My self-deprecating English nature has got me in trouble lately with some of Pionero’s US supporters.
One board members exasperating said “Harriette, you don’t realise how much your work is of value!” A publicity expert also barked at me for apologizing when my earphones fell out and for, in fact, apologizing EVER.
So, seeing as I am an English girl operating in the US philanthropy environment, it’s time I write a post that is in line with my most recent mantra; “More bullish, less british”. In other words, “Stop this British humility nonsense and start (rather uncomfortably) being unashamedly confident in what you are doing”.
So here goes, an unapologetic post explaining why what we do is of such great value.
1.) Pionero is the ONLY specialized and impartial source on nonprofits in the region.
No professional nonprofit evaluator or consultancy exists that focuses on Guatemalan (and in the near future, Northern Triangle) nonprofits. It is impossible for foreign philanthropists to find impartial, specialized guidance regarding launching philanthropy programs in the region with grassroots nonprofits.
2.) Pionero plays a key role in addressing the immigration crisis at the US border
Although the immigration debate is complicated and multi-faceted, Philanthropy plays a key role in assisting vulnerable Guatemalan communities who are likely to be forced to migrate.
With US aid cuts and little information for Philanthropists regarding how to address the root causes of forced migration, Pionero connects donors to grassroots projects that tackle these issues. These nonprofits are high impact and help families to stay together and thrive in their own communities.
3.) Pionero inspires donor trust
1 in 3 people in the US don’t trust national non-profits, so we imagine the ratio for trust in grassroots nonprofits in Guatemala isn’t any better.
Pionero increases trust in Guatemalan nonprofits by providing a professional, diligent and transparent service so philanthropists can donate with confidence.
There is a hole in research regarding the Philanthropy environment in Central America so our research department is working on finding the trust ratio through this survey with US donors (take part!)
4.) Pionero is culturally attuned and in the loop
High calibre consultants on the ground in Guatemala understand foreign donor and nonprofit needs. They know the culture and what projects and ideas will be most effective based on a deep understanding and awareness of local realities. Pionero is able to forge close relationships with nonprofits here due to its committed presence.
5.) Pionero can act in real time on the ground
We identify outstanding nonprofits and support them in real time. If a donor or nonprofit for example needs assistance in areas such as monitoring or implementation, we act quickly and effectively – boots on the ground!
6.) Pionero has a relevant methodology and academic prowess
Our methodology was created and tested over the course of a year to ensure no reinvention of the wheel whilst ensuring it is workable to the Guatemalan context. We boast outstanding scholars and practitioners on the team who have vast experience with nonprofits and donors alike.
7.) Transparency – we walk the talk
1 of the 5 pillars we use when evaluating nonprofits is Transparency. Pionero equally holds itself to the same standards. We have annual reports online, impact reports and shall have 990s and financial statements online when we have our 501c3 status through. We are also transparent in how we operate and charge for services.
We do not take a percentage fee off the nonprofit donation – we ethically disagree with this practice. We instead charge the philanthropist simply for the time we spend supporting their vision.
8.) Pionero has non-profit status and low overheads
Pionero Philanthropy is a nonprofit organization itself. We charge fees for our services in order to cover our costs, not to make a profit to please investors or shareholders.
As we are based also in Guatemala, our operation costs are comparably smaller than nonprofits located in more developed countries.