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2018 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Fabretto Children's Foundation

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Children & Youth, Economic Development, Education, International, International Relief, Scholarships, Scholarships & Student Financial Aid, Youth Development Programs

Mission: Fabretto's mission is to empower underserved children and their families in Nicaragua to reach their full potential, improve their livelihoods, and take advantage of economic opportunity through education and nutrition.

Results: Fabretto currently supports over 40,000 children in Nicaragua in nine Fabretto Education Centers and more than 400 public schools throughout Nicaragua.

Target demographics: empower children and their families

Direct beneficiaries per year: 19,000+ students and their families in Nicaragua

Geographic areas served: underserved communities in Nicaragua

Programs: Early Education; Primary Education; Technical Vocational Education

Community Stories

58 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I had the opportunity to volunteer at Fabretto Children's Foundation on February 2019 at the event hosted in DC on the National Museum of Women in the Arts. It was an incredible experience to be able to help and be part of the organization. During the event I was selling hand-made products and coffee from Nicaragua, which I think makes it more valuable since you are able to see products coming from Nicaragua and connect more with the culture itself. I would encourage everybody to be part of the events at Fabretto!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Having the chance to volunteer for fabretto children's foundation was such an eye opening and humbling experience. The foundation gave me the opportunity to be part of something bigger than myself during their Night for Nino's event at the Chicago Cultural Center. The event gave a me a sense for community around a single purpose. The fundamental aspect of helping children is at the core of this foundation. I'm proud to have done my part and I wouldn't hesitate to do it again. I would encourage everybody to take part of this great cause!

Donor

Rating: 5

Education is a key foundation in life and Fabretto Chlidren's Foundation recognizes this. They are doing incredible things to provide educational opportunities to families and children in Nicaragua despite the turmoil the country has been experiencing.

Donor

Rating: 5

An acquaintance told me about the Fabretto Foundation and I visited the website. I decided to sponsor a child and have been so happy I did. A little goes a long way in changing a child's life. It is easy to sponsor a child and send meaningful gifts to her through the website. The people at Fabretto are so helpful and responsive when I have questions. Some day I hope to visit but in the meantime I know I am making a difference.

Jon M.5

Donor

Rating: 5

I had the pleasure of visiting schools of the Fabretto foundation in Nicaragua, it was a wonderful experience. Kevin is truly passionate and its evident in his work he's done with the foundation. I could see, first hand, the impact that the foundation was having on the rural communities of Nicaragua. I highly encourage people to reach out and aid in their mission.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

This foundation truly cares about the people they are helping. They have employees working in the US and Nicaragua. They work to educate women and children which is the best way to change the world.

1 Ismael Gonzalez de D.

Donor

Rating: 5

Fabretto Children's Foundation is doing a great job maintaining its mission, to aid with education and nutrition to more than 20,000 children in the poorest areas of Nicaragua, despite the recent violence and political tensions in that country.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteered with Fabretto in 2009. It was the most professional, meaningful and impactful volunteer assignments I have had. The Executive Director is a visionary and knows how to leverage resources to achieve great things for the communities Fabretto supports.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

I visited the Fabretto offices in Nicaragua in February this year. I was very impressed. I also visited one of their schools. I met the child I sponsor. It was a humbling and wonderful experience. I saw first hand the work Fabretto supports. The need is great specially now with the political situation affecting all areas of this beautiful country.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

I am very impressed with the professionalism of this organization, their vast knowledge in the region they serve, their willingness to connect people with volunteer opportunities and the amazing work they do.

1 Amy McDonald E.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have volunteered with Fabretto Children’s Foundation every year since 2014. I am privileged to be a part of the amazing work that this organization does to empower students and teachers in underprivileged areas of Nicaragua. I plan to give my time talents and treasures to this organization for many years to come as this is my favorite charity.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

Fabretto Children's Foundation and the Nica Hope project in particular has done an amazing job in providing the assistance that helps facilitate the families and children of Nicaragua to lift themselves up and improve their lives.

1 Mayling E.

Donor

Rating: 5

I have known this foundation for about 25 years, I can tell from my own experience that they realy work with and for the childrens in Nicaragua providing them options to keep going on their life with education and voccacional carreers.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Getting involved with Fabretto the past few years has been such an enriching experience. I sponsor two amazing children, and was lucky enough to visit the Zach C library in San Juan de Oriente to spend time with them. During my visit, Fabretto ensured we had a safe, fun, and enlightening trip - learning so much about this inspiring organization and the joy and value they bring to Nicaragua. I look forward to continued involvement with Fabretto and to visiting Nicaragua again some day!

1

Donor

Rating: 5

We worked on the ground with Fabretto to install solar lighting in remote homes in Nicaragua. The Fabretto staff displayed an exceptional level of professionalism, compassion and dedication to the beneficiaries. In all they do, there is an underlying focus on the education of children.

Donor

Rating: 5

I have known Fabretto for the past 5 years and can confirm it's an excellent organization!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Volunteered at Fabretto 4 years ago and was really impressed by all the amazing work they’re doing with respect to educating and nourishing kids.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

Not only does Fabretto meet daily needs of children, youth and families for education and nutrition in rural Nicaragua, but it develops local leaders, teachers and community workers--the best kind of development work! In addition it welcomes and hosts work teams and visitors to help create bonds of understanding and cross-cultural relationships. They communicate their work, goals and achievements clearly and with greatest respect for the people of Nicaragua.

A local staff team responded to our church's request to help with a pilgrimage to follow in the footsteps of Father Fabretto. With great care and dedication they helped us achieve our goal--building bridges of relationships and a sustaining connection.
This is a truly excellent organization doing amazing work in difficult circumstances.

1 Susan C.5

Donor

Rating: 5

The heart of this organization is truly love for the children and for Nicaragua. Everything they do is to help these kids have a future in which they are strong and independent. I know personally that those heading the efforts are true sacrificial soldiers - always fighting for the kids.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

I support Fabretto because they’re helping Nicaragua during such difficult times and plus, the fact that you send handwritten letters to thank your donors for their support, lets me know that I’m dealing with people committed to help this great cause.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

Great charity organization for the help to the future of the children!!!!

1 Chris S.9

Donor

Rating: 5

The degree of poverty and lack of educational resources remains devastating for the beautiful children of Nicaragua. Thank goodness for the wonderful , caring individuals at Fabretto who are able to shed light on the conditions in Nicaragua and work tirelessly to advocate for charitable giving and awareness of the needs of these innocent children.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

10 years ago I went to Nicaragua and saw first hand Fabretto”s work. Their educational program is complete and for years has made a big impact on local communities.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Visited the center in Ocotal, Nicaragua in the summer of 2017 and learned a great deal from everyone there. Meeting the children whose lives were obviously benefited by Fabretto lead me to believe that the center is doing its job, and doing it in an extraordinary way. Kids are being given the education, social skills, and basic needs that will benefit their lives for the years to come. An actual life-changing foundation.

1 Christopher S.3

Donor

Rating: 5

I have been a supporter of Fabretto for over 20 years. Having worked in Nicaragua since the early 1990s, I have seen firsthand the challenges of those most in need. Children are hardest hit by the burden of poverty and under-development. Fabretto has changed the lives of young people and their families. With Nicaragua now in a period great instability, the work of Fabretto is needed now more then ever.

1

Donor

Rating: 4

Our family supported Fabretto as a donor through an invitation of a friend. We took a closer look at the communities they serve in 2012 on a Friends of Fabretto trip to Nicaragua. Their educational and nutrition programs have far-reaching impact in rural and urban communities. We went further with our exploration of the organization and joined them for 9 months of volunteer work in Managua. They are the real deal. They deliver on their commitment. They foster community within the beneficiaries they serve and build successful partnerships with
other NGO and government support.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

Fabretto Children’ Foundation is a great non profit foundation that has done and is doing tremendous good in Nicaragua. IIn a country that until very recently was second to Haiti in poverty, had slowly made progress in most aspects towards improved welfare , education, and economic growth only to be plunged in political chaos over the last 6 months , Fabretto has always remained a determined beacon of opportunity for Nicaraguan poor children, both in rural and suburban areas.


1

Donor

Rating: 5

I have been familiar with Fabretto's work in the rural area of Nicaragua and their impact in improving their quality of life has been great.

1 Abbey B.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been on three service trips Fabretto through my school and one of their annual Night for Niños fundraisers in Chicago. It’s incredible to go to Nicaragua and see the work that they do and they joy that their programming is able to bring. It’s also moving to attend their fundraisers and see the immense network they have built all over the United States and the world. This foundation feels like a family and I feel so grateful to have gotten to know it.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

Fabretto Children's Foundation is doing incredible work. Every time I donate, I know my dollars are going to good use due to their high level of transparency, excellent annual reports, and powerful videos. Fabretto's SAT program, specifically, is truly transforming lives in Nicaragua. Kevin Marinacci and the organization he runs is inspiring, and under his leadership, I always believe Fabretto is headed in the right direction.

1

Former staff

Rating: 5

I interned with Fabretto in 2015 and have since stayed connected. The work they do in Nicaragua provides opportunities for children and families that would be impossible without the support of this organization. Not only does the organization do consistently amazing work for deserving people, but the community of benefactors and collaborators it attracts makes it clear that Fabretto Children's Foundation intends to continue leveraging every available resource to end poverty in its home country.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteered for Fabretto in the summer of 2014 and my experience was wonderful. The part that stands out to me about Fabretto is that they become so deeply rooted in each community that they engage with whether this is through community development, educational programs, or nutrition programs. The community really depends and relies on Fabretto and it is clear to see that they have inspired so many individuals. When my fellow volunteers and I went to visit some of the classrooms, we were shocked at how enthusiastic and driven a lot of the students were. Many of them had hopes, dreams, and ambitions that were inspired by the Fabretto program. Fabretto even supports many of their young students in some of their entrepreneurial ambitions, which I find very unique about this nonprofit.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

i have knonw fabretto for many years because of my family envolvement with it. I hadnt have the chance to see it for my self until this summer. During the three weeks i was there working as a volunteer i did not only had my expectations far exceed it, but i have found my self being able of things that i didnt think posible. Clearly fabretto has given me more than i have given to them. i am eager to go back and learn more about Nicaragua´s ashtonoshing hisotry and about frabrettos outstading proyect .

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I first met Fabretto Foundatoon in 2004 when I knew his president at a wedding. I went to Nicaragua, to Cusmapa and I falled in love with their work there. I am a forester so I started giving my support through writing environmental proposals for the forestry project of Fabretto. After seven years with my students ( I was a professor at Yale university) we created www.parqueparalapaz.org where we stand for a protected peace area arround the work of Fabretto in Nicaragua and Honduras. The proposal has been admited by the Honduras goverment and we hope to make it real and bring many ecoturists to the area to overocme poverty at the same time the forest receive more protectio.n I came back this summer again for my 8th time... Mine perhaps is a different type of volunteering but we are always welcome by the local people and the wonderful staff of Fabretto. What I love in Fabretto is that everything is well organized but at the same time you can free your creativity to try to give your best for the "chavalos", the children...

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I first volunteered with Fabretto during the summer of 2013 and absolutely loved my experience! This was my first time living abroad and not only did I enjoy getting to experience all that Nicaragua has to offer, but I absolutely loved Fabretto's status and was impressed by all the work that they do. When you see it for yourself, it is overwhelming how many people they impact, even in the most remote communities in the country. It was an incredible opportunity to see lots of projects firsthand and I was happy to see that they are responsible and effective with their spending.

This past spring semester, I had the opportunity to intern at the Alexandria office and assisted with event planning and auction preparation, which is a large source of funding. I really enjoyed the office and the positive and persistent attitudes of the employees there. It was awesome to see how the DC office is integrated into the Nicaraguan office and how they work together to reach as many children as possible in Nicaragua! I absolutely love Fabretto and was so inspired by my experience that I want to move to Nicaragua to continue similar work.

2

Donor

Rating: 5

Been involved with Fabretto for 25 years. First and foremost, the organization lives and breathes and has unwavering faith to the principles of Padre Fabretto. What first struck me was the number of "alumni" who remained involved to help others who came after them. Over the years I've come to understand why. In Spanish the organization is called "Familia Padre Fabretto." It is truly a family dedicated to serving the needs of those most vulnerable in society. I've lived the past three years in Nicaragua and Fabretto is one of the most respected NGOs around. I love going out and meeting the kids at the centers and and feeling the energy of the teachers and staff.

Volunteer

Rating: 4

Fabretto was my first international non-profit volunteering experience and it was remarkable! After working for a year with Ameri-Corps, I could see that their academic program, SAT was a very distinctive curriculum that takes advantage of the various communities of Nicaragua (both urban and rural). The students were well engaged in each class that I visited and the additional benefits that the students gained in these interactive settings became quite apparent through several class visits. What stood out most in my experience was the combination of community involvement via the contributions of local families and the self-sustainability projects such as the student gardens and student-oriented entrepreneurial undertakings. Most of all, the Fabretto staff were very welcoming and supportive to all of their volunteers and ensured that they were well-accommodated during their volunteer experience.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've been a volunteer and a donor with Fabretto for nearly 10 years, during which time I've seen and interacted with almost every aspect of the organization up close. It's an organization that I'd highly recommend to anyone and one that I'll continue to have a relationship with well into the far distant future.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been volunteering with Fabretto for just about the last 6 months and have been extremely happy with my experience. I first began working with Fabretto while in college and came on a short term volunteer trip during that time. I studied non profits and development and found Fabretto to be doing such great things and decided to come back after graduating. While volunteering I have learned so much about working with communities and feel like Fabretto works in all these places with such care and responsibility to the people that live there. It has truly helped so many individuals and I have seen and heard this from the people in the communities themselves. So many kids have received opportunities that they would not otherwise have without Fabretto. In addition, the staff has genuine interest for the mission of the organization and puts much effort into their work with the children and communities.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

For the past three months I have been interning for Fabretto in the events department. I have found my time here to be absolutely terrific. This has been my first experience working for a non profit and I believe that the knowledge I have gained will be very useful for me in the future.
Fabretto works hard to provide for the indigent children and families of Nicaragua. It is very easy to see the tremendous impact Fabretto has thanks to great communication between programs. The difference they are making is astounding and will continue to better the lives of the less fortunate as this non profit grows.

Donor

Rating: 5

I have lived in the third world for many years and seen lots of non-profits some good and some bad. I work for this one and because I believe so highly in Fabretto's work, ethics, heart and most of all, impact, I'm not just an employee, but a donor. And I've gotten my friends and family to donate as well, because I trust Fabretto and I admire the work. I am proud to give to this organization, and I am proud to work here.

2

Donor

Rating: 1

I was deeply disappointed with my three month experience as Associate of Development at Fabretto. The settled staff is very tight knit which makes for an honest and productive working environment. Nonetheless, the CFO has absolutely no experience in finance or accounting and was requesting I research certain practices. The CDO has social connections which bring money into the organization, but she lacks in overall operation of a development team. Additionally, she seems to think her parking tickets are company expenses. The tight knit nature of the staff only brushes off comments questioning expenses and spending. There is very little transparency and accountability with CDO spending as she demands access to the reporting.

Fabretto does work that must be done, but they have the potential to do it so much better. If only this nonprofit would not hire based on connections, but based on actual experience. Additionally, they should heed the suggestions brought up by new staff.

Lastly, a great reflection of an organizations core is looking at the CEO. Mr. Marinacci has a big heart, but he is a heinous supervisor and continuously mistreats employees, procrastinates on Board demands and disregards legitimate concerns about employee conduct. Fabretto could use creating an actual HR department or having one individual who maintains HR and nothing else (otherwise it'd be a conflict of interests).

I do not recommend giving to this organization for the next three years... rather I recommend volunteering with them. Even to volunteers it is most transparent their disregard for improvements and other-than-executive-staff. The negligent spending of the CDO is not pardonable. The disgraceful behavior of a CEO towards his staff is unacceptable. Furthermore, the unqualified CFO condoning bad spending practices was enough to make me balk at some of the tasks I was given. For such a well established nonprofit in Nicaragua, it's sad to see it's not holding itself to a more authentic and quality standard.

Donor

Rating: 5

Over the past six years, I have been very pleased as a donor/volunteer with how each dollar is used by the Fabretto volunteers and the organization on the whole. I have seen the value of these monies in the programs offered to the children and their families. I will continue to donate my time and resources to this worthwhile cause.

Review from CharityNavigator

Devin234

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have worked as a volunteer with the Fabretto Foundation for the past 4 summers. I started coming down to teach Violin and Viola and then for the past 2 summers I worked as a translator for Volunteer groups. I have seen the change in the students over the 4 year period of time. Some of my students who were extremely shy my first time down there are now on scholarships to attend college to become engineers and computer technicians. Fabretto truly uses the education and other programs to help break the cycle of Poverty in Nicaragua and they do an incredible job!

Donor

Rating: 5

Took the donor trip to Nicaragua twice...what an eye opening and life changing experience. Plus, what an awesome hard working and genuine group of brilliant folks running this organization.

3

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

My husband & I learned of Fabretto in 2002 when our daughter worked as a Jesuit Volunteer in Cusmapa. We visited her there & saw first hand the passion and dedication of Fabretto staff to educate and care for the children. We also witnessed their support for mothers who desired improved life & futures for their children. Since 2002 I have been amazed at the progress & growth the Fabretto organization has undergone & the fruits of all their efforts--so many programs, new buildings, increased numbers of children, etc, etc. We enjoy reading the newsletter to learn of the latest progress. GREAT ORGANIZATION!!!

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I worked as a volunteer with Fabretto for a year and was consistently impressed with the work and management of the organization. Fabretto works in so many meaningful ways, to really help the children and families in their communities. The focus on food through the feeding programs, health, education, and vocational training really have substantial benefits on the students and the families. Watching the students in the center I worked in mature, develop, and learn was incredibly inspiring. The focus of Fabretto's efforts allowed many of our students to stay in school, when they would have needed to leave help their parents work. Not only is the work well thought out, well targeted, and well implemented, the organization is also incredibly innovative. The development of Fabretto products, ranging from coffee to jewelry and baskets brings a new entrepreneurial focus to the organization, helping the students learn about business and management in a socially responsible way. One thing I have learned while working down in Nicaragua with Fabretto is that donations can really have a tremendous impact on the centers; for example, $30 can feed a student for almost a month. And $1 a day can provide a student with shoes, a uniform, daily lunch, school supplies, tutoring classes, computer classes, and vocational classes. I was consistently amazed to see how much of a difference a single person donating even $1 a day could make in our center.

6

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I first became acquainted with Fabretto in 2006 after moving to Nicaragua with my spouse - a foreign service officer. Over the course of two years, I became a Fabretto devotee. Now back in the United States, I continue to work with the organization--serving on their advisory board and helping them pursue federal and private partnerships. Fabretto has a proven track record of success in a country where far too many non-profits appear more impressive on paper than in reality. A visit to Fabretto's educational centers is an uplifting experience, and you get a real sense of how respected and appreciated Fabretto is in the communities in which it operates. Among other things, Fabretto feeds children's minds and stomachs. As a rseult, Fabretto's kids are happier and healthier and are better positioned to break the cycle of poverty that plagues far too many communities in Nicaragua. Fabretto is exactly the kind of organic and proven organization that deserves our support. I encourage anyone interested ine helping kids to consider supporting this great organization and its wonderful and committed staff. I simply cannot say enough good things about their efforts on behalf of Nicargua's children.

10

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteered to write and edit grants targeted at gaining funds to expand the Health and Nutrition program for Fabretto. Through my experience I learned just how fantastic this organization is at getting the most benefit out of the monies they recieve. There are only a few people in the Arlington, VA office, but they work incredibly hard to keep the money coming in for the kids in Nicaragua. I truly hope I will be able to go with them sometime soon down to Nicaragua and experience everything they do there.

5

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Dear all: I just would like to mention that I felt in love with Fabretto instantly when I saw their beautiful handmade baskets and their jewelry. So then, I started working with them as a volunteer which made me be so happy. Thanks to Fabretto for letting be part of them.

10

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My first experiences with The Fabretto Children's Foundation were in Nicaragua during the summers of 2005, '06, & '07, when i assisted with the donors and volunteer groups that came down to see Fabretto's work first-hand. Unlike many organizations, Fabretto maintains very personal relationships with its donors and child sponsors, from accommodating requests for monies to go to certain projects to even inviting "friends" of Fabretto to visit the centers and see the program in action. Anyone interested in a long-term relationship with a "great non-profit", instilling real, tangible change in the developing world will not be disappointed by Fabretto's incredible programs!

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Having seen their work first hand, I have becomed committed to the mission. Four ahijados so far, that will probably grow, translating letters, using the in-kind card-donations for most all event, well the list goes on. One can make a significant difference for the children of this poverty striken nation, braking teh cycle and giving them an opportunity to succeed.

5

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I can hardly find an organization with a more worthy goal that the Fabretto Children's Organization, formed with the pure intent of breaking the vicious cycle of poverty in Nicaragua. It was my absolute pleasure to observe the organization in two extended stays, both times as an instructor of teachers and students, and one trip with a large group of university student volunteers. Their selfless dedication to proper nutrition, literacy, education, and personal and professional preparation is inspiring. My wife and continue to support four Fabretto students through their college education, and hope to continue for the foreseeable future. I believe in the people of Nicaragua, and wholly embrace the goals of this marvelous organization.

3

Donor

Rating: 5

This organization supports the children and families in Nicaragua like no other. I am an annual donor and know that my funds are being spent in the most effective and efficient ways. I personally know those that run this organization and they are smart business savvy individuals with a huge heart. Their efforts are worth supporting in every way I can.

5

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The staff is 100% dedicated to the children and their families and to the goal of providing an education to as many children as possible. They are equally concerned for the sponsors that make this possible, and work hard to facilitate a warm relationship with their sponsored child. My interactions with the staff have always been very pleasant and they are well organized and professional. They make my work as a volunteer efficient and enjoyable.

5

Volunteer

Rating: 5

When interacting with each Fabretto employee it is apparent not a single one of them has forgotten Fabretto's mission, which is rare to see now a days. Fabretto's mission is every Fabretto employee's mission, their driving force.

11

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I love volunteering with Fabretto. The people are so nice t work with and the events are always so well organized. It's a great organization too!!

3

Board Member

Rating: 5

I was born and raised in Managua, Nicaragua, and after a few years trying to find a charity organization to help the children of Nicaragua, I found Fabretto Foundation. I was so touched and happy to find a group of dedicated people that are truly committed to make a difference. The money they raise truly goes to help the kids. No fat salaries and tons of volunteers. They have been in business for years and I know of adults that were raise by the Fabretto Foundation and now are successful in their trade. This organization is one of those rare jewels that make you believe in the good nature of human race again.