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Giving Without Borders

The world is flat.

With a rise in international business, media connections and awareness of local issues on a global scale, the world grows a bit smaller, and a bit more communal, every day.

North America features an increasingly diverse population, with 1 in 5 Americans being foreign born or having parents born outside the United States. More people are also choosing to travel abroad or to leave their home country to live internationally, and these global citizens become exposed to a variety of cultures and global concerns.

With trends like these, it’s no wonder that international giving is the fastest growing charity sector, increasing at an average rate of $1 billion dollars per year in the U.S. alone.

But where does all this support come from? And were does it go?

Most supporters of international aid organizations (86% of donors to international causes) have traveled outside their home country and have been touch by local causes or have made strong connections with a particular culture or country’s residents.

They have become global citizens and have taken an extra step by connecting intimately with another place, person or culture. They want to become engaged and make a difference in issues they feel affected by and in which they recognize their power to help.

More than 1/3 of all contributions made to the international sector are directed to developing countries and, before we shrug off the power of the individual, it’s impressive to note that over 50% of donations to international affairs come from individual givers like you.

That means in a sector that received around $19.1 billion dollars in contributions in 2012, more than 50% of those contributions were made by private individuals and not corporations, foundations, government or other institutions. Talk about the power of the people!

Thanks to new media outlets and the modern rethinking of what successful philanthropy entails, new trends and better giving practices are developing worldwide. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and The Susan Thompson Buffet Foundation have inspired new entrepreneurial models of fundraising and are focused on supporting programs that train beneficiaries for resilience and long-term change.

There’s also been huge growth in the collaboration among aid agencies for fundraising, citing that advancement in resource mobilization for worthy causes is important and vital for charitable successes.

This means that knowledge and resource sharing is happening on macro and micro scales, with new institutions forming to fiscally sponsor aid programs internationally, and local institution partnering in shared communications, financial management and program activism.

All this change is very impressive, but the real excitement is found in what programs global citizens are choosing to support.

The most popular causes supported internationally are about improving the quality of life for an entire population. That means assisting community needs by focusing on child well-being, health and medical issues, clean water and sanitation projects, and education programs. These communal concerns are the highest supported causes in international giving and it’s because people worldwide are recognizing the power of the community in implementing successful, sustainable impacts.

With the idea of the “flat” world, it’s no wonder that people want to revive their connections to communities they identify with and invest time in their successes.

These vibrant trends in charitable giving shine a light on a very positive direction for what Hearts of Gold wants to accomplish.

From our humble origins as an informal group of Expats looking to give back to the Cuenca community, we have made incredible connections with local peoples, foreign residents and world citizens to benefit many vulnerable members of our adopted home. We are inspired by collaborative efforts and work to make long-term impacts in the lives of children and families by holistically changing their realities. We desire to foster and encourage communal growth, and it’s exciting to see the global community is with us in our aspiration!

As the saying goes, “Home is where the heart is”, and for us, our hearts have grown the roots of home here in Cuenca. Come join us– we welcome you to our community! And like any true home, our door is always open to good friends, both new and old.


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