My Nonprofit Reviews
Review for MAIA , Denver, CO, USA
I have been fortunate to serve as the foundation manager for two grant making organizations, the Weyerhaeuser Family Foundation and the Harvey Family Foundation, in their grants to Starfish. I have also personally contributed to Starfish from my family’s donor advised fund at the Denver Foundation. These experiences over the past eight years have only increased my belief in, and support of, their work.
Over the past thirty years as a foundation manager, I have worked with hundreds of international nonprofits. I believe this experience has taught me a lot of what it takes for these organizations to be successful. First, I believe that it is critical to be a learning organization. This starts by being very clear about the organization’s mission, goals and objectives. It is followed by a commitment to measuring their outcomes and learning from their successes and failures. As a result these organizations are clearly focused and constantly improving. Starfish does this extremely well. They are focused on changing the lives of Guatemalan’s indigenous people by developing girls as strong and capable leaders in their communities. Year by year I have seen the “Starfish model” evolve and improve to a point where they are now creating a school for these girls. Second, to be effective international nonprofits need to have an efficient and effective management team with strong support from the first world. But this management team must understand and be supportive of the local leadership. The overall process must be bottom up and led by the indigenous people but must be supported from the outside. Management’s job is to help guide and support this in-country effort but also be able to provide resources from outside the country. Many international nonprofits struggle with this balance. Starfish continues to be successful because of very strong and talented Guatemalan leadership and yet also has strong U.S. based management which provides strategic leadership and financial resources.
I believe strongly in Starfish One by One and encourage you to support their efforts to change the lives of Guatemalan women so that they can change the lives of their families and their country’s future. Should you have any questions I would be happy to talk further with you.
Review for Peruvian Hearts, Golden, CO, USA
I have visited the work of Peruvian Hearts in Peru three times over the past six years and have been overwhelmingly impressed with their work. I have seen the orphanage in Anta, Cuzco transformed from subsistence housing, an open fire pit for a kitchen, inadequate nutrition, cold water showers and a “library” empty of books to a home with happy and healthy young girls, with a book filled library, warm showers and an institutional kitchen that feeds not only the girls in the home but over 200 children daily from the local area. As a result of my experiences with Peruvian Hearts I have recommended them to a number of my foundation clients and colleagues for financial support. I am proud to do so and know that others who invest in their work will be very pleased with the results.
How does this organization compare with others in the same sector?
How much of an impact do you think this organization has?
Will you recommend this organization to others?
When was your last experience with this nonprofit?