What #ShiftThePower means to us


Neena S Jain


When we first started our nonprofit organization, emBOLDen Alliances, it was a bit of a lonely road that involved many an uphill climb and overcoming incredible obstacles.

We have been told more than once to redirect our mission or reshape our vision. We were advised that our approach just could not be accomplished without a large endowment or without being a funder to other organizations. And so on and so on.

But, given 65+ years of experience in International Development and Humanitarian Assistance, we knew there was a better way. We had witnessed firsthand the downfalls of the traditional “charity” approach of handouts, the common “one size fits all” model, and the insufficient tools, resources, and understanding for translating good intentions into meaningful action.

As many others at the Global Summit on Community Philanthropy also voiced, we too have witnessed the limitations of existing methods in the field for far too long. Programs are not completed, funding is difficult to obtain or misdirected, not tracked, and often wasted. Most importantly, community voice and locally-based solutions are far too often overlooked.

After decades of falling short, the local, national, and international community can no longer afford to be complacent – when the lives and livelihoods of humans are at risk, the stakes are simply too high.

Well, at the Global Summit on Community Philanthropy, we found our “peeps,” and celebrate anew our model, our mission, and our approach with a regained sense of purpose, validation, and vigor.  We are saying “YES!” to the paradigm shift more than ever before. And we are ever so grateful to have found our 350+ friends based in more than 60 countries joining us in this Movement.

The mission of emBOLDen Alliances (eA) is to improve the lives of vulnerable communities through collaborative partnerships that embolden the quality and impact of service. We believe that every person deserves and has a right to life with health, dignity, and an opportunity for fulfillment. And, we are dedicated to achieving this collectively.

Change in the world does not come from investing in things, but from investing in people. At emBOLDen, we invest time and skill in community-based organizations so they can better serve their own communities. We partner with organizations working across all aspects of health, including education, livelihoods, disaster relief, women’s empowerment, and children’s wellbeing.

Our work impacts individuals, families, and communities around the world and here at home in United States. Through our proven methodology, we boost the efficacy of every investment made in these organizations, maximizing resources, and improving the quality of life for vulnerable communities globally.

Our endgame — already being actualized — is that our partners no longer need our assistance and carry their knowledge and skills forward with others, both internally and externally. Our methodology allows our community-based partners to integrate their knowledge and skills so well that they themselves become “the trainers.”

As we step back, our partners go forward, advancing meaningful and wide-scale positive change across the globe. The measure of our success is the ability to step back when we are no longer needed and watch our emBOLDened partners accomplish even more for their own communities.

This is what #ShiftThePower means to us, and we are thrilled to align, collaborate, and participate to drive this Movement forward.

Neena S Jain is the executive director at emBOLDen Alliances.

Tagged in: Global Summit on Community Philanthropy

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