Who We Are
Inside Hearts of Gold
Empower Communities from Within
The Hearts of Gold Foundation is a nonprofit organization in Cuenca, Ecuador that works with grassroots organizations and their leaders to build their capacities so that they are more sustainable and impactful in the work they do. Our goal is to help these community leaders and their organizations to be the best they can be and give back to their communities in need! We are a community of solidarity bridging the gap between Ecuadorians and expats and investing in leading community changemakers.
Your Gift Is Honored
We are committed to financial transperancy and responsibility
At Hearts of Gold we ensure that every contribution is responsibly distributed to our partners and programs. We value your trust as a donor and a member of our community, and we are committed to financial transparency and accountability. Our doors are always open to discuss the financial operations at Hearts of Gold.
Helping others is not a job, it is a calling
Where It All Began
Richard and Sheryle Verkley moved from Canada to Cuenca, Ecuador and grew a passion to serve their new community through informal charity outreach
The Big Movement
What started as a personal desire to help others developed into something real. There became a need to legitimize the work of the Verkleys and the expat community in Cuenca.
Making It Official
Hearts of Gold became an official foundation according to the Ecuadorian government in 2013. As a nonprofit, the foundation was now able to serve the community with new formalities.
From Values to Mission
With its new status, Hearts of Gold made a shift from donation-based services to capacity building work. Hearts of Gold would now focus on empowerment of smaller grassroots organizations.
Empowering From Within
Hearts of Gold developed its mission and vision, and created the Community Assistance Program, wherein small grassroots organizations could attain membership and become partners with Hearts of Gold.
So Much More to Achieve
Hearts of Gold continued to soar as its mission expanded to long-term sustainability of its partners. The foundation witnessed a 130% growth in funds dispersed per year, totaling a 698% increase in funding from 2012 to 2015.
Most Common Questions
Key information you need to know about our organization
Want to Know More?
Feel free to contact us any time
The Hearts of Gold Foundation is a non-profit organization that works with existing Ecuadorian foundations to break the cycle of poverty, promote health, and improve the general welfare of local communities. We focus on building the capacity of our partners as organizations and non-profit professionals so that they will be more sustainable and independent.
The biggest difference between Hearts of Gold and other organizations is our partnership with existing Ecuadorian organizations that have been working in their communities for years. Instead of implementing our own programs, the funds we raise go towards supporting these existing foundations in whatever way necessary. Our focus is on the empowerment of these grassroots organizations and doing what we can to strengthen their capacity from within.
In addition, Hearts of Gold has a unique network that endeavors to connect the Expat and Ecuadorian communities in Azuay. Working on both a local and international level, we seek to promote cross-cultural unity and help expose smaller Ecuadorian organizations to greater resources.
Hearts of Gold is currently partnered with several organizations in and around the city of Cuenca that focus on meeting the needs of communities in the Azuay province and on the coast for earthquake relief, as demonstrated by our programs.
We are able to provide committed support to our partner organizations thanks to the generous contributions we receive from our loyal donors, and to our annual fundraising events. These funds have gone towards purchasing school supplies, school shoes, medical supplies, nutritional meals, home repairs, educational counseling, community workshops, teacher training, and even funded the expansion of quality programs at our partner institutions. Through our Community Assistance Program we provide complimentary workshops and consultations to emphasize skills-building and knowledge transfer.
Hearts of Gold was founded in 2010 by Canadian Expats Richard and Sheryle Verkley. In 2013, Hearts of Gold elected a Board of Directors, expanded its team, and became an official Ecuadorian Foundation, effectively offering greater support to the organizations it partners with.
Every donation made to Hearts of Gold is tracked and assigned to its corresponding campaign – whether that be towards balanced, nutritious meals at Fundacion El Arenal or tuition fees at CETAP-Lucy.
Any unrestricted gifts made to Hearts of Gold are designated to our Community Assistance Program , which provides our partners with free comprehensive logistical support for programs and volunteer projects, basic administrative consultation, donor management, government reporting, fundraising and marketing support, and also covers general operating and program expenses.
Like many non-profit organizations, Hearts of Gold utilizes the Gift Works program in order to track every donation it receives. This program allows us to assign each donation to the program or campaign the donor designates. It also generates reports in a secure and reliable platform.
The majority of our funds come from an amazing network of compassionate individuals on both the local and international levels. There are several businesses who are working with us through our corporate sponsorship program, which covers a great deal of our fundraising costs. We also work with CAF America, through whom Hearts of Gold receives its 501c3 status in the United States and can accept grants and tax-deductible donations of $500 or more.
Our office is currently located in Cuenca, Ecuador. Please visit our (link to CONTACT PAGE) to view our exact address location.
We work with organizations throughout the province of Azuay, and on the coast for earthquake relief.
As a young nonprofit, Hearts of Gold sees so many ways that we can grow and improve in our services to the community. In the short-term, we would like to see the growth of our Community Assistance Program to better serve our partners and implement a series of skills-building workshops. We would like to become a leader in a network of nonprofits and grassroots organizations in Cuenca and Ecuador. We believe we have the potential to be truly representative of the social issues in Ecuador through partnering with organizations in the sierra, coast and Amazon. We believe that by empowering organizations and community leaders, we as a small nonprofit in Cuenca, can have the largest impact on the social fabric of Ecuadorian society.
We are an independent organization, and do not define ourselves by or seek to promote any political or religious agenda or mission. We do, however, support programs that may be sponsored by or affiliated with religious groups. Our first priority is to help vulnerable children, elders, and families in the province of Azuay. We focus on supporting Ecuadorian organizations that share these same goals and values, independent of religious merits.
If you are interested in getting involved with Hearts of Gold, please fill out this Hearts of Gold Volunteer Application.
Make a contribution today to the work of Hearts of Gold. Our work is possible because of you.