Beneficiary Spotlight: Hearts of Gold
12 May 2020
Hearts of Gold Foundation was founded in Cuenca, Ecuador by a Canadian family who had been living in the city for 7 years and were looking for the best way to support vulnerable communities. Our founders started their work in 2011. First they helped families by delivering food baskets. Then, they began to lend money to low-income families so they could start businesses, but most of the beneficiaries did not see enough return to pay off their debt.
Over time, the founders saw the need to have a greater impact in the community and discovered that the best way to accomplish this was to work with established community organizations.
In 2013, Hearts of Gold welcomed CETAP LUCY as our first partner. Initially, we were in charge of raising the necessary funds so that they continue to function. Over time, more organizations joined our program.
Then, Hearts of Gold was about to close its doors due to lack of government support and not having sufficient economic resources for so many needs. Seeing ourselves in this situation, we were very concerned about the organizations that depended on us and we decided to find a new way in which we could help them.
In Ecuador, support to non-profit organizations is very limited and there is little access to education and training for the growth and strengthening of these organizations. That is why 75% of non-profit organizations close their doors in a period of 3 years.
Organizational leaders work countless hours of overtime, putting their heart and effort into moving their organizations forward. After a while, the staff begin to feel pressured and they can feel alone as if they were on an island where they have no one to turn to. This stress can generate anxiety and health problems. It can also affect their personal lives.
For these reasons, Hearts of Gold created the Community Assistance Program (CAP). This is a unique program that is responsible for training non-profit organizations in topics such as fundraising, strategic planning, and volunteer management, among others. CAP offers them the necessary tools so that they can continue to provide their important services to the most vulnerable members of our community.
We also teach self-care, offering workshops on self-esteem and stress management among other topics. We also offer our partners space to share experiences, ask questions, and give advice to one another. CAP creates opportunities for leaders of different organizations to create friendships and partnerships. Through these alliances, organizations have been able to unify their efforts and support one another. They also share resources.
In the beginning, our Community Assistance Program had 3 partners. Currently, we have 8 partners nationwide, and many organizations on the waiting list who want to be part of this unique program.
Hearts of Gold members can attend all of Hearts of Gold’s workshops and networking events for free. They also receive mentoring hours and individually tailored support. Plus, members have access to an international fundraising platform to help them find new donors.
We believe that providing training and support for our members will have a ripple effect throughout the communities where they work. We help organizations improve the way they operate and become sustainable. This allows them to continue serving vulnerable communities and to grow their organizational capacity. We also help members become more financially transparent so that donors know exactly where their contributions are going.
Hearts of Gold is responsible for raising the annual cost of $6,000 per member organization to cover CAP services. We rely on grants and private donors so that we can continue our work. Their support makes it possible to change the trajectory of the organizations we serve and by extension the thousands of individuals who receive services from our partners. Together, we are the change!
All Children Deserve to Dream
The second program that Hearts of Gold manages is All Children Deserve to Dream.
This project started in December 2019. Our goal is to fulfill the dreams of children and adolescents so that they feel part of society, and raise awareness that they can live a different reality from the one they currently live. We want to offer them dignity and give them the right to dream. We have dreams like going fishing, getting to know the sea, climbing a mountain, having a bicycle, among others.
These are dreams that are not impossible for us, and for them it means great joy.
Our program is unique and valuable, but we need the constant support of people with big hearts of gold who want to be part of the change that our society needs.
Now more than ever we need the solidarity of hearts worldwide that wish to be part of this transformation which generates thousands of smiles.
The COVID-19 crisis presents a unique set of circumstances and challenges for Humanist Grant beneficiary organizations. Help us continue adapting the Humanist Grants program to the current environment by making a contribution today.