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.

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.

Read the full article about Venezuelan community nonprofits by Caleb Zimmerman at GlobalGiving.