Ever wondered what exactly does Hearts of Gold do for local communities in Ecuador? Read ahead for a full picture of the core of our work, the Community Assistance Program (CAP).
What Do We Do?
Through its Community Assistance Program, Hearts of Gold partners with small nonprofit organizations and their community leaders in the Azuay province of Ecuador that serve marginalized populations. We support, inspire, educate, and invest in community leaders and grassroots organizations and their staff to make their work sustainable, efficient, and impactful.
Let’s get it straight: Why Do We Do What Do We Do?
Given that 75% of foundations in Ecuador close within a three-year window, Hearts of Gold is playing a pivotal role in supporting the sustenance of nonprofit work in Ecuador. The reality of nonprofit organizations in Ecuador is a lonely one. When a community leader is enduring a difficult time, there is no one to turn to for support, inspiration, or advice. Hearts of Gold wants to see grassroots organizations survive, and even more so thrive despite poor social conditions that make their work all the more challenging.
Our partners are working in Ecuadorian communities where 30% of students drop out between primary school and high school; where 26% of children under the age of 5 are malnourished; where severe child abuse was reported in 44% of homes; and where over 60% of women report to be victims of gender-based violence. Local grassroots organizations are working from the ground up to transform at-risk communities to overcome barriers of social inequalities, but without ongoing support and capacity building, these organizations are not likely to make it past three years of operation and provide sustainable solutions and critical services to communities in great need.
How Exactly Does the Community Assistance Program (CAP) Work?
The Community Assistance Program works to support grassroots organizations and their leaders to be more sustainable and impactful in the work they do. Our goal is to help these community leaders and their organizations to survive and thrive!
The CAP works through three primary program areas:
1. CAP Mentorship Program: We invest in organizations and their leaders through individualized counseling
2. Changemakers Training Program: We educate and inspire Ecuadorian nonprofits through skills-building workshops and dialogues
3. Network of Philanthropic Pioneers: We unite and mobilize like-minded individuals who are looking to get involved in a good cause
4. Community Initiatives: We support projects led by individuals looking to make a difference in their communities
What is the CAP Mentorship Program and What Do Organizations Get out of It?
Hearts of Gold dedicates over 950 hours per year of individualized mentoring services to its 3 members in the Mentorship Program, each of whom is motivated to develop as organizations and leaders in their community. We vet each partner through an interview and evaluation process to ensure that the partnership is the right fit.
CAP Members have special access to:
> Receive specialized mentoring to strengthen the needs of the organization, its operation, and its leaders;
> Attend workshops and dialogues within the Changemakers Training Program to build skills, receive support, and network with community leaders;
> Special visibility of their programs to the Hearts of Gold community; and
> Opportunities for networking to collaborate with other professionals and develop solutions.
Life Cycle in the CAP Mentorship Program
Hearts of Gold partners with 3 grassroots organizations each year in its CAP Mentorship Program. Given its limited number of spaces, the CAP Mentorship program is competitive and organizations must apply and be vetted through an application process.
> Vetting process w/ on-site assessments
> 1-year membership
> Quarterly evaluations in 8 capacity areas
What is the Changemakers Training Program?
The Changemakers Training Program is a chance for community leaders and nonprofit professionals to come together as participants at a series of skills-building workshops and dialogues in target capacity areas consisting of: Organizational Infrastructure, Finances, Strategy, Performance Management, Marketing & Communications, Revenue Generation & Fundraising, Donor Stewardship & Management, and Volunteer Management.
> Workshops offered every other month build skills and develop capacities that are critical for the success and sustainability of any organization
> Dialogue sessions offered every other month allow community leaders to connect and share experience from the field and discuss important topics for success in nonprofits
As a participant of the Changemakers Training Program, nonprofits have an opportunity to network, build your leadership skills and develop organizational capacity.