Portfolios 2014

Click through portfolio categories to view grant portfolios for 2014.

Education

Livelihoods Development

Grassroots Healthcare

Environmental Management

Servant Leadership

Mini-Grants

Education (Focus: Girls and Women)

U-TOUCH

U-TOUCH: $15,000 to hire a program director in Uganda to manage its digital learning centers in five rural communities. This hire was designed to alleviate human resource stressors on the program, which until that point had been wholly operated by volunteers. The centers provide free technology training, including Microsoft literacy, as well as life skills training such as goal setting and business operation to empower beneficiaries to create their own businesses. The centers are sustained through fee-based copy and digital service programs that are marketed to area residents.

Rotary International

Rotary International: $15,000 for support of the Qdrat School’s women’s literacy program in Northern Afghanistan. The school currently serves 405 students from 5 villages, educating both boys and girls in a grassroots effort. The program has expanded beyond elementary education to include an adult women’s literacy program. Women from within the broader region staff the program as literacy instructors, and in turn, the village women have incorporated literacy training into their home lives by teaching their husbands, creating a great demand for incorporation of additional villages.

ProLiteracy

ProLiteracy: $20,000 in support of its capital campaign as the non-profit transitioned to a new home. The organization had owned its own property on the outskirts of Syracuse, New York since the 1970s. Changes within the organization and the general economy created circumstances in which ownership, upkeep and insurance for a building were no longer economically feasible. The organization made the transition to renting new office space in a development in a renovated warehouse in downtown Syracuse, and used the proceeds from the sale of their old building to pay off debt incurred in the 2008-09 fiscal crash. Investment in the new offices ensured that the program’s international efforts continued to have a home within the U.S. project base.

Move this World

Move this World: $15,000 to scale its civic and values-based education curriculum in the Philippines on a national level, in response to the Filipino government’s recent passing of an anti-bullying act requiring all schools to establish formal strategies and programs to prevent this type of abuse. Having previously partnered with a number of individual schools to incorporate its methodology (an evidence-based curriculum utilizing creative expression and movement to foster emotional intelligence and conflict resolution skills), the organization is now well-positioned to help implement Filipino education policy at a national level.

Liberia YMCA

Liberia YMCA: $24,000 in emergency funding to support Ebola relief efforts. A trusted community partner with deep networks and strong collaborative partnerships, the organization was well-positioned to help the nation respond during the health crisis. As a member of the national Ebola taskforce, its ongoing strategy incorporated the training of peer educators to build awareness of effective Ebola prevention and early treatment techniques. Other initiatives included establishing hand-washing stations in public places and also providing emergency food relief and psychological support services to families personally affected by Ebola.

Giving Back to Africa

Giving Back to Africa: $6,200 to scale its participatory service leadership program for elementary school students in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Students research urgent community needs then develop action-oriented service projects to address identified challenges. Youth assume roles of community educators and change agents through presentation of a local knowledge fair. During the course of the grant, Giving Back to Africa continued to refine its curriculum and explore partnership with other schools to expand the program. As an important element of these efforts, GBA hired an additional a Congolese staff member to build organization capacity in the DRC.

Future Leaders Today

Future Leaders Today: $2,000 to initiate a program providing training for K-12 teachers in the Dominican Republic to enable them to provide entrepreneurial education to children in the 6-12 age range. Monies awarded provided the program with the computer and internet service necessary to complete its training module online.   Ultimately, 50 instructors will be trained in entrepreneurial principles and grounded in techniques to institutionalize this information at the elementary and middle school levels in the home province of the program. Long-term, the program will enhance the education system in DR by providing better professional development for teachers and administrators, while offering students the opportunity to move from dependence on charity to self-sustenance while avoiding exposure to drug and human traffickers.

Educate!

Educate!: $15,000 for multiple funding provisions. $10,000 was allocated for a feasibility study to move the organization towards the strategic scaling of its entrepreneurship curriculum to new East African countries. This program trains adolescent youth in the critical small-business skills necessary to create successful revenue-generating enterprises following graduation from high school. Additional flexible funding of $5,000 was allocated for the organization to use toward administrative needs at its discretion.

Cooperative for Education

Cooperative for Education: $15,000 to expand delivery of its Culture of Reading Program (CORP) to indigenous populations in the Guatemalan highlands. Elementary level schoolteachers are trained to incorporate effective reading education into the classroom. Participating educators are taught appropriate techniques, and also receive locally sourced storybooks, access to an ongoing peer support network, and resources to acquire additional classroom reading materials.  This training will be used over the arc of their careers, enabling them to impart quality reading education to an entire generation of schoolchildren.

Children International

Children International: $15,000 to expand its Into Employment Program in Zapopan, Mexico. This program is an important component of Children International’s holistic educational support of underserved youth in Latin America. The 15-month program teaches leadership and technical skills to youth in preparation for the workforce. Local market conditions and businesses are vetted to closely match student trainings with local employment opportunities and needs, and participants receive assistance in job placement support. Additionally, students may also choose the microenterprise track and launch their own individual entrepreneurship. Graduates of both tracks are encouraged to join peer networks or “Empowerment Circles” to ensure a strong social support network and foster job retention.

Boys Hope Girls Hope International

Boys Hope Girls Hope International: $15,000 for its Guatemalan affiliate: Esperanza Juvenil to implement its Road to Excellence program. This program provides a 5- year college and workforce preparatory curriculum to youth from impoverished socio-economic backgrounds. These holistic and comprehensive modules emphasize leadership and complement Esperanza Juvenil’s existing high quality educational programming by providing the critical layer of support needed to propel Guatemalan youth towards achieving the full potential of both themselves and their communities.

African Wildlife Foundation

African Wildlife Foundation: $15,300 to support its Easements for Education program in Namibia. Rural farmers in Africa often experience serious crop damage from wildlife moving through their lands and trampling fields. Their solution has been to erect fencing to prevent the animals from using their lands as throughways, disrupting instinctive travel patterns that prevent creatures such as elephants from access to food and water. Easements for Education creates a win-win situation by paying farmers to allow animals access through their property – with the legal agreement that the fees paid will be used to send their children to school.

Livelihoods Development

Trickle Up

Trickle Up: $20,000 in renewed funding to expand its Central American poverty graduation programs for the ultrapoor in Guatemala and Nicaragua. The vast majority of participants in this program are indigenous women facing continual food insecurity who are too poor to repay a traditional micro-loan. The program’s approach combined the provision of micro-grants for establishment of small enterprises with the incorporation of business coaching and savings groups. At the conclusion of the program, women had increased incomes, diversified skillsets, and robust social support networks.

TechnoServe

TechnoServe: $20,000 to expand its Economic Development Alliance for San Martin in two new villages. This program partners with the Peruvian government to integrate former coca growers into the global cacao market. Smallholder farmers received agricultural and business training and individuals were mobilized into collective commercial blocks. These groups were provided access to high value buyers, thereby increasing their annual incomes. By eliminating illegal crops, the farmers also received additional government funding for improved infrastructure and safer communities.

Strategies for International Development

Strategies for International Development: $15,000 to assist Guatemalan farmers in mitigating the disastrous impact of leaf rust on coffee productivity. Controlling leaf rust requires dramatically changing longstanding farming techniques. The organization trained approximately 2,400 coffee growers and assisted them in instilling these practices. Additional efforts focused on cooperative coalition building and defining the program’s exit strategy from the region.

Shared Interest

Shared Interest: $15,000 to complete institution of its existing strategic plan and to scale its transformational banking model on a regional level. Through its local affiliate Thembani, the organization directly supports its grassroots project partners as they submit applications and negotiate loan terms with commercial lenders. In response to shifting laws and interest rates, the program plans to redesign its partnership strategy with Thembani for increased efficiency. Additionally, the organization initiated a feasibility study to strategically expand its efforts into neighboring South African countries.

Pro Mujer

Pro Mujer: $15,000 for the continual advancement of its three-year strategic plan. The plan was developed to consolidate growth and organizational culture throughout the five Latin American countries in which the program operates. Seven key areas are covered, including customer relationships and service, financial products, information technology, a client health model and well-being of employees.

KickStart

KickStart: $15,000 to fund the implementation of a new performance management and evaluation system (PMES).  To enhance its programmatic efforts in sales of its innovative hip pump irrigators, the organization launched a PMES to better support staff development, retain highly talented staff members, and increase efficiency. Ongoing evaluation and feedback were used to align individual employee’s goal setting with the organization’s global strategy and improve communication within and across teams.

Digital Divide Data

Digital Divide Data: $15,000 to scale its corporate partnership model as part of a strategy to replicate its successful partnership with CISCO among other corporations that need the type of services supplied by the organization’s impact sourcing approach to digital services such as date entry and e=book production. Project costs included consultant fees for an independent feasibility study, the development of marketing and communication materials and the pilot of the newly identified model.

CARE International

CARE International: $15,000 to pilot its Hope for Young Domestic Workers Program in Guatemala and Honduras. Many girls and young women in Central America are informally employed as domestic house workers, some as early as nine years old. This tenure of domestic service often excludes young girls from formal education at an early age, and effectually locks them into a lifetime of modern-day indentured servitude. CARE – in partnership with several local NGOs – worked to raise awareness around this systematic violation of girl’s rights, while simultaneously creating a pathway to technical education for domestic workers.

Aspen Institute

Aspen Institute: $10,000 in the final installment of a three-year, $60,000 cumulative grant to initiate a new program, the Alliance for Artisan Enterprise. This endeavor will work in a variety of capacities provide assistance to the millions of artisan handcrafters whose work comprises $34 billion in international trade annually, yet who lack access to markets, business capital, and a stable value chain. Many of these issues are inherent to an industry that is highly informal and lacks the appropriate coalitions and networks required to leverage change in the overall business environment. The Alliance will work to establish and promote best practices for the industry (including such linkages), conduct research for the industry, market and publicize the industry to achieve public awareness regarding authenticity and sustainability of products, and create a worldwide coalition of artisans, aid-to-artisan organizations, foundations and corporations to begin the work of formalizing and regulating the industry as a whole, in conjunction with the U.S. State Department.

A Self-help Assistance Program

A Self-help Assistance Program: $7,000 to launch its Tools for Empowerment program in Haiti. As part of its long-term vision to expand livelihood skills development in Haiti, the organization provided trade tool kits to vocational school graduates in partnership with on-the-ground partner Salesian Missions.

Grassroots Healthcare

VisionSpring

VisionSpring: $15,000 to update its social media marketing strategy. The organization piloted a new global advocacy campaign, “Eyelliance,” to build awareness around the connection between poverty and vision care. The three pillars of this advocacy campaign were: “See to Learn; See to Work; See for Safety.” In conjunction with this advocacy initiative, VisionSpring updated its social media and marketing strategies to reach a larger audience with its message and incorporated video storytelling as a part of its efforts.

Smiles Forever

Smiles Forever: $10,000 for the salaries of a teaching dentist and teaching hygienist needed to train additional oral hygienists at the organization’s dental hygiene school in Cochabamba, Bolivia (the only school of its kind in Latin America).  The training and addition of new hygienists have enabled the clinic attached to the school to provide free preventive and restorative dental services to more than 9,000 beneficiaries annually.

Project MedSend

Project MedSend: $20,000 towards the salary of its west coast donor relations manager, a position that was created in 2012 through a 2-year grant awarded by the foundation. MedSend sponsors Christian medical professionals on multi-year international medical missions. The organization pays off debt for medical school students in exchange for service in African clinics.

Mali Health

Mali Health: $15,000 to support its women’s savings and micro-insurance groups in the peri-urban communities outside Bamako, Mali. The Savings for Health program combines the village savings and loan model with health workshops that socially reinforce positive and preventative health behaviors, thus improving general health while reducing financial barriers and delays in treatment.

Hesperian Health Guides

Hesperian Health Guides: $20,000 in flexible support for its ongoing book projects in its grassroots healthcare series. The 2014 tranche covered production of four books: an updated version of Where There Is No Doctor (addressing general health, first aid and basic safe pregnancy and birthing.), Health Action Guide for Women and Girls (covering gender-based violence, safe motherhood, reproductive health and needs of adolescent girls), Helping Children Live with HIV (provides information required to diagnose, treat, comfort and advocate for children with HIV), and Workers Guide for Health and Safety (considers the working condition and improved health of export factory workers).

Global Partnerships

Global Partnerships: $20,000 to further develop its health services fund. Through this fund, the organization supports its microfinance partners as they leverage existing financial service networks and infrastructure to provide critically needed health services. The requested funds allowed the identification of two new implementing partners to pilot integrated health and finance programs, with the dual objectives of deepening the services of MFIs in response to the desires of their clients, while demonstrating to the sector that MFIs provide an excellent platform for health service delivery.

Environmental Management

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Servant Leadership

Maxwell School, Syracuse University

Maxwell School, Syracuse University: $18,000 for the final installation of a three-year, $56,000 grant to expand the curriculum of its Transnational NGO (TNGO) Leadership Institute, housed at the Moynihan Institute of Global Affairs. The TNGO program provides training for up-and-coming international NGO professionals seeking to make the transition to leadership positions. The original curriculum included development of a leadership style, expanding competencies and roles, and improving networking abilities. New curriculum developed under the grant focused on governance and management of international NGO coalitions, alliances and other collaborations. Materials were assembled in partnerships with the faculty of the Maxwell School, long recognized as a frontrunner in the fields of collaboration, conflict management and governance in both the public and private sectors. Additionally, the Institute engaged NGO practitioners with direct field experience to vet and hone the materials. The long-term goal of the project is to improve the performance of international NGOs and thus civil society in developing nations through the development of professional leadership with high levels of training and expertise.

International Development Exchange (IDEX)

International Development Exchange (IDEX): $15,000 to complete a three-year cumulative grant of $45,000 for launching its IDEX Academy. The initiative brings together grassroots leaders and members of the philanthropic community for an intense weeklong program. Coursework, facilitated by international development faculty and practitioners, examines social justice and grassroots applications of modern philanthropy. The program was created to shift the donor framework of existing and emerging philanthropic leaders to more fully embrace grassroots efforts and acknowledge the inherent wisdom of local communities. Tuition fees from the Academy are projected to eventually fund the organization’s administrative expenses, allowing the program to focus solely on acquiring funding for projects with it partner community-based organizations around the world.

Mini-Grants Initiative

Wild4life, Containers 2 Communities, Nurturing Minds and Building Tomorrow

Wild4life, Containers 2 Communities, Nurturing Minds and Building Tomorrow: $2,500 to pilot an experimental initiative. Four high-potential constituents with annual budgets of less than $1 million were selected within the West Foundation’s existing portfolio. These organizations received modest flexible funding in the form of a “mini-grant” to offset costs and fees related to professional development. Use of grant funds was ultimately determined by the recipient organizations, although suggested allocations included conference attendance and leadership development trainings of field staff hired within a country of operation. This initiative was created to underscore the West Foundation’s belief that effective nonprofits invest in internal capacity to foster a culture of learning and provide the highest possible impact for beneficiaries.