THE PULSERA PROJECT

Color the World

aka The Pulsera Project   |   West Chester, PA   |  www.pulseraproject.org

Mission

The Pulsera Project's mission is to make the world a more colorful and just place by educating and empowering Central American communities and U.S. students.

We engage U.S. students in international service to provide economic opportunities for Nicaraguans. We also advocate for progressive ideas about international service that value economic aid as just one part of a mutual exchange that also includes the sharing of knowledge, ideas, and life experiences for the benefit of all.

Ruling year info

2009

Principal Officer

Mr. Christopher Crane

Main address

131 N Wawaset Rd

West Chester, PA 19382 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

27-0500339

NTEE code info

Services to Promote the Independence of Specific Populations (P80)

Economic Development (S30)

Other Youth Development N.E.C. (O99)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

With massive underemployment, economic and political instability, and a large impoverished population, Nicaragua remains one of the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. We seek to employ marginalized groups and people through pulsera making, enabling them to provide for themselves and their families and laying the foundation for socioeconomic mobility. Similarly, in Guatemala we work with marginalized indigenous women's cooperatives through sustainable fair trade jobs making pulseras and bolsitas.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Pulsera Project

The Pulsera Project buys hand-woven pulseras from young Nicaraguan artisans and artisan families and sells them mostly through U.S. schools. We provide sustainable, fair-trade employment and dramatically expand economic opportunities for many Nicaraguans. We support youth shelters, fund scholarships, provide loans, and support community development projects run by members of our pulsera makers’co-op of shelter “graduates”. We partner with other non-profit organizations who share our belief that economic aid is just one part of a mutual exchange among people who share knowledge, ideas, and life experiences for the benefit of all.

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged people
Unemployed people

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of jobs created and maintained

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Economically disadvantaged people

Related Program

Pulsera Project

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of people no longer living in unsafe or substandard housing as a result of the nonprofit's efforts

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Economically disadvantaged people

Related Program

Pulsera Project

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Program designed to assure all artisans have a basic secure shelter for their family. Artisans already meeting that standard, received money to make improvements to their existing structures. Priority

Number of clients receiving health care benefits as part of wage package

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of youth who volunteer/participate in community service

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Children and youth, Young adults

Related Program

Pulsera Project

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Estimate of the total number of students directly involved in pulsera sales each year.

Number of groups/individuals benefiting from tools/resources/education materials provided

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Children and youth, Adolescents, Young adults

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Estimate of number of students that watched pulsera films and used pulsera educational materials.

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

The Pulsera Project has three principle goals - employment, education, and impact.

In Central America our goal is to provide Fair Trade employment and economic mobility to marginalized communities throughout Nicaragua & Guatemala.

In the U.S., we seek to use pulsera sales as a vehicle for raising awareness about international poverty, Fair Trade, and global citizenship. Our educational programs instill students with the critical thinking skills necessary in developing new approaches to international development.

We then use the proceeds from pulsera sales to continue empowering our artisan partners and to also fund grants & partnerships with other NGOs, social enterprises, and communities throughout Central America to foster economic & community development.

Our strategy for fulfilling these goals is always a two-sided, integrative approach, reflecting the cross-cultural nature of the project.

In Nicaragua & Guatemala our strategy to meet our employment goals is to nurture positive, transparent, respectful relationships with all of our current artisan partners, while also actively seeking out new artisan partnerships that allow the project to grow and impact more people.

In the U.S. our strategy for expanding our educational program is to promote our project primarily to Spanish teachers and Spanish Clubs, and to deliver them a first-class project that brings meaningful discussion to their classrooms about Latin American culture, Fair Trade, poverty, and global citizenship, while giving them an outlet to support Central American communities through their pulsera sales.

As each of the above components grow in tandem with one another—for example, the more artists we work with, the more schools we have the capacity to work with and vice versa—we are able to raise more money to fund a growing number of social programs for the artists and for other Central American communities.

We have an “impact evaluation" team who investigate and evaluate other NGOs and social programs, looking for high-impact investments where our funds will be most effectively spent. Organizations can apply to us for grants, and after the evaluation process, a vote by our Board of Directors will either approve or deny the request.

We have two highly capable teams of people leading the project with a wealth of experience in all of the fields where we work.

Our team of three employees in the U.S. has been working with teachers and student groups since 2009 and has developed a first-class program that is always evolving based on changes in educational trends and our own observations about how to improve our program. Our U.S. team has skills in graphic & web design, photo & video production, middle school Spanish education, shipping logistics, customer service, inventory management, and more that give us the capacity to effectively expand the U.S. program however we see fit.

Our Nicaraguan team of 8 is similarly effective, bringing a wide range of skills to the table between accounting, social enterprise management, Masters Degrees in impact evaluation, private consulting, first-class education at Managua's premier university, and years of experience working in Nicaragua's artisan markets.

Between these two teams, we have made invaluable connections both in the U.S. and in Central America that allow the project to thrive, grow, and to impact countless lives in the communities we serve.

The two-sided nature of the project means that as the project continues to grow in the U.S. and raise more & more money from pulsera sales, our capacity for effecting change in Central American communities is constantly growing as well.

The things we have accomplished include:

1. Growing our artisan program from a small group of 10 artists in Nicaragua to an expansive network of 200 artisans all throughout Nicaragua and Guatemala.

2. Expanding the U.S. side of the project from a single school pulsera sale to more than 2,500 school communities across all 50 states.

3. Raising more than $4,500,000 through pulsera sales since 2009.

4. Investing hundreds of thousands of dollars in social programs in the fields of education, financial empowerment, environmental sustainability, workers' rights, shelter support, university scholarships, and more.

5. Creating a housing project to assure all artists have a secure shelter for their family. Since 2015, there have been 320 beneficiaries of this program with a total investment of $158,273.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    Focus groups or interviews (by phone or in person), Community meetings/Town halls, Constituent (client or resident, etc.) advisory committees,

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve,

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    The people we serve, Our staff, Our board, Our community partners,

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

Financials

THE PULSERA PROJECT
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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lock

Connect with nonprofit leaders

Subscribe

Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

THE PULSERA PROJECT

Board of directors
as of 2/10/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Christopher Crane

The Pulsera Project

Term: 2009 -

Christopher Crane

The Pulsera Project

Susan Patterson

No affiliation

Joseph Terranova

Daniela Guerrero

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 2/9/2021,

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

No data

Race & ethnicity

No data

Gender identity

No data

 

No data

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 02/09/2021

Policies and practices developed in partnership with Equity in the Center, a project that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems within the social sector to increase racial equity. Learn more

Data
  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
  • We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • We analyze disaggregated data and root causes of race disparities that impact the organization's programs, portfolios, and the populations served.
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We use a vetting process to identify vendors and partners that share our commitment to race equity.
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.