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  1. #1
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    Default Friends of Cabrera, Inc

    FRIENDS OF CABRERA, INC. is organized for charitable, educational, and cultural purposes including, without limitation, to use volunteer labor, grants, donations and donated building materials to create and build public works projects that to improve the lives and benefit all citizens of the Municipality of Cabrera, Province of Maria Trinidad Sanchez, Dominican Republic.

    If you are interested in learning more, please visit us online at Friends of Cabrera, Inc. We are a registered 501(c)3 non-profit so donations of funds and materials qualify for IRS tax deductions. Our IRS certification is available on the Donate page to be downloaded and verified by your accountant.

    Thank you.

  2. #2
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    May 2009
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    Default A few questions and suggestions...

    When was this organization started? When did it receive 501c3 status?

    Who exactly is behind the organization, as in what group of people? Dominicans living in U.S., expats, Dominican Americans, a mix?

    What are some specific projects you have done or are in the process of doing now?

    Congrats on making everything so legal and formal, but I think your site is missing out on a personal touch that people like to see. The landscape pics are great, but there are none of the PEOPLE and PROJECTS that the organization is supposed to be working with. While it may very well be a legit organization, it comes across as very generic and not something someone who did not have a personal connection to Cabrera and the organization would want to donate to. I am basing this off of your post and the website, which is all I have to go on.

    To me, establishing an organization as legitimate through evidence and transparency, such as photos and activity reports, etc. is important since there is so much FRAUD here that goes on with supposed "non-profits", foundations, etc. Some are nothing more than ways to channel support for certain political parties and candidates. I have seen this and bet that the people who donated the items being given out by some politico to get votes would not appreciate it if they knew that's how their donations were being used.

    I noticed that the sindico of Cabrera is on the board. Is his motivation for doing this objective, or does the organization coincidentally consist of mainly people from the same political party? And why is the sindico given so much control over deciding how the donations are used? What about the community, what about the presupuesto participativo (process legally established where locals are involved in municipal budget planning for use of 40% of municipal funds on projects they prioritize, ignored by most municipalities)? Sorry, but all of that makes the organization come across to me like a bunch of politicos in non-profit clothing.

    And sometimes a non-profit here is literally made up of a couple of people, who may or may not have purely altruistic intentions, rather than truly involve the community. How about some pics and brief bios of the leaders of the organization and the community groups you work with? I did notice the school, which sounds legit.

    I hope that you are a legitimate organization and understand that you want to come across as professional, but I think a more personal approach is needed.

  3. #3
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by minerva_feliz View Post
    When was this organization started? When did it receive 501c3 status?
    As you have surmised, this is a very new organization which was really started by myself and my wife. We live in Cabrera (have off and on for 8 years) and want to be able to provide more assistance to the municipality and, though that, to the citizens of Cabrera. With the 501(c)3 designation we are able to do that more effectively than ever.

    The website is very new and is a basic Wordpress. We are going to develop it further based on the reality of the charity. I don't like "stock photos" showing people doing good things; I've seen those all too much. So when we are able to do something significant we will get the information up there.

    We are currently recruiting for the board of directors to help direct any grants or donations to the best possible place. The Sindico was on the original BoD but we asked him to step aside, which he did readily, so there would be no apparent conflict of interest. We have replaced him with someone from Cabrera and have a couple of ex-pats who seem very interested in assisting as well. So hopefully the BoD of 5 will be finalized soon.

    Just so you know, the BoD has control over the allocations of funds. No funds are ever handed over. They are used as needed by the project. Every project must have a project manager reporting to the BoD. So, for example, if 500 meters of water pipe are needed we would purchase the pipe directly and watch it be installed while paying the funds. The resulting installation is then the property of the Cabrerenos who needed it.

    We are legit, honestly, but we are young and only getting started. We started out by helping the International School be created here, and we still help it, but then this evolved into the larger needs we discovered.

    I hope this helps put our efforts in a more favorable light. I am happy to answer any questions about the organization. We also happily listen to constructive input on how we can be better at reflecting the transparency of the charity. We certainly never want anyone to think there is anything here other than honest people who honestly want to help.

    Jason Matthews
    Founder, Friends of Cabrera
    Owner, Villa Castellamonte
    Owner, Playa Grande Investments
    Owner, North Coast Management

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