In this latest article on NGOs, I speak with Teryn Wolfe, the Executive Director of The E2E Foundation.
We learn about the work her new foundation is doing in connecting business with development projects around Colombia, and how we can support the foundation with their fundraising campaign to bring about positive social and environmental impacts.
What is the mission of the Foundation?
The Mission of E2E is to build partnerships that bridge the gaps between the corporate and developing worlds.
Why was it started and when was it founded?
E2E was created in October 2014 and officially registered on February 6, 2015.
The E2E model was designed to fill gaps in the corporate and international development worlds that prevent real, lasting sustainable development.
By looking at problems like poverty and environmental degradation; issues with financing for development, inefficient resource management in the corporate and non-profit worlds and the lack of articulation between all of these stakeholders in a holistic way, we can build systems and a culture that solve multiple problems all under the same flexible and innovative solutions.
We forge collaborative relationships between our Emerging Partners, who are the developing communities we are serving; and our Established Partners, who are businesses or other organizations that want to invest in social and environmental good.
Hence, the name E2E—Emerging to Established or Established to Emerging—we are creating mutually beneficial relationships that ultimately form the basis for a more sustainable society.
What problems are you trying to solve?
Through our model, we are trying to solve poverty and environmental degradation—in all of their dimensions; inefficiencies in traditional development work systems and practices; and we are trying to build, reward and mainstream a strong culture of Corporate Social and Environmental Responsibility.
What projects are you carrying out and where are they based?
E2E is currently working in La Comuna 8, Villa Hermosa, in Medellín to analyze several different projects from urban agricultural development to sustainable recycling systems.
On the Colombian Caribbean, we are working with local stakeholders to analyse two different projects, including a Coral Reef Restoration and Community Development project in Taganga and an Animal Welfare and Public Health Project in the greater Santa Marta region.
To serve our Established Partners, we are currently planning workshops and training with universities and other entities like the Impact Hub in Medellín. These workshops include topics like Social Innovation, Impact Measurement for Corporate Sustainability and more.
These services are also available to individual corporations that want to deepen their knowledge on Corporate Social and Environmental Responsibility and learn the real world, practical steps to becoming a socially and environmentally responsible company.
What is the impact of the projects and who are the beneficiaries?
Our Emerging Partners and the surrounding community are the direct beneficiaries of the projects that we help them to create.
Once we create the project with them, through our website we give businesses, government entities and individuals the opportunity to invest in these projects.
For the Established Partner that invests in the project, these opportunities have marketing and reputational benefits.
One of the most innovative things that E2E does with all of our projects is collect data, project our impact, and measure it as we go.
By doing this, we can measure our progress, make the necessary changes midterm as we move along to increase our impact, and ultimately, understand what it was that changed as a result of our work.
We put a dollar value on the indicators we choose and the impact that we measure, which gives us a clear, understandable way to communicate the value of investing in social and environmental responsibility in a common language—dinero!
How is the NGO funded and what charity status do you have?
Currently, E2E has a fundraising campaign on Indiegogo to get our first year’s funding and cover our start-up costs so we can fully focus on making our impact.
You can find a link to the campaign here—and we would certainly appreciate it if you shared it!
The E2E Foundation has a sustainable revenue model considering the range of services that we currently provide—and plan to scale in the future.
It is our goal to be completely financially independent and sustainable. We are currently only registered in Colombia as a Fundación.
How is the program sustainable?
First, there is never a lack of work. We have identified lots of needs—we will never struggle with our mission!
Beyond a financially sustainable business model, the way we work with communities and the way we measure impact is fundamental to our sustainability: we constantly measure, adapt and ensure that our services are dynamic and meet the actual needs of all of our Partners.
Data collection and impact measurement are rigorous and often difficult. However, it is essential to ensuring that we are working in an efficient way that results in meaningful impacts
How can people get involved?
We are so grateful for the outpouring of international support we have received so far—but in terms of fundraising, we have a long way to go in a short amount of time.
If someone would like to get involved here in Medellín or contribute their skills remotely, we can always use volunteers, advice, opinions and encouragement! The more minds—the better.
What are the requirements for people getting involved?
It depends on how and to what extent someone wants to be involved. At this point, when we are not in the field, we are office based—and that is where we currently need the most help.
The requirements are flexible based on your schedule, experience and our needs.
What is the benefit of volunteering and how can you apply?
Volunteers will get to learn development and project design concepts, business management experience and will become acquainted with innovative techniques like impact measurement and economic valuation of social and environmental goods.
We have work for field work volunteers, data nerds, hard core analysts, writers, translators, fundraisers—you name it; we will maximize your time and skills!
You can always count on working with a dynamic, international team that collaborates with a goal in mind, based on respect, valuing each other ideas, learning from one another and of course—fun!
All photos are courtesy of the E2E Foundation.