My Nonprofit Reviews
Review for Color Me In!, Allston, MA, USA
Color Me In takes a fresh and unique approach to microfinance, focusing on small business development with a strong emphasis on environmental responsibility and gender development. They offer 'Green Loans' that encourage small businesses to repay their loans in part through the planting of trees. It's an innovative way to address issue of deforestation, which most development orgs seem to give short shrift, as though environmental issues don't impact other issues of development (they absolutely do!).
Color Me In's reports to donors are very honest and sincere--this is not something you see with typical nonprofits that often advance the positive and hide the negative--CMI reports the challenges alongside the successes; as a donor I feel I'm given a more complete picture, which reveals the inherent difficulties of development. Shouldn't donors know the full picture? I'm glad they encourage me to learn about the issue (both the good and the bad), rather than just donate. I think this is a very good thing. It helps to show that they really care about the big picture and that they don't just drop a project that is having difficulties--they're in it for the long haul.
All in all, a great organization that I'm proud to support. I'd like to see more int'l development nonprofits adopt some of their principles/practices.
I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...
Hearing about their projects (both the successes and challenges) is very eye-opening from an international development perspective. There are many factors involved in every project, and require lots of cooperation with people and organizations within the communities.
If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...
Make it grow bigger so they could take on more projects!