Newsletter January 2010
2009 was a challenging year in almost any industry and none more so than for the non-profit sector – given this tough environment I am very pleased that we had a number of accomplishments in the last months of the year that we will be building on in 2010.
Among these was the launch of our first HelpArgentina Chapter in New York. This milestone represents an important step in our plan to build a more proactive infrastructure to keep the Argentine community better informed and more fully engaged in supporting social causes in Argentina. In 2010 we plan to expand this initiative to Miami and San Francisco, and potentially to other cities where we find motivated Social Ambassadors to help drive the process. Related to this, we have also set in motion a plan to build closer relations with the Argentine Consulates in the US and we will be working to leverage this new collaboration with specific initiatives in the coming year.
We also continued our outreach to the corporate sector – we see employee volunteer and giving programs as valuable and under used channels for increasing individual involvement with the nonprofit sector. Our pilot project with Google, detailed in this newsletter, is a great example of the potential we hope to realize working with business community.
We also made a number of improvements to our website and our operations processes which will allow us to continue to improve the efficiency and quality of our service to both donors and the organizations of the Argentine nonprofit sector. In the new year we will be working closely with our member non-profits to define opportunities for further improvements and to expand and improve the information that we offer to the donor community.
These accomplishments make me very excited about the potential impact of the initiatives we will be launching in 2010. The focus of these will be to continue to make it easier for the international community to support social change in Argentina and to deepen their engagement with the nonprofits that are working to make this change a reality.
Here at HelpArgentina we are looking forward to a challenging and rewarding year.
On November 17th HelpArgentina held a cocktail benefit at the Yale Club in New York City, which was attended by 120 guests. One of the highlights of the event was an inspiring presentation by Nicolas Ducote, the General Director of CIPPEC, who spoke about the role of the individual in promoting change. Padre Juampi Contempomi also made a moving presentation about his fight against homeless in the Province of Buenos Aires.
The evening was also the occasion of launch the first Chapter of HelpArgentina. HelpArgentina is establishing a network of Chapters in US cities that have concentrations of Argentines to provide a forum to generate awareness and resources for promoting social change in Argentina. Each chapter’s activities will be designed to
- share information about social issues in Argentina
- help members of the local community indentify and get involved with projects and causes that interest them, and
- keep donors informed about the impact that their support is having.
The evening was a great success in no small part due to the efforts of the three Ambassadors who are spearheading the New York Chapter – Marina Michelutti, Jeanette van Campenhout and Natalia Hrehoraszczuk. You can find more information about these three ambassadors and NY Chapter at http://www.helpargentina.org/en/node/3303.
If you would be interested in helping to establish a HelpArgentina Chapter in your city, or have a contact who would be a great candidate to lead the effort in another city, please let us know at email@example.com.
HelpArgentina has been working with an employee group in Google’s Buenos Aires office to help them design initiatives to leverage the company’s employee giving program and to explore the opportunity to expand the employee volunteer program. As a result of this collaboration, on December 16, Google Argentina held its first “Buy your Lunch Day” to help fight malnutrition among children. On that day Google’s Buenos Aires based employees, who receive free meals as a benefit, were invited to pay for their lunch with the proceeds to be donated to a nonprofit working to fight childhood malnutrition. HelpArgentina recommended a group of high impact organizations working in the theme for the Googlers consideration and they selected the Fundación Huerta Niño to receive the donations collected. The employees raised more than 1600 pesos which will be matched by a donation from Google and used to support Huerta Niño’s program to create school based community gardens to help feed undernourished children.
HelpArgentina believes that employee programs can provide a valuable tool to help build individual engagement with the nonprofit sector in Argentina, and is pleased to be collaborating with Google in this effort. We hope that Google’s innovative example provides incentive for other companies to expand employee giving initiatives
HelpArgentina’s volunteer program, InsightArgentina, has received numerous volunteer groups from the US and Europe since its initiation in 2005. From spring-break service trips to summer programs, these volunteer projects have provided groups of all shapes and sizes with the opportunity spend time helping Argentine non-profits and their communities.
In 2009 we saw increased interest in group volunteer projects and had some particularly inspirational examples –
In March, 10 spring-breakers from Vanderbilt University spent a week at the La Juanita Cooperative painting the newly inaugurated pre-school and the interior and exterior of the school. The students had a great experience and provided a needed boost to La Juanita to start the school year.
In July, 7 medical students from the Mercer University School of Medicine spent three weeks of their summer in Tucuman in northwest Argentina, participating in a health project organized by Foundation Leon. The students spent their time working with patients and doctors at a local health center and learned about the critical health issues facing the community. By the end of the project, the group had developed a tight bond with the patients, doctors and local Argentine volunteers.
If you know of a group looking for a customized group service project, InsightArgentina may have an answer for them. Our volunteer coordinators work diligently with our diverse network of Argentine non-profit organization to find the right match for any group and then work closely with the group throughout their stay in Argentina. More information is available at http://www.helpargentina.org/en/volunteer.