role in the Native-American experience, ability, and interest in institutionalized philanthropy.Native communities have always practiced various forms of giving, from rituals and religious ceremonies to auctions and art fairs. For some tribes, however, recent economic successes have resulted in increased philanthropic activity. Forms of giving have evolved from informal to more institutional activities through tribal foundations or tribal governmental activities to nonprofit organizations, and more recently, to individual philanthropy. Institutional philanthropy, as defined in Euro-American terms, i.e., private foundations and public charities, reflects only part of the circle of giving in Native communities; receiving gifts completes the circle. Along this continuum, some tribes have extended gifts of commercial or political value, or both, while others pursue more community or locally oriented projects. Whatever the cause, for most Native communities, it is not new to share and exchange; it is new to institutionalize and standardize these activities.