Portfolios 2016

Click through portfolio categories to view grant portfolios for 2016.


Livelihoods Development

Grassroots Healthcare

Environmental Management

Servant Leadership

Emerging Nonprofits Initiative

Discretionary Funds


Giving Back Africa

Giving Back Africa (GBA) received $9,200 in flexible funding towards staff capacity building and the expansion of its learning circles for teachers in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). In 2010, GBA made a 5-year commitment to develop and deliver its pilot curriculum in partnership with teachers at the Central Salisa School and Orphanage (CS). In 2015, to deepen its regional impact and share project based curriculum techniques, Giving Back to Africa piloted a highly successful peer learning circle for teachers. In 2016, the organization will expand this success by hosting learning circles at two additional schools. This expansion requires additional staffing, including the addition of a program officer.

Boys Hope Girls Hope International

Boys Hope Girls Hope International requests a $10,000 renewal grant for its Guatemalan affiliate: Esperanza Juvenil. These funds will be leveraged to implement its Road to Excellence program (Camino a la Excelencia) in 2015. This program – first piloted in 2013 – provides a 5- year college and workforce preparatory curriculum to youth with an emphasis on leadership and life skills development.  Additionally, it provides a critical layer of support to propel Guatemalan youth toward achieving the full potential for themselves and their communities and has demonstrated good success since its inception. The Road to Excellence commitment to lifelong ethics development is also closely aligned with the West Foundation’s focus on servant leadership. Esperanza Juvenil has a very strong Guatemalan board which raises about 25% of annual funds for the program.

Move this World

Move this World $15,000 to continue scaling its civic and values-based education curriculum in the Philippines on a national level. The Department of Education continues to officially recommend MTW programming and curriculum as an avenue for schools to fulfill government mandated anti-bullying requirements. The MTW methodology, an evidence-based curriculum utilizing creative expression and movement to foster emotional intelligence and conflict resolution skills, has been recognized globally and within the Philippines for its notable success and innovation. MTW reached 4,000 teachers, administrators and students last year and seeks funding to reach an additional 4,500 individuals in the 2015-2016 academic year.


Educate! received$15,000 in continued support to explore scaling 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. Educate’s! vision is to bring its transformational curriculum and methodology to a total of 10 countries by 2024. Grant monies will support scouting and government engagement in Kenya.


Ubuntu was awarded $10,000 in funding for its cradle to career programs in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. Ubuntu provides comprehensive, community driven support for over 2000 vulnerable youth. The Ubuntu approach integrates essential programs in health, household stability, and education. The organization is laser-committed to serving Port Elizabeth Township and serves as a global model for holistic and individualized student interventions.

Cooperative for Education

Cooperative for Education was granted $10,000 in unrestricted funds. The portfolio of services provided by CoEd in Guatemala includes a revolving schoolbook initiative, computer lab installation, and its highly successful culture of reading program (CORP) – the recipient of multi-year support from the West Foundation over the past several years. Cooperative for Education is an outstanding long-term partner with demonstrated success managing and leveraging sizeable grants. The organization consistently demonstrates best practices in community engagement and high-impact programs with an eye toward long-term sustainability.

Livelihoods Development

Global Partnership

Global Partnership requests $10,000 in support for its “Impact and Research” team. As a non-profit impact investor, Global Partnership pools contributions from private investors and philanthropic partners into social investment funds. Drawing from these funds, they provide financial capital and technical consulting to microfinance institutions (MFIs), agricultural cooperatives, social enterprises, and development NGOs in Latin America and the Caribbean. The organization recently expanded operations to include East Africa with the addition of an office in Nairobi, Kenya. GP team members across the globe conduct rigorous screening before selecting the highest-performing partners with an emphasis on reaching the rural poor, especially women. They focus on 4 specific impact areas to help break the cycle of poverty: health services, rural livelihoods, green technology, and micro entrepreneurship.

Village Enterprise

Village Enterprise $10,000 in unrestricted funds. To date, VE has delivered training to over 136, 000 individuals on topics such as entrepreneurship and financial management resulting in over 33,000 small businesses. More than 80% of its beneficiaries are women, and the organization also focuses on the particular needs of youth facing very high unemployment rates. Village Enterprise remains poised for increasing leadership roles in the international development sector and seeks to expand its model through well-vetted implementing partners.

Strategies for International Development

Strategies for International Development (SID) received $10,000 in flexible funds for its sustainable agriculture interventions in Guatemala. In 2014, the organization helped farmers in Northern Chimaltenango successfully eradicate leaf rust and defined a regional exit strategy, resulting in program graduation for half of its beneficiaries in the area in 2015. Looking forward, SID plans to graduate the remaining families in Northern Chimaltenango from its programs at the close of the coffee harvest in 2017.

Agora Partnerships

Agora Partnerships: $12,500 to cover the personnel and incidental costs of re-launching Accelerate Women Now, a targeted digital media campaign. Through its rigorous training program, Agora works closely with entrepreneurs to fast-track the growth and impact of for-profit enterprises during its Agora Accelerator. Access to capital remains the greatest barrier to growth for women entrepreneur. Accelerate Women Now will generate investor awareness and draw media attention to this disparity through more focused messaging and by sharing testimonials of female entrepreneurs.

Plant with Purpose

Plant with Purpose received $20,000 in renewed support for its integrated community development efforts in in the Dominican Republic. Programs address the intrinsic link between environmental degradation and poverty at a community level, with core initiatives including technical agricultural trainings, tree plantings to counter deforestations, and village saving and loans groups. Specific program goals for 2017 include establishing 14 new Village Savings and Loan Associations (VSLAs), mobilizing farmers to plant 917,850 trees, and partnering with 12 new church leaders.


TechnoServe requests $10,000 in renewed funding for its cocoa production program in San Martin, Peru. The program is now entering its sixth year and looks forward to continued expansion. Previous funding from the foundation, beginning in 2011, had gone toward the establishment and testing of the program, which introduced cocoa farming to the region as a substitute for illicitly grown coca.

Shared Interest

Shared Interest: $15,000 to continue scaling its transformational banking model on a regional level. For over 20 years, Shared Interest has opened doors along the financial inclusion value chain for previously excluded entrepreneurs by guaranteeing commercial scale loans for small businesses and cooperatives. Through its local affiliate Thembani, the organization also directly supports its grassroots project partners as they submit applications and negotiate loan terms with mainstream financial lenders.

Outreach International

Outreach International received $10,000 to develop and construct virtual reality video clips for donors in the areas of education, health, entrepreneurship and potable water supplies. Monies will be used to cover the costs of travel, personal, and equipment needed to acquire high-quality video footage in the field, most specifically in Nicaragua. Opportunity International’s model revolves around strengthening and empowering communities in the Global South through development of indigenous non-governmental organizations. This project aims to virtually replicate the site visit experience for its major donors.

KickStart International

KickStart International was awarded$25,000 in multi-year funding to be dispersed in installments of $12,500 over two years. Funds will be leveraged to build organizational capacity in the areas of training and performance management. Using KickStart’s Money Maker Pumps, small-shareholder farmers irrigate crops to dramatically increase crop yields and income. To date, this strategy has lifted over 1 million people out of poverty. In accordance with its 2021 Strategic Plan, KickStart hopes to rapidly scale pump distribution and serve another million people in Sub-Saharan Africa over the next 5 years. Much of this work will be accomplished through an updated partnership-based sales model in which NGO and community partners purchase and distribute the pumps.


ASAP received $7,000 in renewed funding for to cover key overhead costs of its Tools for Empowerment program. The organization delivers refurbished trade tool kits collected and assembled by US-based volunteers to assist aspiring Haitian youth entrepreneurs. Tools are distributed in partnership with on-the-ground trade school and partner Salesian Missions.

Grassroots Healthcare


VisionSpring $10,000 in unrestricted funds. Since its inception, VisionSpring has sold eyeglasses at affordable price to two million people in more than 30 countries. Access to a quality pair of glasses improves both the health and economic prospects for many individuals living in poverty by allowing them to continue jobs requiring close range vision after middle age.


Lifewater requests $10,000 in unrestricted funds. Lifewater’s approach to transformational community development leverages hygiene education and infrastructure development to simultaneously decrease water borne disease and improve access to education for girls in the region. Their multi-tiered approach begins with public health education, which leads to latrine pit construction and culminates with clean water system development.

Hesperian Health Guides

Hesperian Health Guides: $15,000 in flexible support for its ongoing book projects in its grassroots healthcare series. The 2016 tranche will cover ongoing production of three books: an updated version of Where There Is No Doctor (addressing general health, first aid and basic safe pregnancy and birthing.), 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).

Smiles Forever

Smiles Forever requests $30,000 in multi-year funding to support a three-year demonstration and research project on the effective application of Silver Diamine Flouride (SDF) by dental hygienists in rural Bolivia. Smiles Forever’s dual-pronged mission couples increased access to preventive oral healthcare among the rural poor with the education and economic empowerment of indigenous women. Smiles Forever currently operates a dental hygienist training program for indigenous women while providing critical dental care to vulnerable populations. SDF is an FDA approved treatment for cavities which serves as an alternative to extraction, preserves the tooth, and can be applied by hygienists (alternatively, extraction may only be conducted by dentists). Following the successful pilot of a mobile SDF treatment clinic at the Maria Del Rosario School in Villa Tunari, Smiles Forever will implement the mobile clinic bi-annually for the next three-years and document the pivotal role dental hygienists can play in oral health.

Mali Health

Mali Health received unrestricted funds in the amount of $7,500 for its 2017 efforts in Bamako, Mali. Mali Health provides critical health interventions which dramatically increase maternal and child health outcomes in the Bamako slum community. A highly innovative organization, MHAP has also worked to improve clinical quality at a regional level in collaboration with the Gates Foundation.

CARE International

CARE International was awarded $10,000 in flexible funds for its gender-based violence initiative in Ecuador. In Ecuador, the overwhelming majority of women have suffered some form of violence, with 25% of women experiencing sexual violence in their lifetime. Through the Fighting Gender-Based Violence in Ecuador project, CARE will build the capacity of women’s community advocacy groups, educate 3000 women regarding their legal rights related to violence, and build alliances to influence public policy at local and national levels. Recommendation: $10,000

Environmental Management


BlueEnergy requests $7,5000 in unrestricted funds. BlueEnergy works with at-risk communities in Nicaragua to build resiliency and sustainability in the areas of energy and environmental health, sanitation and access to clean water being two examples. The organization plans to leverage the unrestricted grant to secure additional monies from other funders. BlueEnergy has the credibility, track record, and technical resources to make a sizeable impact on vulnerable households. Its holistic approach and participatory design is closely aligned with the West Foundation’s vision for beneficiary driven programs.

H20 for Life

H20 for Life received $7500 in unrestricted funding. H20 for Life partners with US schools to provide service-learning curriculum to educate thousands of students about the global water crisis while simultaneously inspiring students to philanthropic action. Participating students adopt a partner school in the global south and collectively raise funds to support water access sanitation and hygiene WASH projects in these schools. Since the program’s establishment in 2007, H20 for Life Schools have raised over 3 million dollars for over 900 schools in the Global South. Founder Patti Hall was recently honored as one of Minnesota’s water heroes.

Servant Leadership

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Emerging Nonprofits Initiative

Grupo de Mujeres Xitlali

Grupo de Mujeres Xitlali received a $10,000 catalyst grant for its emerging work with women in rural Nicaragua. Xitlali works with teenagers and young people from 12 to 30 years of age, their work is basically from a preventive and educational approach. Among the activities they have done are experiential and educational workshops from a feminist perspective on gender equality and participation in cultural spaces to promote and protect women`s human rights.

Discretionary Funds


CoCoDa requests an emergency grant to offset the financial impact of the Zika Virus on fundraising. The organization’s primary income stream comes from leading student service learning trips to El Salvador and Nicaragua. Following the increase of violence in El Salvador, many universities placed a travel ban to this country. CoCoDa adjusted accordingly and arranged for additional student trips to Nicaragua, however, many of these trips were also subsequently cancelled due to the Zika Virus outbreak. Additional monies at this juncture will provide bridge funding for sustaining activities as the organization diversifies funding streams.

Shared Interest

Shared Interest was awarded $3,000 in emergency funding for its efforts in South Africa during a period of intense drought. Drought significantly impacts the agricultural cooperatives and farmers that Shared Interest helps to access commercial loans. Considering these extreme climate challenges, Shared Interest anticipates working intensively with banks to restructure loans while providing additional technical support to farmers.