The Resource Foundation
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The Resource Foundation (TRF) is a US-based 501(c)(3) non-profit non-governmental organization that facilitates charitable giving from corporate, foundation and individual donors to the Americas and the Caribbean.
Since 1987, TRF has been helping donors optimize the impact of their philanthropy through specialized, tailored services. By forming partnerships with carefully vetted nonprofit organizations in 29 countries, TRF empowers disadvantaged communities to gain the skills, knowledge and opportunities they need to improve their lives.
In 2013, over 2 million individuals benefited from projects in the following top program areas:
- Women's Empowerment
- Education & Job Skills
- Healthcare & HIV/AIDS
- Financial Inclusion
- Capacity Building
- 1 History
- 2 Partnerships
- 3 Programs
- 4 Affiliations
- 5 External links
Loren Finnell founded TRF in 1987 to empower the working poor in Latin America and the Caribbean to break the cycle of dependence and poverty and build better lives for themselves, their families and their communities. Established on the belief that local solutions are substantially more effective than expatriate ones, TRF has pioneered the movement of supporting locally driven development initiatives. To that end, TRF partners with private individual and institutional donors and private development organizations in 29 Latin American countries. With a philosophy of offering "a hand-up, not a hand-out," all programs are sustainable, self-help programs that enable participants to improve their own futures.
TRF works with U.S.-based corporations, foundations and individuals to help them practice optimal, engaged philanthropy by identifying and funding projects that meet their desired philanthropic objectives, conducting due diligence, handling fund transfers, preparing proposals and semi-annual progress reports and providing training and assistance related to their giving strategies. TRF staff and Board periodically visit programs to monitor and evaluate the impact of supported programs.
Local Partner Network
TRF supports effective and reputable nonprofit organizations in 26 countries throughout the Americas and the Caribbean that work to empower disadvantaged communities with the skills, knowledge and opportunities they need to improve their lives.
These locally based organizations have direct knowledge of their unique cultural, political and socio-economic context and are experienced in meeting the needs of their communities.
TRF's current network includes more than 270 local partners, which implement high-impact programs related to financial inclusion, education, job skills training, healthcare & HIV/AIDS, environmental conservation, sustainable agriculture, affordable housing, water and sanitation, and women's empowerment. TRF Affiliate organizations receive fundraising support and an array of nonprofit management and advisory services. Fiscal sponsorship funds offer a convenient and cost-effective way for Latin American nonprofits to accept tax-deductible gifts from U.S. donors. Associate organizations, which have been identified by or for our donors, receive grantmaking and administration services.
TRF monitors and tracks the impact of all supported projects on a semi-annual basis. All local partners undergo TRF's rigorous due diligence process on an annual basis.
TRF helps corporations, foundations and individuals support high-impact programs that address the most pressing issues in the region. Examples of these are presented below.
SERVIVIENDA in Colombia is producing 10 prefabricated houses each day. These units, which cost approximately $2,500 each, are affordable by even the lowest-income families thanks to SERVIVIENDA's credit plan, which has a 99% repayment rate. Built of cement slab, metal, hard wood and tile, the homes are simple, sturdy, attractive, easily transportable and can be erected in four hours by the families that purchase them. Over 85,000 units have been installed, benefiting more than 500,000 persons. OEF in El Salvador and CESAP in Venezuela have similar programs.
Urban and rural micro-enterprise
ACODEP in Nicaragua and CREFAC in El Salvador each offer a micro-enterprise program composed of training, technical assistance and credit. They provide training on job skills (carpentry, weaving, canning), small business management (cash flow, accounting, cost control, production, marketing) and use of credit. Actuar Famiempresas and MEDA in Colombia, FEM in Venezuela, FINCA and FUNDEBASE in Costa Rica, ADOPEM and MUDE in the Dominican Republic, FUNDACEN in Guatemala, FUNBANHCAFE and IDH in Honduras, ACP and CADEP in Peru, OEF in El Salvador, CAME in Mexico and IPRU in Uruguay also have micro-enterprise programs.
Fundación Centro de Estudios Ambienatales Dorothy Baker (CEADB) and DESEC in Bolivia are working with dispersed, indigenous communities, combining environmental education, protection and technology with improved farming techniques, which leads to higher yields, increased self-reliance and greater quality of life. Programs address water conservation and management, soil erosion, terrace farming, use of solar energy for greenhouses and family homes, crop rotation, animal husbandry, composting and reforestation. FUNDAEC in Colombia, FEPP in Ecuador, FUNBANHCAFE in Honduras, FMDR in Mexico, CADEP in Peru and CESAP in Venezuela likewise administer sustainable agriculture projects.
Environment/eco-friendly productive activities
FVSA in Argentina, ARBOFILIA in Costa Rica, SalvaNATURA in El Salvador and FUNDACIÓN TIERRA VIVA in Venezuela promote environmental conservation through education and ecological reserve management. For example, ARBOFILIA is working to reestablish an ecosystem that begins with mangrove forests on the coast, extends through the lowland rain forest and culminates in the highland cloud forest. Reconnecting the corridor is crucial for protecting the area's endangered flora and fauna. ARBOFILIA has also combined environmental issues with income-generating projects.
Basic education and job skills training
ORIGEN in Chile and FUNDAEC in Colombia provide low-income and at-risk youth with an accredited high school degree. They also offer vocational training in trades such as carpentry, metalworking, farming and animal husbandry so that the graduates may build better futures for themselves and their families. UNETE in Mexico provides training in computer skills for children enrolled in the public elementary school system. FUNDAEC also serves the adults in the community through vocational classes. SUPERATEC offers youths and adults the opportunity to acquire computer and personal development skills.
Children's interactive museums
PAPALOTE, El Museo del Niño in Mexico City and TIN MARIN, Asociación Museo de los Niños in El Salvador have each created a hands-on, interactive facility aimed at helping children learn about and understand the world in which they live. Exhibits emphasize science and the environment. Foundations and corporations sponsor school field trips for underprivileged children to visit the museums.
FESPERAN offers primary health care services in hard-to-reach Amazon communities and manages a clinic in Santarém, Brazil. It also operates a mother and children's health center, a facility that rehabilitates undernourished children, teaches their mothers proper dietary practices, and in general improves the health/sanitary conditions in the surrounding area. OEF in El Salvador, CADEP in Peru, IMIFAP in Mexico and MUDE in the Dominican Republic also have primary health care programs. FUNDACION HUESPED in Argentina offers prevention information and education about HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases, facilitates research and training for health professionals, and raises public awareness about the need for specialized services for affected individuals. HUESPED has been on the frontlines of the fight against HIV/AIDS in Argentina since 1989.
Potable water and sanitation
Agua Para el Pueblo in Honduras is active throughout the country's rural areas, promoting self-help, highly participatory potable water and sanitation programs in underprivileged communities. FESPERAN in Brazil, FEPP in Ecuador and CESAP in Venezuela manage similar programs.
TRF is registered with the Agency for International Development.