Human Services

THE PULSERA PROJECT

Color the World

aka The Pulsera Project

West Chester, PA

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

2009

Principal Officer

Mr. Christopher Crane

Main Address

131 N Wawaset Rd

West Chester, PA 19382 USA

Keywords

Fair Trade, Human Rights, Sustainability, Education, Global Citizenship, Development, Employment,

EIN

27-0500339

 Number

3076675034

Cause Area (NTEE Code)

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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Social Media

Programs + Results

What we aim to solve

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

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

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Pulsera Project

Where we work

Our Results

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one. These quantitative program results are self-reported by the organization, illustrating their committment to transparency, learning, and interest in helping the whole sector learn and grow.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Number of jobs created and maintained

TOTALS BY YEAR
Population(s) served

Economically disadvantaged, low-income, and poor 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

TOTALS BY YEAR
Population(s) served

Economically disadvantaged, low-income, and poor 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

TOTALS BY YEAR
Population(s) served

No target populations selected

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of youth who volunteer/participate in community service

TOTALS BY YEAR
Population(s) served

K-12 (5-19 years),

Young Adults (20-25 years)

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

TOTALS BY YEAR
Population(s) served

K-12 (5-19 years),

Adolescents (13-19 years),

Young Adults (20-25 years)

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.

Charting Impact

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

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What is the organization aiming to accomplish?

What are the organization's key strategies for making this happen?

What are the organization's capabilities for doing this?

How will they know if they are making progress?

What have they accomplished so far and what's next?

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.

Our indicators of success are generally measured by the number of people we are employing in Central America, the number of schools we are partnering with in the U.S., and the level of success coming from programs that we invest our funds in.

Higher numbers of people employed correlates with financial sustainability for those individuals and their families in the countries where we work, so the more people we can employ, the more progress we've made in these areas.

Higher numbers of schools involved means that more students & teachers are being exposed to the progressive views about international service that are part of our educational program, and as those numbers increase, so do the amount of proceeds we are raising for programs and continued employment in Central America.

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.

External Reviews

Financials

THE PULSERA PROJECT

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Operations

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

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  • A Pro report is also available for this organization.

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Board Leadership Practices

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section, which enables organizations and donors to transparently share information about essential board leadership practices.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

BOARD ORIENTATION & 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?

No

ETHICS & 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?

No

Organizational Demographics

In order to support nonprofits and gain valuable insight for the sector, GuideStar worked with D5—a five-year initiative to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion in philanthropy—in creating a questionnaire. This section is a voluntary questionnaire that empowers organizations to share information on the demographics of who works in and leads organizations. To protect the identity of individuals, we do not display sexual orientation or disability information for organizations with fewer than 15 staff. Any values displayed in this section are percentages of the total number of individuals in each category (e.g. 20% of all Board members for X organization are female).

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Gender

Sexual Orientation

This organization reports that it does not collect this information.

Disability

We do not display disability information for organizations with fewer than 15 staff.

Diversity Strategies

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We track retention of staff, board, and volunteers across demographic categories
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We track income levels of staff, senior staff, and board across demographic categories
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We track the age of staff, senior staff, and board
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We track the diversity of vendors (e.g., consultants, professional service firms)
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We have a diversity committee in place
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We have a diversity manager in place
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We have a diversity plan
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We use other methods to support diversity