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2019 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Neighbors To Nicaragua Inc

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Nonprofit Overview

Mission: Our vision for Neighbors to Nicaragua began in April 2011 when Founder and Executive Director, Chuck Selvaggio, traveled to Granada, Nicaragua to study Spanish. After witnessing the region’s high rate of youth homelessness, Chuck became interested in learning more about efforts to educate its children and youth and alleviate issues associated with poverty. Upon returning home, he recruited friends, family members, and former colleagues to volunteer their time and money to support grassroots organizations working to improve the education and infrastructure of the communities he had visited. He guaranteed our first donors that 100% of their gifts would be allocated to academic and critical needs projects—a promise we continue to honor to this day. While continuing to match donors with students in need of financial assistance for education, as well as, individuals and families with critical needs, Neighbors to Nicaragua also piloted a literacy program for over a year at a school we helped to build for another charitable organization in Pantanal, one of the poorest barrios in Nicaragua. Our literacy program served 23 adolescents and adults ranging from age 9 to age 45. These are deserving, hardworking children and adults whose need to work for financial survival has prevented them from learning how to read and write. The overwhelming success of that program prompted us to build our own center, Centro de Oportunidad, opened in January 2018.

Programs: Education plus: we support the academic enrichment programs of education plus, a nonprofit organization based in pantanal, which serves around 200 children and youth annually. As most children and teens attend area public schools in the morning or afternoon only, the organization's enrichment classes are offered from 9:00 a. M. To 4:00 p. M. To supplement what students are learning in school. Of the total participants, 60-percent are female and 40-percent are male-an impressive figure considering nicaragua's low rate of female school enrollment-and approximately 90-percent move on to the next grade level.

centro de opportunidad:in february of 2017 a dream was born, almost a year to the day later, that dream was realized. Our first school, centro de oportunidad (center of opportunity), opened its doors to our students on february 5, 2018. Through the generous support of our local community and foundation grants, we are truly bringing opportunities of a brighter future to a community in need. Our dedicated staff is teaching basic literacy skills to youth and adults that have not been afforded the opportunity to attend traditional schools. They will now have the chance to rejoin the public school system upon completion of our programs. We also provide a free meal each day to all of our registerd students through our nutrition program. For many of our students, this is the only full meal they will receive that day. In addition, we have a computer lab for all ages to teach computer skills and we plan to roll out a vocational training program with job placement assistance. It is our belief that through education and job training, this impoverished community will be able to break the cycle of poverty for themselves and future generations to come.

housing: neighbors to nicaragua is dedicated to the safety and well-being of our students and families both while attending our programs and at home. Beyond providing for participants' rental fees and the purchase of land, we also renovate and build homes within the communities in which we work. To date, we have constructed two complete houses, renovated four others, and begun plans to initiate additional homes in the future. In addition to housing construction, we also help to finance the building of schools and other educational centers.

all other programs including medical aid, nutrition. Education, special projects, puedo leer, centro juan pablo ii, corazon contento and general programs-medical aid, nutrition, and education are all part of our core mission in nicaragua. These are services provided to the people we help in nicaragua. Special projects are services that might be needed by the people we serve in nicaragua that don't fall under the above-listed categories. Puedo leer, centro juan pablo ii and corazon contento are other nonprofit organizations working in nicaragua. On occasion we receive donations on their behalf. However, for 2018 we have limited or tried to eliminate these types of donations. General program donations are used to support the core mission of our organization.

Community Stories

29 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Donor

Rating: 5

As a donor to this wonderful organization, I am so pleased to know that 100% of the resources go directly into support of those in need, in Nicaragua - both for everyday necessities (nutrition, housing, healthcare) as well as for the future (education.) I have
complete confidence that Neighbors to Nicaragua is an excellent grassroots organization that truly supports these deserving Nicaraguans, many of whom live in circumstances
that are nearly unimaginable to us in the U.S.
I also appreciate the frequent newsletters, which provide full transparency for all that the
organization does "on the ground" in Nicaragua. Very happy to support this important effort!

Michael J M.1

Donor

Rating: 5

The name says NEIGHBORS to Nicaragua, and most of the outreach they do is similar to what you'd expect a neighbor to do.

This 'neighborly' attitude is evident in the way the board approaches its job.
They have annual plans for projects and usually accomplish them. But when they learn someone is in need, or home needs a new roof, or the school children need paper and pens, they quickly respond. That's their secret sauce. They can be nimble and respond to current events, and I'm satisfied that every dollar they receive goes to the neighborhood.

I am a donor because I like to know that my contribution, as small as it is, will be combined with others and make a big difference. I will continue to be a donor because the work has just begun. Godspeed to N2N

Board Member

Rating: 5

Focus on students of all ages. Recognizes that education is key to break the cycle of deep poverty

Donor

Rating: 5

Truely a remarkable organization run by people dedicated to helping the impoverished people of Nicaragua, especially the children. The members of N2N provide their skills, knowledge and experience to these people who would not get any type assistance from anywhere else. They teach the men, women and children how to make their lives better through building projects, attending school and sponsoring young adults in their quest for higher education opportunities. This organization needs our continued financial support to help the people of Nicaragua.

Donor

Rating: 5

I’ve been a donor and supporter of N2N for years. This organization is run by truly caring people who work tirelessly and selflessly to improve the lives of others. N2N provides educational resources so that those living in unfathomable poverty can find a way out while also caring for their physical and emotional wellbeing-providing clothing, food and safe shelter- so they can focus on learning and improving their situation. A very worthwhile organization.

Donor

Rating: 5

I learned of this charity from my neighbor and friend, Chuck Selvaggio. He is the founder and totally dedicated to this cause. It’s true, there are no salaries, all trips to Nicaragua are at personal expense as are accommodations. Supporters of this charity offer many sustainable methods for financing the various outreach programs; like building a school! I sponsor a student, as do many others, making her schooling possible. If special medical needs arise, everything possible is done to assist. My sewing group stitched some dresses for the girls and we continue to make more dresses and shorts for the boys.
It is truly neighbors helping neighbors in a different community.

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Donor

Rating: 5

Pure compassion and love. That’s what the volunteers of this nonprofit give.
Chuck Selvaggio and his staff work tirelessly, all unpaid, to bring the most that they can to Nicaragua. They have inspired others to give, to help, to visit, to act.
And that’s what it is , neighbors and community helping Nicaragua.

Donor

Rating: 5

We know that every penny we send to them goes to the mission they are performing. The board for this non-profit receive no compensation for their work. and travel 2 or 3 times a year at his expense and teaches a school while there and visits people who are supported by Neighbors to Nicaragua to make sure the funding being given to them is properly used. He is in daily contact with the person who heads up the staff in Nicaragua.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

This is a very personalized way to help others less fortunate and know that your money is not being wasted on overhead! Check it out!!

Stephen S.3

Donor

Rating: 5

I have been donating to N2N for years and continue to be impressed with the work they are doing. It is more and more difficult to be comfortable making charitable donations as I'm never sure how the money is spent. That is not an issue here, as I have full confidence in the organization, and they do tremendous work. Their progress under difficult circumstance is an amazing story, and as a donor I'm honored to play a small role in their great works

Margo Henninger M.

Donor

Rating: 5

We have been donating to N2N since they started. We have seen them grow tremendously and stick to their mission with the utmost integrity, which is why we will continue to support this wonderful organization.

2 bronxmike

Donor

Rating: 5

The founder is directly involved, including frequent trips to Nicaragua. Tangible results such as education for children and better housing conditions are evident.

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Donor

Rating: 5

Neighbors to Nicaragua is truly a hands on group.
They go to difficult parts of the country and facilitate badly needed construction.
The main focus is education of children from their early years. The fact that the founder visits often is Nicaragua often is crucial to the organization's success

Board Member

Rating: 5

I’d like to address the comment and concerns of “ConcernedDonor072”. I can assure you that no volunteers, board members, or even our founder, receive compensation or benefits of any kind. Everyone that travels to Nicaragua to volunteer for our organization pays the entirety of their travel expenses themselves out of their own pockets. Our school staff does receive compensation, of course. Our school runs in parallel with the public school calendar and we have a very small staff consisting of three teachers, one cook (who also does all of the cleaning of the school), a night guard to protect our school from burglary and our administrator who handles all aspects of running our school and does so with great care and devotion. They are all local Nicaraguans and paid a fair wage with benefits as we feel is wholly appropriate. The costs of running the school, paying our staff, and feeding our students each day as part of our meal program is funded by donors. Those costs are entirely necessary to provide our students with a top notch school, daily nutrition and a loving and supportive staff dedicated to empowering each of them through education.

Our organization was founded on the philosophy of empowerment through education. That has always been our primary focus. We are not in the business of “handouts” as you stated. We partner with each and every student we support and there are expectations which must be met for our students to continue to receive educational support in the form of sponsorships for higher education or to be able to attend our school on an ongoing basis.

Our non profit is quite sustainable and all investments (we view our support as investments for individuals and future generations; not handouts) are vigorously vetted and monitored.

We appreciate your feedback and hope this alleviates any concerns you may have. Our financials are public as well and we invite you to view them as confirmation of all that I’ve explained here.

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Board Member

Rating: 5

I began my time with Neighbors to Nicaragua as a volunteer and eventually was invited to join the board of incredible people I’m honored to serve with! The work we do is so impactful and is supported by a community of amazing people deeply committed to the work we do. We have held true to our core values and commitment to using 100% of the funds we raise to directly serve the people of Nicaragua. No salaries, no expense accounts - we all use personal funds for travel to our school, Centro de Oportunidad. This organization continually renews my faith in the goodness of humanity and the achievements we can make when we come together in the pursuit of a better world for all.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 1

Constantly post that nobody gets paid but, also posts photos of staff in Nicaragua. What is the truth? 100% of the funds can’t be going directly to support students.

Appears that they give a lot of handouts which are not sustainable. They definitely need a better plan. I’m sure that the handouts are welcome but, in the long run, the people will suffer if they expect this from any visitor to their community. The handouts prolong the poverty.

2

Donor

Rating: 5

This is an excellent organization that does a lot of on the ground real work with children and families in Nicaragua. They have established a school and are devoted to the cause. I am a long time supporter of this organization and proud of all that they have accomplished.

2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The work Neighbors does is fantastic. The volunteers that are part of this organization are passionate about education at all levels. The future of this organization is exciting and I look forward to continuing to follow their journey to serve those who need it most.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have volunteered at numerous events for this organization and it is amazing!

2

Board Member

Rating: 5

The best Non-Profit I know of. All monies go directly to the people in need. No salaries, travel expenses or reimbursements for board members.

3

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Fantastic charity supporting a great cause. The people involved are incredibly passionate about what they do.

2 Christina R.5

Donor

Rating: 5

I am a donor and help support Neighbors to Nicaragua with my monthly donations and by being involved in other fundraising events they have throughout the year. The organization does a great job of having various fundraising events to supplement the money they receive from donors like me. The fundraising events vary and they manage to find different venues and event types to draw in an assortment of different people, not just the normal tried and true events like many other charitable organizations. I can attest to the fact that 100% of the money received by Neighbor to Nicaragua through fundraising or through donor support goes right back to the charity and to support the beneficiaries in Nicaragua. I find it personally fulfilling to know that the money I pledge every month goes to medication that is a necessity for continued health for the individual I sponsor. I also love that I was given a picture of my sponsor along with a detailed bio and information on what the money I pledge goes to. I honestly can't say enough good things about this organization and what they are doing to help those in need in Nicaragua.

2

Donor

Rating: 5

N2N is a wonderful organization serving a community in need. The fundraising events N2N sponsors are extremely well-organized and virtually every dollar raised goes directly to benefitting people in need, rather than getting chewed up in "administrative fees." Your dollar goes directly to the area of greatest need.