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Our 5 Pillars for Selecting Outstanding Causes

1. High Impact


No one wants to support a cause that doesn't make a positive impact.

We select causes that have a real and measurable impact on their community and/or environment. 


To measure this, we study a variety of factors including number of people affected by the cause, the depth of impact and how long it lasts. Our experts on the ground visit each cause and its community to make detailed impact assessments. Our assessments ensure that high impact causes are selected and we also get to understand how impact could be further increased with the support of the right donors. 

2. Need for donor support


Although there are thousands of causes in Latin America, there is huge variety. Some have international offices, sustainable incomes and high admin costs, while others are small and make a proportionately bigger impact on their communities than their larger counterparts.

Pionero carefully selects its causes based on the cause's real need for donor support and identifies in what ways this support can be provided.

We take time to really get to know our causes and what their needs are so we can match them with the right donors.


You may not see our recommended causes with flashy professional websites or glossy brochures, but we can guarantee their on the ground impact is huge, they are efficient, and are truly deserving of further support.

3. Efficient & Cost Effective

Not many donors want to support a cause that spends all its resources on unnecessary items or activities.  

Efficient use of resources - such as time and money - are closely scrutinised by our experts when evaluating each cause.

Causes that make a clear and successful effort to be as efficient as possible with limited resources are rewarded with more recommendations to prospective donors  - unless the donor is seeking to specifically support a cause in increasing efficiency capacity.

4. Transparency


Transparency with regards to producing quality annual reports and passing audits is a non-negotiable criteria.


Pionero analyzes each cause's annual reports and verifies with local, national and international agencies and watchdogs regarding each cause's legal credentials.

5. Sustainability


 Sustainability is concerned with measuring whether the benefits of an activity are likely to continue after donor funding has been withdrawn (OECD 2000)


Pionero asks key questions to NPOs regarding funding sources, donor dependencies and whether the NPO has an Exit Strategy. We also analyze the levels of local community ownership and management of the project operations.