The Hearts of Gold Foundation overwhelmingly surpassed its 19-day fundraising challenge at the end of March to become a recognized partner into the world’s largest crowd-sourcing community, and to vastly increase its ability to assist struggling non-profits in Cuenca and Azuay Province.
The Cuenca foundation was first able to qualify after a rigorous vetting process to become a contingent member of GlobalGiving, the largest global crowdfunding community that connects non-profits, foundations, donors and companies in nearly every country around the world. However, to continue to access the funding, tools, training and support of GlobalGiving, Hearts of Gold was challenged to meet a fund-raising goal in a limited amount of time.
The campaign began on March 13 and the short cutoff period ended on March 31. A goal of $5,600 was the initial target, because that amount of funding would pay for two partner organizations to receive more than 315 hours of assistance in workshops, mentoring, dialogues and networking opportunities for a full year.
When the fund-raising effort concluded, however, Hearts of Gold raced past its initial goal allotment and totaled $20,825 from 108 unique generous donors, a 272-percent increase over its objective. In fact, Hearts of Gold’s contributions ended up third out of 490 global projects.
“We’re thrilled to have Hearts of Gold as part of our community. Hearts of Gold has met our rigorous vetting standards for trust and community support, and we’re committed to providing tools, training and support,” said Mari Kuraishi, president and co-founder of GlobalGiving. “GlobalGiving donors value the opportunity to support non-profits like Hearts of Gold, knowing that they’ll get regular updates about how their donations are put to work.”
“I want to extend a huge thank you to all our donors who joined in our campaign to ‘Make Non-Profit History in Ecuador’ as well as our volunteers who spread the word about the campaign in such a short time,” said Natasha Verkley, executive director of Hearts of Gold. “With the amount of funding received, we will be able to greatly increase our capacity to help other non-profits to help themselves.”
Hearts of Gold is unique. Since 2013 it has been committed to collaborate with local non-profits, seeking strategies to ensure that its partners are economically independent and empowered. In September 2016, Hearts of Gold underwent strategic planning to analyze how to best contribute to the goal that local non-profits not only survive, but thrive in serving their communities in need.
“After looking deeply into how we could best achieve this goal, we concluded that the optimum way to support the future of local non-profits and their communities was to educate the leaders and staff so that they may gain the knowledge and skills to achieve long-term economic independence,” said Verkley. “Our objective was to create a network of non-profits and grassroots organizations that will get to know one another, support each other, and share their experiences and lessons learned.”
Hearts of Gold research has found that life as a non-profit in Ecuador is a lonely one. Leaders fight day in and day out to gather resources, serve their communities and stay afloat. They serve rural populations, urban neighborhoods, street children, hungry families, children with special needs and families battling cancer. They put in all they have, personally and professionally, to address local needs and improve the quality of life for others.
Community leaders in Ecuador are some of the strongest, most passionate that exist in the world. Yet, they are isolated and alone in the fight to build their communities and improve the life of others. Where do they turn to when they need a helping hand? Advice? Guidance? Great question. They don’t.
Statistics show that 75% of Ecuadorian non-profits close within a three-year window. They lack the non-profit management that makes an organization sustainable. They lack resources, training opportunities and connections that push a non-profit forward. These non-profits are too often forced to close their doors early. Hearts of Gold has the resources to transform that statistic and to build a thriving community of non-profit organizations and community leaders that make a resilient Ecuador.
Through its newly-formed partnership with GlobalGiving, Hearts of Gold now has the where with all and added reach to extend its expertise and resources for the betterment of all Ecuadorian non-profit organizations.
Hearts of Gold is the largest expat founded Foundation in Cuenca, Ecuador and has been part of the community since 2012. Hearts of Gold works with local organizations through its Community Assistance Program to attack the problem of struggling organizations at its core. By providing skill-building workshops, dedicated one-on-one mentoring, community dialogues, and networking opportunities, grassroots leaders and their organizations can beat the odds, stay open and continue to provide much needed services to their communities. The long-term impact of investing in non-profit leaders & organizations pays dividends to the community..We choose to teach a man to fish and feed the community for a lifetime.
GlobalGiving is the first and largest global crowdfunding community that connects nonprofits, donors, and companies in nearly every country around the world. GlobalGiving makes it possible for local organizations to access the funding, tools, training, and support they need to become more effective and make the world a better place. Any registered nonprofit is welcome to apply for the GlobalGiving Accelerator Program: GlobalGiving.org/join