How WideAwake.org Selects its International Charitable Partners
WideAwake.org is committed to working only with international partners who meet the highest standards for accountability, ethics and efficiency. We partner with organizations of all stripes, who focus on an array of issues and serve diverse populations. They all have in common the great work they’re doing to enhance the quality of life for persons in need in the developing world. This article explains how charitable organizations come to be what we refer to as an International Affiliate, a designation that indicates a formal relationship with WideAwake.org and allows them to submit projects for which they seek funding for posting on our website. All the projects posted on our website will be carried out by one of our Affiliates, which have been fully vetted.
What WideAwake.org looks for in overseas partners
WideAwake.org looks first for responsibility and effectiveness in organizations we consider taking on as an Affiliate. We work exclusively with charitable organizations that have not only a demonstrated record of ethical practices and that take accountability seriously, but also which are truly good at what they do. We want a donor’s dollar to go as far as it possibly can, and therefore look for Affiliates that are innovative and who know how to get the best bang for their buck in carrying out their charitable activities. We make these assessments first as part of the pre-application process and then through the Affiliate application, discussed below, and continue to ensure the highest standards are met in this regard throughout the life of WideAwake.org’s relationship with every Affiliate.
Another hallmark of WideAwake.org Affiliates is their size; you’ll notice that the organizations featured on our site tend to be small. This is in line with WideAwake.org’s priority of helping to raise awareness among the US donor population of worthy organizations abroad who don’t have the means or capacity to get the word out on their own about the good things they’re doing. Some of our Affiliates consist of just a few volunteers carrying out their activities while some have paid staff, and some have fairly broad donor bases while others rely almost entirely on gifts given through the WideAwake.org website.
Making contact - how WideAwake.org finds out about great work being done overseas
We usually learn of potential Affiliates through a personal connection. Many of our Affiliates were discovered by our management team during travels and stints volunteering abroad, while some have been recommended by friends and colleagues whom the WideAwake.org staff trusts. Organizations interested in becoming an Affiliate of WideAwake.org can also inquire about applying through our website.
The pre-application process – discerning whether a good match might be in the making
Once we’ve learned of an organization that might make for a good fit for an international charitable partner, we reach out to them to learn more about their operations and their organization generally. We request basic information about the potential Affiliate and about how they run their organization, as well as about some of their recent activities, before deciding whether to ask them to apply to become an Affiliate.
The Affiliate application – ensuring accountability, ethical practices and a commitment to excellence
We ask organizations we would like to take on as an Affiliate to submit an application that speaks to their qualifications to carry out charitable work with a high degree of efficiency and which is aimed at ensuring they meet the highest standards in terms of accountability. We ask potential international charitable partners to submit extensive documentation as part of the application process. We ask for audited financial statements, if available, tax returns, information about their governing board and key officers, evidence of grants made to the organization, and other information aimed at satisfying WideAwake.org that the organization can be trusted to use donor funds in a responsible and effective way. As mentioned, we continue to monitor Affiliates closely to make sure they are accountable and efficient in using funds gifted through the WideAwake.org website for the benefit of those they serve in their communities.