How Nonprofits Are Co-Creating A Better Future For Venezuela

As communities across Venezuela face a humanitarian emergency, local nonprofits are creating their own solutions to step up their response. Here’s how GlobalGiving and the Simón Bolívar Foundation are supporting them.



An overlooked emergency

More than 7 million Venezuelans have left their home country since 2018 to escape a confluence of challenges, including hyperinflation, food and medicine shortages, persecution, and the COVID-19 pandemic. For those that remain, the situation is difficult. An estimated 32% of children in Venezuela suffer from chronic malnutrition, and 59% of households have insufficient income to buy food.

Despite these realities, community-led nonprofit organizations in Venezuela persevere. However, their efforts are severely underfunded and have been overshadowed recently by a surge in public donations for communities in Ukraine and other countries. Protracted humanitarian emergencies like the one in Venezuela rarely receive the attention they deserve, and responding nonprofits don’t get the support and funding they need to continue their work.


Partnering to close the gap

Recognizing the importance of healthy communities and the challenges they face in Venezuela, the Simón Bolívar Foundation gave GlobalGiving a $1 million grant to fund Venezuelan nonprofits working on health, medicine, and nutrition programs in the country. From the start, listening to local nonprofits to determine how best to support communities in need was key.

The collaboration began by identifying organizations working in Venezuela that were vetted by GlobalGiving. Throughout the planning stages, nonprofit partners emphasized that flexible project funding was critical to adapt to changing situations in their communities, and they decided how they wanted to report on their grants. We honored their expertise and incorporated this directly into the grant program design.

Beyond the grantmaking, the program sought to build on the skills of our nonprofit community and meet their need for additional knowledge. To decide how we should lend our help, we used our co-creation process. GlobalGiving’s co-creation process invites the people closest to a challenge to develop new solutions. It’s a collaborative and creative process that benefits from multiple perspectives and different lived experiences.

To begin we asked, “How might GlobalGiving help Venezuelan nonprofits increase their visibility and capacity to raise more funds?” Six nonprofits that work in Venezuela came together during four days of workshops to answer that question. The participants crafted a vision for the support they needed: training sessions focused on improving their fundraising and storytelling skills and building and sustaining a network of donors.

They also wanted a way to apply the knowledge they learned in the training sessions. In the spirit of building community, they imagined a collective fundraising campaign where they would share in the effort to attract new donors, and all of the funds raised would be split evenly among the participants.


Creating a better future together

Through the co-creation workshops, training sessions, and collective campaign planning, participating nonprofits built connections among themselves and learned from each other about running successful fundraising campaigns. One participant shared that it was enriching and transformative.

“I never imagined it would be so gratifying: us working together for a shared objective, standing in solidarity.”

Workshop participants provided overwhelmingly positive feedback on their experiences. And the collaborative fundraising campaign, jointly organized by 11 nonprofits, exceeded its goal. As a result of their dedicated work, the program participants brought more visibility to the situation affecting the Venezuelan people. They raised more money to ensure their own sustainability and to assist more communities in need.

With help from the Simón Bolívar Foundation, GlobalGiving was able to provide this range of support for Venezuelan nonprofits through grants, training workshops, and fundraising opportunities.

“The strategic relationship with GlobalGiving has assisted our foundation in maximizing our reach,” Mariela Poleo, President of the Simón Bolívar Foundation, said. ”Building upon GlobalGiving’s experience around the world, their robust vetting processes, and their experience in fundraising—which has been used to train and build capacity among Venezuelan organizations—aligned with the Simón Bolívar Foundation’s charitable objectives.”

As GlobalGiving’s partnership with the Simón Bolívar Foundation enters another year, community needs will continue to influence our planning. The rising number of Venezuelan migrants coming to the US, often after a harrowing trek through Central America, underscores the need to keep responding to the emergency and keep centering the voices of the people most affected by it.

Interested in using co-creation to shape your CSR programming?


Featured Photo: Support to Venezuela Migrant Families in Colombia by Corporación PAN

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