18 months ago, with help from the Becoming Minimalist community, we created and launched a nonprofit organization called The Hope Effect.
The Hope Effect seeks to improve orphan care in developing nations by focusing on solutions that better mimic the family-unit. Rather than constructing large, institutional-style orphanages with high child to adult ratios, we build smaller homes in a campus setting that feature two parents and six children, thereby providing kids with more attention and affection. To learn more about our unique approach to family-based orphan care, watch this short video.
Since launching The Hope Effect, we have raised over $300,000 for orphan care, have built a family-style home for orphans in Siguatepeque, Honduras (pictured above), and are in the process of buying land in San Luis Río Colorado, Mexico for our first full, orphan care campus.
San Luis Río Colorado is a city of nearly 200,000 people located on the US-Mexico border. It has been identified by our Board of Directors as a community with a specific need for orphan care solutions and we’ve been approved by the State of Sonora, Mexico and the local government as a tax-exempt organization for that very cause.
Our short-term goal is to build an orphan care campus in every border town of Sonora Mexico over the next five years. But our longer-range vision is to influence orphan caretakers around the world with this reproducible model of family-based care.
But we need some help getting there. And I want to present our current need to the same community that has rallied around our mission so many times in the past.
One of our goals with The Hope Effect is to positively influence how nonprofit organizations are seen in the public eye. From the very beginning, we committed our organization to a 100% Model of Fundraising. Every penny donated to The Hope Effect is used directly for orphan care (construction and operation of existing homes).
To accomplish this, our administrative/business expenses are covered exclusively by private donations. Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately), at this point in time, our donations for orphan care work have exceeded our administrative gains. The public donations received for orphan care work have exceeded the private donations we have received for administrative support.
To put it another way, we have $150,000 in the bank set aside for our next project in San Luis Río Colorado, Mexico, but not the administrative support to get it done. We have the financial capability to begin construction, but not the personnel to administrate the project.
To keep up with the organization’s growth, we are seeking to raise $100,000 this summer to expand our administrative capabilities. To date, we have raised $45,000 toward that goal and have secured another $15,000 in commitments. At this point, we are only $40,000 short of the goal.
Would you like to partner with The Hope Effect in this specific way by making a donation of $250, $500, or $1,000? In exchange for this one-time or recurring gift, the organization will communicate with you specifically about our operational advances and how your money is being used. We’ll consider you part of the team helping the organization thrive in this very special capacity.
To partner with The Hope Effect by supporting our administrative growth, donate here.
In many ways, donations for operations and staffing have as significant an impact as donations to orphan care work. Based on nonprofit analysis, every dollar given to operations is returned 2-3 fold in public donations for direct work in the field. As you might imagine, increased staffing provides more capacity and capability for increased fundraising outside the organization.
We are fully-licensed as a 501(c)(3) so your donation is tax-deductible within the US. And if you have any further questions about the organization, leave them here in the comment section or email me directly. I’ll be here to answer them for you.
I see a lot of people here being quite judgemental about The Hope Effect helping orphans in other countries rather than in America. Personally, I think it’s great that anyone spends their own personal time and energy on helping people full-stop. Forget where your country’s borders lie and think about the world as a whole. If more people did this, the world would be a better place.
Also, it’s likely that those judging The Hope Effect for not helping US orphans are actually doing nothing to help US orphans themselves. Stop judging and just be glad that someone has got off their backside to do something about problems in this world!
I think the Hope Project is an amazing project! I plan on talking to my husband about donating. I heard Jim Daly from From Focus on the Family share the wonderful things you guys are doing and I would love to help. It is something that weighs on my mind. Anyone who listens to Focus knows the importance they place on children who are orphaned. These children need advocates and people who can help give them the life they deserve.
I actually heard you speak with Jim Daly a year or so ago. It was what I needed to start a minimalist lifestyle. I couldn’t believe the clutter and just mad consumption that was not only taking over my life but that of my husband and children. I read your books and have recommended them to several friends and colleagues. I am a teacher and wish there was a minimalist curriculum that could be created for our kiddos. More gratitude less possessions…. Some might think that is crazy but it is terrifying when we think about the role possessions play in life at such a young age. It truly is a reality check. It has changed not only my household but my relationship with God. Thank you for all that you do Josh! I wish you all the best with the Hope Project.
This is great work Joshua! Happy to see that minimalism can create time, space and funds for a project that means so much to you. I have noticed a change in our lives as well as we adopted a more minimalist lifestyle. While our monetary giving is currently less that we hope it will be in the future, time spent giving back is more important to us now than ever, and we can give in that way.
We all have different views on what is important to us, and if we show up to give back in any form, for various causes with the view “how can I help?” rather than “what’s in it for me?” (thanks Josh F-M and Ryan N for that thought), we’re going to improve the lives of others and ourselves. Keep up the good work!
Oops! I gave the wrong credit earlier. It wasn’t The Minimalists, it was Rolf Gates, from the book “Meditations from the Mat.”
I appreciate all the efforts you’ve made over the years to help a global community embrace minimalism to help us focus on what moves and is important to us. I also appreciate your showing a concrete example of how your move to minimalism has helped you find the time to focus on an issue you are passionate about. I’m sure it has taken a ‘village’ of effort and incredible dedication and work on your part.
Some of the earlier comments clearly show that it’s easier for some people to be moved/engaged by focusing locally than abroad and that’s great, if they actually do. As you clearly pointed out, there’s the opportunity to help everywhere. However, I think it’s worth considering that no matter how well-intentioned those comments, at the base of every hurt or war that was ever inflicted, was a form of thinking about ‘us’ versus ‘them’.
Thanks Joshua, for all you do to keep us honest to our beliefs and living our best life.
What an amazing program, and cause. I am so happy that people like you exist to help underserved communities all over the world, and have the empathy to create such a caring program for people who truly need the help and support.
I can’t wait to help support such a noble cause.
joshua becker says
Come help us Kristin. It’s amazing.
Thank you for all you do. It’s been inspiring to see something go from an idea to a completed building in only 18 months. So many people talk about what they would do to make the world a better place, and not enough people actually get out there and do something. I can’t imagine how difficult it was to start a 503(c) company and go through this huge change in mindset to focus your attention on orphan care. Well done, so far, and I can’t wait to see what else The Hope Effect will do.
joshua becker says
Thank you Rochelle. I appreciate that.
Well, everyone has an opinion and when someone’s opinion differs from yours it is easy to say that they are criticizing and being judgmental. But they are allowed to speak too without being judged and criticized ;)
There was a time when I donated money to help maintain the Ancient Roman monuments. I was studying ancient history and it was important to me to make a drop in the bucket to care for something that brought me so much joy and interest. I suppose someone could have condemned me for not donating to help preserve American monuments.
For me, It’s America First these days. And I happily, happily rest there!!! :)
A lot of JUDGING AND CRITICIZING him for doing something good. What are YOU ALL doing that is so great???? Anything? Or just getting on this blog and telling him he is doing something wrong for HELPING others. Why don’t you all who are complaining go do something constructive with YOUR time and go open up YOUR OWN charity on the causes you DO believe in instead of judging others for what they are doing.
We are all on this planet together…wish there were less “our country”…there is no “us” and “them”, just one world and helping where we can is what matters. Thanks for all you do, Joshua!
Thanks for sharing what ‘being/doing more with less’ means for you, Joshua.
I appreciate the example, even if it’s not something I would choose to contribute to – as it’s a great prompt to think about where I would like to spend my extra time/money/energy …
At least, that’s my understanding of what it’s all about.
Wow! Alot of judgemental comments here! Children are always a good course, good on you for helping where help is needed. Everyone else can help where they feel help is needed, local or not local go ahead and help!
Thanks Rebecca. Well said.
Nicolle Bekers says
HI Josh! I’m a huge fan of your work with Minimalism and creating greater awareness around the movement. I also love the work you do to help others in a non-profit way. As a mom of young boys (11 month old twins) and an animal lover, I see so much abuse and neglect right here in America. We are the greatest country, with the greatest resources in the world and we need to all work on less consumption, greater awareness, and to LOCALLY hep our fellow citizens. Imagine if minimalists in America in all communities volunteered in local orphanages, animal shelters, schools, libraries, picked up trash, volunteered at the Boys and Girls Club, volunteeered at prisons, etc. My point is, we don’t have to leave the United States, or even our local communities to help people. We can and should help our neighbors right where we are. My humble opinion is that we should do that first. I hear so many people on social media complaining about the government and crime and injustice. We all have the ability to do something in our community, that collectively, will make a difference. Respectfully, Nicolle #poshminimalist
joshua becker says
Thanks for the comment Nicolle. I’m not sure I’d ever be able to articulate in a numerical sequence which problems in the world need to be solved first, second, third—whether that is done by severity of the problem, how close we are to solving it, or geographical boundaries of it. I actually see things quite to the contrary. In my opinion, there are numerous problems in the world and we should be working to solve all of them—at the same time—each according to their passion and ability.
I am thankful there are people investing their lives into curing cancer, caring for animals, studying the environment, caring for kids, fighting for justice, and/or promoting awareness on any number of issues. I am thankful there are people working to solve problems within our country and I am thankful there are people working to solve problems outside our country. I’d want the world to look no other way. But maybe we see things differently.
I also agree with Terry and Steven. Our country is a mess. There r vets living on streets, children living homeless. people hungry living in there cars. I don’t understand this at all. Yet we run to other countries….priorities. Let in the refugees. Give them everything they need and let our poor families stay in the streets. Go figure.
joshua becker says
Lots of problems to be solved in this world—both inside and outside our borders. Find one that you are passionate about bringing a resolution to and pursue it with everything you have.
I agree with Terry and Steven.
Personally, I would only feel inclined to donate for American children’s causes.
joshua becker says
There’s not a doubt in my mind that different people have different passions and different problems that they feel inspired to solve. If you feel compelled to donate to causes that support America’s children, please do. I would never argue against that—we need people caring for orphans both both inside and outside the US.
Jacqueline Harmon says
Is money raising the purpose of this blog? Thought you
were emphasizing minimalist style living.
joshua becker says
Hey Jacqueline, thanks for the comment. Money-raising is not the purpose of this blog. Becoming Minimalist inspires people to own less and live more. However, I believe very strongly that a community of people this large who have given up the need to pursue and accumulate material possessions contain significant potential to solve significant problems in the world. Out of that desire, The Hope Effect was born. This blog post communicates to the thousands and thousands of people who have supported this cause the progress they have accomplished and presents to them the organization’s needs going forward. Hope that helps.
Let’s all stay local! Helping others does not all have to be in monetary form. A quick call or visit to someone in need goes a long way. -Laurel
Your Hope Project sounds excellent and while I’m a whole hearted supporter of global sustainable actions, I strongly believe in taking care of your own circle. Why wouldn’t you begin by doing this here in our own country to start? It would seem that here in the US we have a need for this as well. Perhaps I’m mistaken, but if so I’d want more information.
I’m with you, Terry. I don’t understand the good samaritan who insists on sending money to other countries.
Thirty- six per cent of all American children live below the poverty line.
That percentage just shouldn’t be.
joshua becker says
Hey Terry, thanks for the question. A couple of thoughts on the specifics.
First, and most importantly, the United States and almost all developed nations have already taken necessary steps to raise orphans in a family environment. They have seen the damaging effects of institutional-style orphanages and have implemented a system of foster care because of it.
Our foster care system is not perfect, by any stretch, and there is much work to be done here to improve it. But our goal with The Hope Effect is to work within developing nations that have not yet been able to implement that style of care for orphans in any regard and help equip them to do so. For that reason, almost by definition, we would be working in nations other than the US. Hope that makes sense.
But there is a second thought that should be added. The reality is that there are orphans both inside and outside the US that need to be cared for. Just like there are countless other causes that could and should be supported with our time and energy. They are all important and moral and further improve the human condition.
Unfortunately, not any one single organization or human being can address all of them. Nor will everyone’s passion be the same for any given topic. The best thing that anyone can do is identify a problem close to them (something they are uniquely qualified to help solve and positioned well to make a difference) and pursue the resolution to that problem with great passion. For The Hope Effect, that means we are seeking to change orphan care around the world in developing nations—that is the problem we believe we are uniquely called to solve. But that doesn’t mean we don’t also recognize a need within the US.
The reality is that we need people working both inside and outside our country to better care for the 150M+ orphans worldwide.
Appreciated your response. We are all God’s children. I’m sure He is pleased when we help His children in other countries, our own, within our community, and most especially within the walls of our own home.
Wow what an amazing organisation and achievement!