Give Back to Nicaragua this Holiday Season

Give back to Nicaragua this holiday season.

How? Help sponsor a Nicaraguan adult student.

No monthly commitment. U.S. Tax deductible (EIN: 26-2828810).

These people deserve a break. Let's show them we care.

View student profiles at http://www.beca.org

Gracias, Team BECA www.beca.org "Combat Poverty with Education"

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Charity Begins at Home

From the BECA Web Site:

BECA is a non-profit charitable organization that "seeks out Nicaraguans who are living in poverty"

So what do they do for the rest of the day?

I don't need to give up a percentage to "Admin" and an Executive Director.

How do I get the job of the person that does the "Seeking Out", I could have found my perfect retirement job.

First I will "Seek Out" a copy of the Financial Statement. Must be public information, seeing as they are a "U.S. 501(c)3 non-profit organization".

You go and do that Juanno!

I could not think of a better qualified person to find out if they are "For Real".

I am not sure the cause is one I necessarily agree with, but with so many "Non profit" outfits shoveling funds into their pockets and with so many Land Rovers and Mercedes registered to "Non Profit" in Nicaragua.... I think I'll pass.

From their website...

What percentage of my donation will go towards the student scholarship? BECA pledges that 90% of sponsor donations directly support the tuition and materials of students and no more than 10% will go towards administration of the program.

If this is true (and as you have said..EZ to check) looks OK to me. At least as far as the allocation goes. The purpose, well I still need to be convinced.ZZT

I'm not picking on this one

They just happened to be the one soliciting today.

I sent them this message;

Could you please E mail me a copy of your latest audited financial statement. I would like to review that as part of my decision to donate process.

I will let you know what happens.

I am just a little fed up with every Tom, Dick and Harry duplicating an existing non profit service and effectively creating a job for themselves when all they had to do was volunteer for a program that is working already.

I have some extensive experience in the regulation of "not for profit" groups and professional fundraisers, so my radar goes off right away. It was the "we seek out" line I found so comical. But it does justify being on the ground here in Nicaragua, magnifying glass in hand, no stone unturned, looking for poor people.

I know many great people in SJdS that quietly, simply and with great pride sponsor local kids to go to University. It's real easy. You pay their school fees every month at the bank - direct, and talk to them every weekend. The 10, 20, 30% the organization would keep as their "cut" is yours to buy materials for them.

A Quick Response

REPLY:

BECA was incorporated in August, 2008 and began accepting online donations in December, 2008.

We are required by U.S. law to submit our first formal financial reports by April 15, 2010.

In lieu of that, I submit to you our IRS charity status determination letter.

(Yes they do have the 501C)

So, Is my next question gonna be;

OK send me something that you are not required to submit by law, an informal report, i.e. Satisfy me, I did suggest that I was making a decision to donate (see above).

It might just be an oversight but reading between the lines, they were quick to highlight that they didn't need those records right now, but did admit to collecting money for a year. If they were a business on IVA, they would have 12 months worth of submissions to the tax man. But if course they are not, they are an American Charity with no registration here in Nicaragua and seemingly no requirement to do so.

So when El Comandante mused about regulating NGO's and the like on the grounds of "Who are you and what are you doing in my country". Was he that wrong?......Come on Nicanor, take the bait.

thank

I don't think so we can have a discussion, between lines.. i think you are looking only for victories......no matter what. But thank anyway for you offer.

Lighten Up

I'm not looking for victories, just love the banter and friendly digs. I don't think you understood the context of my "reading between the lines'' comment, but I assure you, it's nothing personal at all. Without the "Other Side", which you regularly offer, we can't have a conversation, heated debate or even a good old fashioned row. It's only by putting ourselves in the line of blog fire that we can attract interest to the issues and ensure that change will come (did that sound Obama-ish? - Change Will Come!).

I think you will find that any of my critical submissions have been based on facts and my passion for the particular subject matter. Other entries from me have offered solutions and information to those seeking it (oils, pumps, labor law and the like.)

OK ..im getting in..

I check the statement for BECA and i check the petition of Nicaraguan students.

Is two things that are of my concern:

Why only people from Masaya ?

The cost of tuition ; some look little inflated or maybe need to give more information what the help cover. By example :

For Luisa Sotomayor ,they are asking for $980 , for study Bilingual Secretary (year 1 of 2) and the duration of the course say is 9 months, in ILCOM.

I make the research in the page of the institute and say the course duration is 1 1/2 year, and the monthly payment is $45 regular and $40 Saturday and Sunday.

So in a regular course during 9 months will be $ 405 and in Saturday and Sunday attendance $360.

Also this center offers some scholarship.

http://www.ilcomp.edu.ni/curso_18.php

I have relatives studying, and i know what they pay more, is for living (out of town), scholarship in public universities is free.

I make some investigations and this is more o less the cost for some colleges:

UPOLI ( Polytechnic University) : $20 inscription , $23 monthly.

UDO (University of Occident) : $10 inscription $25 monthly.

So the point here is what exactly they are paying for.

In reference to your bait: "So when El Comandante mused about regulating NGO's and the like on the grounds of "Who are you and what are you doing in my country". Was he that wrong?......"

The ONG maybe don't were a invent of the sandinism, but is under that era; that Nicaragua star to depend and create this kind of living.

After the lost of the revolution, must ONG stay under the direction and control of the FSLN, but under the 16 years of "democratic" government; they loose a lot of the influential and control of this organizations, at the same time other ONG born under other political and ideological influences.

Some of this ONG (former sandinistas and other of the new ones) star to confront the government and the party itself, so... that is the true behind this rhetoric.

In the personal i don't agree with the existence of ONG in a high volume. In one side is a way the developments countries invest their money, in the end what reach people some times is half or less of the donation. That donation that is received , a big chunk is wasted in administration for the people who management the ONG in the country.

The custom that they create ; is of a people that are living from begging, is not a real productive effort, i have friends working on that, and sometimes they are looking frenetic to spend the money, when the term end is close.

The use of ONG for political gains, sometimes is obvious, and nobody is out of that, the FSLN is one of the beneficiaries.

A reply from BECA.org

Thank you everyone for your replies.

It is obviously a tough gig here in Nicaragua trying to promote a NGO.

Nevertheless, we will continue working away and hopefully with time a few of you will take a second look.

Juanno: BECA.org Foundation is registered here in Nicaragua. (La Gaceta 2-4-2009). It is the law. It is a very onerous process and probably the reason many NGOs decide not to do so.

Walter Founder, BECA.org Foundation, Inc. Tel: 505-8845-6000 (Nicaragua) www.beca.org "Combat Poverty with Education"

Not such a tough gig if:

there is transparency and willingness to disclose pertinent information. When an organization seems to hide behind rules and government requirements it looks a little suspicious and it makes me walk away.

I am not saying that this NGO is not doing a good job. Truth is, I really don't know.

Based on the answers Juanno received, I, as a potential donor have very little incentive to find out. Why should I have to drive to Massaya and spend a day to interview students? I can just as easy place the allocated funds directly and then I know that things get done and I am not supporting a top heavy NGO.

Another poster inquired some time ago as to what is required to set up an NGO in Nicaragua. She made it very clear that this is a business and not a charity. Well, I don't need to pay someone to give my money away. My government is doing a fine job of it already.

None the less, I wish BECA.org all the best. Time will tell if they are for real or not.

So basically they provided nothing useful

No records as to how many people they helped, (other than themselves), no records, even informal ones, as to how the money was spent and how much was collected.

And they want my money? I wish them good luck with that!

Just another reason to stay away of the professional beggars and to give where the need presents itself!

I'm Not Saying That

One would have to go to Masaya and speak to some of the students. The web site does list all the colleges and students by name so it wouldn't be too difficult to do.

Sometimes one has to look a seemingly hungry kid in the eye and say no. Now, if you walk pass him in the dumpster searching for food, you should probably buy him some because at that point he has taken the "seemingly' away. (Or so it would seem!)

Oh, by the way, that poor guy has broken his leg again and is limping around town in a cast. Man is he ever unlucky, every December, 4 years straight, he has broken his leg!!