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PSYDEH’s Transformative Journey with GlobalGiving

Author: Brenda Salazar

At the beginning of the year, I became a part of PSYDEH as a Global Collaborator, motivated by a deep commitment to contribute meaningfully to their mission. Tasked with assisting their partnerships team in crafting and executing impactful fundraising initiatives. I was specifically tasked to help fortify and enhance their relationship with GlobalGiving, one of PSYDEH’s outstanding partners. My journey with PSYDEH has not only been a professional endeavor but also a transformative personal experience.

During my time on the team, I witnessed firsthand the impact forged through the dynamic partnership between PSYDEH and GlobalGiving, specifically in their shared journey to empower Indigenous women.

PSYDEH & GLOBAL GIVING

GlobalGiving (GG) is a preeminent U.S.-based crowdfunding platform that bridges the gap between non-profit organizations and benevolent donors worldwide. GG’s contributions extend far beyond financial support, though. GG serves as a mark of credibility while also providing essential tools to non-profits, helping them effectively catalyze meaningful change.

 

The pivotal partnership between PSYDEH and GlobalGiving was officially established in 2016, marking a significant milestone in PSYDEH’s journey towards creating a lasting and positive impact within the communities it serves. GlobalGiving offers PSYDEH a gateway to a diverse array of donors, particularly U.S. and European donors., The partnership with GlobalGiving not only broadens PSYDEH’s donor base, but also elevates the organization’s credibility in the eyes of potential supporters.

Being associated with PSYDEH as a Global Collaborator has provided me with a firsthand view of the myriad opportunities that PSYDEH derives from this partnership. GlobalGiving plays a pivotal role in facilitating relationships with other organizations and enabling participation in specialized programs tailored for non-profit organizations.

THE BRIDGE PROGRAM

During my time with PSYDEH, GlobalGiving (GG) facilitated a remarkable opportunity for the organization to participate in the BRIDGE Program by Lightful. The BRIDGE program, orchestrated by Lightful, is a comprehensive six-month training initiative designed to help alleviate digital fundraising and marketing challenges. This program encompasses a rich array of dynamic resources, including enlightening masterclasses, digital drop-in help sessions, personalized one-on-one consultations, and access to a thriving online networking community.

Through the BRIDGE Program, PSYDEH’s team gained access to a group of highly skilled digital marketing professionals who provided in-depth analyses of the organization’s operations and offered invaluable insights to enhance its status as a socially conscious non-profit. After completing the program, PSYDEH was not only enriched with knowledge, but also received a generous $1,000 donation through its GG page to further bolster its mission and impact.


JULY BONUS DAY

GlobalGiving also coordinates a wide array of fundraising campaigns to help channel financial support to their affiliated non-profit organizations. These efforts are further bolstered by their impactful donation matching initiatives.

In a notable example of this collaboration, PSYDEH actively participated in GG’s July Bonus Day Campaign in 2023. Leveraging the invaluable insights garnered through the BRIDGE Program, PSYDEH proactively spearheaded a distinctive campaign, compelling its dedicated supporters to rally behind PSYDEH on  July Bonus Day. This strategic initiative not only showcased PSYDEH’s commitment to innovation but also demonstrated its adeptness in leveraging newfound knowledge to further its mission.

In a multimedia approach to storytelling, PSYDEH crafted a promotional video that served as a compelling narrative, effectively conveying the essence of PSYDEH’s mission and the tangible impact of their work. The team at PSYDEH, including myself as a Global Collaborator, took on the responsibility of disseminating information about the campaign to our respective networks. The collective effort bore fruit, resulting in a remarkable achievement of raising more than $3,000 on that day alone.

This collaboration exemplifies the power of strategic fundraising initiatives and the synergy between a non-profit organization and a dedicated platform like GlobalGiving.

GLOBAL GIVING & BORDAMOS JUNTOS

Additionally, one micro-program in 2023 successfully received full funding through our GlobalGiving page. The micro project goal was to help fund an event (Bordamos Juntos) organized by PSYDEH’s women-led cooperatives to sell their handmade products. After a dedicated year of training, PSYDEH’s Sierra Madre Network, composed of women-led cooperatives, crafted their inaugural spring collection of traditional textiles and handmade products with plans to sell them in Mexico City. Their pop-up store and event in CDMX required a four plus hour journey and, of course, logistical expenses.

By sharing the cooperative’s accomplishments with our GlobalGiving community, the project ended up being fully funded. The cooperatives connected with over 60 buyers and sold, within hours, 20% of their collection. These contributions made it possible for our women partners to proudly sell their artisanal products and share their stories to the community in CDMX,  exemplifying their empowerment in dynamic action.

A TRANSFORMATIVE PARTNERSHIP

The partnership between PSYDEH and GlobalGiving is a beacon of hope and empowerment, reflecting the potential for transformative change when organizations come together to make a difference. As we celebrate these achievements, it’s clear that their collaborative efforts are changing lives and shaping a brighter future for communities in need.

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In the Heart of Empowerment: Jorge Echeverria

In this interview, we delve into the remarkable journey of our General Coordinator Jorge Echeverría, the visionary leader steering the mission of PSYDEH. With a background in psychology and a profound commitment to human rights, Jorge’s story is one of resilience and empowerment.  Jorge’s experiences have shaped his unwavering dedication to community organization. Join us as we uncover the inspiring narrative of Jorge Echeverría’s impactful work with PSYDEH.

Jorge Echeverría.

How did PSYDEH came to be?

After living in Hidalgo for seven years, getting to know different local and national organizations, I had the opportunity to participate in a Diploma on Professionalization of Civil Society Organizations endorsed by the MORA Institute and the INDESOL Institute of Social Development.

My interest in human rights advocacy marked the need to develop promotion and defense actions in the most vulnerable communities of Valle de Tulancingo. This is where we started working as a collective of four women and myself, engaging in human rights issues.

From this experience, PSYDEH was born as a Civil Society Organization.

What is your age, and what is your current role within PSYDEH?

I am 58 years old; I am a professional psychologist. Currently, I work full-time as the General Coordinator of PSYDEH, but in previous years, I have been able to combine my time at PSYDEH with other activities such as:

  • Teaching for the Social Sciences department at the Autonomous University of the State of Hidalgo for the High School section in the Tulancingo region, Hidalgo.
  • Coordinating Social Development Projects with United Nations Organizations in Guatemala and Civil Society Organizations in Mexico.

In each of the projects executed, I have had to coordinate technical teams of professionals, teams from local organizations, technicians from government agencies, and representatives from civil society both in Guatemala and in Mexico.

I’ve consulted for both national and international organizations, overseeing the monitoring and evaluation of projects initiated by non-governmental and development entities.

I have been a consultant and trainer on topics such as Citizen Participation, Democracy and Governance, Strategic Planning, Citizenship Building, Human Rights, Risk Management, Project Development and Management, Building Masculinity, and Leadership.

I’ve conducted experiential workshops on these subjects, employing the Popular Education methodology. This approach utilizes participatory techniques, empowering participants across diverse groups, including children, youth, adults, farmers, and indigenous communities.

  • Alternate Counselor of the Citizen Advisory Council of the Law for the Promotion of Activities of Civil Society 2013 – 2016.
  • Representative Counselor of Civil Organization of the Advisory Council of the National Commission for the Development of Indigenous Peoples, CDI 2015 – 2018.

What motivated you to establish PSYDEH?

Since 1976, my life has had great moments; at the age of 11 in my country Guatemala, we had an earthquake of 6.5 magnitude. At that time, many houses were made of adobe and tile roofs. The majority of these houses did not withstand the earthquake, causing extensive material damage and loss of life. My family and many others had to improvise with plastic sheets and makeshift shelters to live, and this went on for more than 60 days. I remember that despite the lack of electricity, water, and food, people began to organize and develop collective support programs where the entire community felt safe and could ensure their daily sustenance.

It was incredible to witness the community’s resilience, providing essential services and organizing activities for the youth. Guatemala’s history is marked by over four decades of internal conflicts, military rule, and frequent coups, leading to a loss of individual rights for its citizens.

In 1988, I entered university to study a degree in Psychology.

In 1992, I joined a United Nations program to develop a Mental Health project in one of the areas most affected by the internal conflict; where the Guatemalan army burned and destroyed hundreds of communities. The survivors took refuge in the mountains and at the border with Mexico. Here, once again, I realized the importance of organization. Groups of farmers began to organize into small collectives and little by little returned to their original communities, where they had to start rebuilding their houses from scratch.

These two experiences made me realize that organizations play an extremely important role in people’s lives. For these reasons, I see that the work of PSYDEH, focused on community organization, is the key to development from the bottom up.

What have you learned during your time with PSYDEH?

PSYDEH has strengthened me as a human being. With PSYDEH, I have had the opportunity to work with a large family of collaborators, volunteers from more than 10 countries, wonderful people who have given and continue to give their best in PSYDEH’s programs.

PSYDEH has allowed me to get to know a team of professional women motivated to learn and share their knowledge with their communities. Being part of this training process where I can offer my experiences, but more importantly, where we can all build together and be participants in community development is invaluable.

PSYDEH has allowed me to confirm that the people who live in the rural communities of Hidalgo, despite facing great challenges in achieving well-being standards, are motivated to participate in processes of community organization that strengthen and empower them, generating skills to be the main actors in their community development, creating a bottom-up process in harmony with their environment.

If you were to recommend that someone volunteer or get involved with PSYDEH, why would that be?

PSYDEH is a safe space for the exchange of learning;

– On a professional level, they will find a multidisciplinary and multicultural team,

– They’ll experience diverse climates, from cool woodlands at 3°C to tropical jungles at 35-40°C, amidst stunning landscapes.

– Culturally, they will be able to interact with three indigenous groups (Otomí – Tepehua – Nahuatl) with ancient customs and worldviews.

In the last 5 years, PSYDEH has had volunteers who have been amazed by their stay in the Otomí-Tepehua region.

Jorge Echeverría’s dedication to empowering communities through PSYDEH is nothing short of inspirational. His journey, marked by a deep-rooted commitment to human rights and a profound understanding of the transformative power of community organization, serves as a beacon of hope for vulnerable populations in Hidalgo. We are proud to serve alongside him and the communities, and consider ourselves very fortunate to have had the opportunity to work with him. Jorge Echeverría’s story is a testament to the resilience of the human spirit and the profound impact one can have in building a brighter future for communities in need.

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Digital Success: PSYDEH’s 2023 Fundraising Impact with Lightful’s BRIDGE Program

In the contemporary non-profit landscape, charities and organizations are constantly striving to understand how best to harness digital tools for impactful campaigns and expanded community engagement. This case study highlights how Lightful’s innovative BRIDGE program empowered PSYDEH with the effective tools and tactics necessary to amplify the organization’s digital strategy and fundraising initiatives. Lightful is a technology company founded in 2015 that assists nonprofits and social enterprises in enhancing their storytelling and fundraising efforts. 

“We’ve been running the BRIDGE programme at Lightful for eight years, and we’ve worked with over 2000 nonprofits around the world. We know that the digital landscape can feel overwhelming, particularly when grassroots nonprofits often don’t have the time and resources to invest in their digital channels, and so we want to equip people with the skills to think strategically about their digital channels in order to build trust, raise funds, and tell their stories online.” – Pumulo Banda, Head of Programs at Lightful.

Despite measurable impact in our fieldwork and an innovative online presence, PSYDEH, like many small grassroots organizations, faces ongoing challenges in maximizing the potential of our digital platforms for engagement, donor relations, and fundraising. These challenges include:

  • Refining Fundraising: Fundraising tactics are always changing in the digital landscape and, without adequate training, PSYDEH’s team has lacked the skills to maximize the planning and execution of online fundraisers.
  • Elevating Digital Media Presence: While PSYDEH maintains a robust digital presence, there is always room for improvement in increased traffic, follower engagement, and inspiring audiences to take action.
  • Platform Diversity: Managing multiple digital platforms, such as social media, email campaigns, and website updates, pose a challenge in terms of time management and content consistency.
  • Limited Budget: PSYDEH actively faces budget constraints restricting our ability to invest in paid digital advertising or specialized tools that could enhance our online presence.
  • Changing Algorithms: Frequent changes in algorithms on social media platforms make it difficult for PSYDEH to maintain consistent visibility and engagement with our audience.

BRIDGE Program by Lightful:

“Over 80% of BRIDGE participants tell us their biggest challenge when it comes to digital is a lack of strategy, and by the end of the programme they graduate with a brand new strategy, which enables them to reach more people and raise more funds online.” – Pumulo Banda, Head of Programs at Lightful

In the spring of 2023, PSYDEH was selected by Global Giving as one of 160 organizations out of just over 260 to participate in Lightful’s 2023 BRIDGE program, which included being selected for a $1000 micro-grant upon program completion. Lightful’s BRIDGE program is a six-month training program that addresses digital fundraising and marketing challenges, like those faced by PSYDEH, by offering a variety of dynamic resources including masterclasses, digital drop-in help sessions, one-on-one consultations, and access to a robust online networking community.

 

  • Masterclasses

Understanding Your Audience and Storytelling with Impact modules emphasized how to target specific audiences, crucial for achieving impactful messaging across PSYDEH’s social media channels. These insights were also immediately useful in PSYDEH’s July Bonus Day crowdfunding campaign which incorporated thoughtful video interviews with partners and staff and enhanced fundraising results across all digital platforms. Masterclasses like A Framework for Digital Success and Campaign Planning helped define PSYDEH’s SMART goals in digital strategy for the next quarters and helped the team develop a more structured marketing plan and measurement evaluation system.

  • Digital Drop-Ins

Digital drop-ins are online sessions where BRIDGE participants can seek immediate advice to their specific digital challenges. These sessions provide an opportunity for real-time feedback and support from experts addressing our concerns. During the fundraising campaign review session, for example, PSYDEH’s team learned the top techniques for creating an appealing project page, and we were pleased to hear that our projects already looked solid overall. In fact, the only area requiring improvement was a technical issue related to the lighting of our pictures. 

  • One-on-one with Lightful’s  BRIDGE Team

The one-on-one sessions with the Lightful team were incredibly productive. These carefully planned meetings were all about boosting PSYDEH’s online presence. Through these sessions, the Lightful team provided practical advice tailored to our specific needs focusing on areas like GoogleAds and crowdfunding. One important lesson we learned was during a website review session. We discovered that while it’s crucial to have thorough information about our organization’s activities, it’s equally important to keep the website updated by removing outdated content in order to avoid overwhelming site visitors.

 

“It’s been an absolute privilege to coach the team at PSYDEH throughout their BRIDGE journey. They approached the programme in a really enthusiastic and strategic way, planning how they wanted to make use of our 1:1 coaching sessions in advance, and the amazing results that we’ve already seen are a testament to the hard work that they put into developing their digital channels. I’ve loved working so closely with Andrea and the team, and I’m looking forward to seeing the long-term impact of all the work we’ve done together!” – Jasmine Warren, Digital Communications Coach

 

  • BRIDGE Community

Engagement with other non-profits associated with Global Giving enriched PSYDEH’s journey. Online conversations led to meaningful sharing on fundraising campaign experiences and challenges. With this community-building aspect of the program PSYDEH was able to establish new and inspiring connections with like-minded organizations. 

Results:

  1. Elevated digital strategy: Lightful’s BRIDGE program components led to a more refined and effective digital strategy aligned with PSYDEH’s mission, vision and goals.
  2. Fundraising success: Implementing techniques from the program created more focused campaigns while also bolstering donations and engagement. For example, PSYDEH’s July Bonus Day campaign (designed and implemented with BRIDGE strategies) was PSYDEH’s most successful campaign on record, raising 2.5 times more than our 2022 campaign.
  3. Enhanced online presence: BRIDGE strategies amplified PSYDEH’s online visibility, which helps  attract new supporters and nurture community growth. From April to July, PSYDEH saw an 8.1% increase in followers across different social media platforms, in addition to PSYDEH’s largest one-day fundraising campaign (July Bonus Day) in the last four years.
  4. Skill development: PSYDEH’s team acquired valuable digital marketing skills and overall enhanced professional development through the BRIDGE program. With the assistance of tools like Lightful’s content strategy platform, PSYDEH now organizes and plans weekly content in line with defined communication pillars and SMART goals.

Brenda Salazar, a Global Collaborators volunteer at PSYDEH, was also able to join Lightful training sessions to hone her professional skills and help improve crowdfunding campaigns on GlobalGiving. 

“The feedback and advice provided by these professionals helped us identify areas where we might be facing challenges and offered valuable guidance on how to overcome them. This external perspective has been an asset in refining our social media approach and ensuring we make the most out of our online presence”.

Over the course of this six month program, coupled with Lightful’s unwavering support, the significance of having a well-defined digital strategy becomes evident here at PSYDEH. The program highlights the considerable impact that such a strategy can bring about. Equally important is the opportunity to engage with fellow nonprofit organizations, enabling the exchange of diverse perspectives from around the globe.

This collaboration between PSYDEH and Lightful stands as a strong testament to the efficacy of strategic partnerships in navigating a dynamic and ever-changing digital landscape in order to achieve organizational goals, while also highlighting the potential for growth and innovation that lies within every non-profit organization when supported by expert allies.

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Case Study: MAAUAD

Originating in Hidalgo, Mexico, MAAUAD, a dynamic enterprise spanning three generations since its inception in 1949, passionately crafts an array of custom men’s shirts. Their expertise encompasses traditional guayaberas with artisanal embroidery, refined dress shirts, casual attire, and even denim options. With their meticulous Mexican craftsmanship, they ensure each shirt is a distinctive masterpiece.

Driven by a passion for creation, MAAUAD’s diverse offerings provide the means to fashion an exclusive and tailored style that reflects individuality and taste.

Why are we partnering?

We collaborated with Maauad through the “Que bien luces apoyando’‘ campaign. As a result of this partnership, MAAUAD donated 50% of the sales generated by the products sold throughout March 2023.. This joint effort led by PSYDEH and MAAUAD contributed to empowering Indigenous women, and promoting socio-economic development within the local community. This impact was achieved through our flagship program  Sierra Madre Network.

“We wanted to contribute to the cause, as 90% of MAAUAD’s workforce are women and we were looking to leave a stronger message about this with our customers through our campaign communication.-Axel Rojo Rivas, Marketing Manager at MAAUAD

Where do we focus our efforts?

The collaboration between MAAUAD and PSYDEH is centered on the Bordamos Juntos initiative, a social enterprise that passionately strives to promote the empowerment of women artisans, while also fostering gender equality and enhancing business practices.

In this partnership, the primary focus was on cultivating and preserving the rich history of Mexican artisan crafts, which are deeply rooted in Indigenous traditions.

 

As our market is mainly men, we wanted to raise awareness about the importance of contributing to the cause. The intention of this was to let people know that we need to help a struggle that is experienced in the country and in the world. As well as to promote support for non-profits, such as PSYDEH, by making visible their work with rural women.”

 

Why is it a win-win partnership?

The collaboration in the “Que bien luces apoyando” campaign between PSYDEH and MAAUAD was beneficial to both parties in terms of:

  • Social impact: PSYDEH gained additional resources to fund productive projects with Indigenous women in the Sierra Hidalguense. This initiative further enabled PSYDEH to support and enhance the development of these projects.
  • Advocacy and visibility: Collaborating with MAAUAD expanded PSYDEH’s platform to publicize its cause, raising awareness about the significance of gender equality and the preservation of artisanal traditions. This collaboration also facilitated a more widespread reach and impact for both organizations’ shared goals.
  • Corporate social responsibility: By donating 50% of its product sales during March to PSYDEH, MAAUAD showcased its commitment to social responsibility. This collaboration underscores MAAUAD’s dedication to community support and contribution to sustainable development, highlighting a meaningful partnership between the two organizations.
  • Economic empowerment: Enabling MAAUAD’s customers to engage in a significant social cause while acquiring quality products, the campaign instilled a sense of accomplishment. Buyers experienced the satisfaction of making a positive impact through their purchases, fostering projects that empowered Indigenous women and adding value to their shopping experience.

 

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Indigenous Women Artisans Display Spring Collection at Bordamos Juntos Event

In honor of Women’s History Month and in coordination with a Global Giving microproject, we brought our work as an NGO for indigenous women to life at Bordamos Juntos: Pop-up Solidario in Mexico City. On a sunny Saturday afternoon in March 2023, the event showcased the first-ever spring collection of Mexican artisan embroidery from our women-led cooperatives in Hidalgo.

Read on to learn more about the success of the event and our work with these women-led cooperatives.

Mexican Artisan Embroidery, Live Music, & More

The Bordamos Juntos Pop-Up extended a warm welcome to both Mexico City locals and foreigners, inviting them to explore the embroidered work of Otami region women artisans. Passersby marveled at the craftsmanship showcased in the diverse range of pieces, including pillowcases, wall coverings, towels, and more. Hidalgo-grown coffee, homemade fruit liqueurs, and locally-sourced cocoa complemented the collection. Banda Ritual provided lively background music that mirrored the vibrancy of the pieces themselves, inviting eventgoers to “sit and stay awhile.”

Community Led Development: About Red Sierra Madre

This event was the result of our ongoing work supporting rural and Indigenous women in Hidalgo, Mexico, specifically our Red Sierra Madre program. Red Sierra Madre is a cooperative incubator program that supports more than 60 women in their personal and professional development through workshops, training, events, and opportunities to work and disseminate their products.

The Bordamos Juntos event was a learn-by-doing experience for these women-led cooperatives. With the launch of their first collection of  artisan embroidery in Mexico City, they put money in their pockets while also learning how to timely deliver an order using technology. They also for first time used a smart pricing model tool built with our 3M partner, including how to price their goods for segmented Mexican and foreign buyers. 

To learn more about these cooperatives and to follow their work, explore the links below:

Attendees were not only invited to shop but also to learn first-hand from some of our women-led cooperative leaders about the hardships many women face in marginalized Hidalgo. A pop-up highlight featured a brief presentation on the work of these cooperatives. Alejandra Ríos Pérez, PSYDEH’s Field Program Coordinator,  reflected: “This year’s edition of Bordamos Juntos meant potential learning since the cooperatives managed to put into practice some of the knowledge acquired during their time working in Red Sierra Madre. I think that significant learning is only achieved when you learn by doing, and this year at Bordamos Juntos, the cooperatives worked and learned collectively — it was extraordinary.”

In the end, all funds raised went back to the women-led cooperatives and to cover event production costs. The event also exceeded its Global Giving fundraising goal of $450 USD.

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Case Study: Local Impact with 3M

PSYDEH staff at the program launch event in Mexico City.

Global company 3M makes a sustainable short-and long-term local impact on PSYDEH and our women-led cooperative partners in 2022-2023.

3M program facilitated by Pyxera Global

When and who

The partnership began in late-summer 2022 when PSYDEH was chosen by 3M and their global nonprofit partner, the USA-based Pyxera Global (PG), as one of only five Mexican nonprofits for an initiative called 3M Impact Local.

Over the subsequent month and a half, five PSYDEH field staff — Alejandra Ríos Pérez (field program coordinator), Jazmín Manrique Vigueres (field lead for Tenango de Doria), Jorge Echeverría (general coordinator), Yaneth Santos Miranda (cooperative incubation consultant), and Isela Asurim Flores (field team trainer) — worked with four 3M Mexico professionals based in central and northern Mexico: Maria Fernandez Rodriguez, Hernan Cortes, Juan Mata, and Laura Adriana Ramirez. Our aim was to use a hybrid virtual and in-person program facilitated by PG’s Latin America lead, Fernanda Scur, to co-create a solution to one of PSYDEH’s field challenges.

How we collaborated

(Left to right) Laura from 3M, Jazmín from PSYDEH, a cooperative leader, Maria from 3M, and more cooperative leaders at a workshop in Tenango de Doria, Hidalgo, Mexico.

The five-week partnership was organized into three phases:

♦ understand and empathize,

♦ discover and ideate, and

♦ create and deliver solutions.

In week one (understand and empathize), our joint team met in 3M’s Mexico City office with the goal of unpacking the challenge PSYDEH presented before the event:

produce a replicable business plan for one of the four cooperatives we incubate with Indigenous women through our 2022-2024 Sierra Madre Network program with the goal of leveraging our Tech para Todos program using digital tools and platforms to bring their sustainably made ethical products to local, national and global markets.

During this first activity, we created a strategic plan for the project through four different stages of work, including question thinking and active listening to understand PSYDEH’s reality and create SMART output goals.

Thereafter, each of the 3M team’s four professionals dedicated a full 40-hour work week to PSYDEH, including two of the four — Maria Fernandez Rodriguez and Laura Adriana Ramirez — doing an immersive field experience in our work areas. The goal was to investigate and ideate around PSYDEH’s challenge using the strategic plan we co-created during week one.

In weeks three and four (discover and ideate), 3Mers continued their work part-time before dedicating week five (create and deliver solutions) to proposal preparing and sharing at a program-closing celebration event in 3M’s Mexico City office. 

3M/PSYDEH team presenting project ideas to 3M staff and non-profits in Mexico City.

Going above and beyond3M-Local-impact

From start to finish, 3M and PG were thoughtful in their approach. They were focused more on sustainable transformation, not just a one-off transaction. This and the below highlights are not as common as one might think.

For example, at the project launch event, we constructed short-term impact-oriented project details while also learning and being reminded of long-term impact-oriented subjects like

♦ tips for success with virtual programs,

♦ tech resources for remote work,

♦ how to navigate common obstacles, and

♦ better practices for producing a SMART-goal-oriented project.

3M’s initiative was Spanish-and rural community-friendly. They went the extra mile by supporting our respective staff to travel back and forth between urban Mexico City and mountainous Hidalgo.

We also oriented work around PG’s human interaction design. The concept of “with and not for”, where all are learners and teachers, is essential to PSYDEH’s community-led sustainable development work and rare for a project like this.

Program short-and long-term impact

Strengthening organizational capabilities

Our project increased PSYDEH’s capacities in at least three different ways. First, our rural community-based staff’s experience and ability to partner with global companies like 3M is markedly stronger today than it was before the project.

Second, our staff’s capacity to understand how to listen to, learn from, and stand before corporate professionals has markedly improved. Lastly, thanks to the replicable nature of 3M’s deliverables — knowledge and strategies rural cooperatives need to stand up and sustain their operations through online sales, PSYDEH’s programmatic capacity to scale impact is enhanced.

(Left to right) Hernan, Laura, Juan (by phone), Maria, Alejandra, and Jazmín at the end-of-project celebration.
3M-Local-impact
Jazmín and Alejandra walk into 3M’s Mexico City headquarters

Partnerships

One of the project’s unexpected benefits is direct links to other non-profits whose methodologies and strategies can and do inform how PSYDEH works.

PG and PSYDEH have the strong beginnings of a longer-term relationship. We already know that we will be one of their 2022 case study success stories!

Finally, our relationship with 3M deepened by the end of the project with expressed mutual interest in growing our alliance over time and an unexpected significant donation to PSYDEH through a common partnership with USA-based GlobalGiving. Indeed, with ongoing support, PSYDEH is well positioned to help 3M to achieve its three sustainability framework goals while giving their staff holistic perspectives on the many worlds in Mexico through periodic visits to the rural areas in which we work. We also believe that PSYDEH can help 3M with existing or new partnerships, e.g., a novel public (civil society) private partnership consortium idea we hope to pitch to 3M and other global companies and foundations in the first quarter of 2023. Learn more about our win-win partnership here,

Replicable local impact with women-led cooperatives

Cover for 3M’s 48-page manual on how rural cooperatives can increase online sales.

3M’s suggested business plan is tailor-made to be shared with all four of the cooperatives of the Sierra Madre Network. While its contents — SWOT analysis • market analysis • digital marketing plan (with a heavy focus on social media communication and brand consolidation) • operation plan • financial plan — are oriented around one cooperative partner, Tierra de Bordadoras, what is good for one is good for all in the network. The same can be said for 3M’s sharing around the importance of communicating, educating, and raising awareness among textile buyers about the cultural, social, and economic context involved in embroidering. All of this knowledge is of great interest to the 60+ women artisan leaders participating in our 2022-2024 economic solidarity school.

Another example of 3M’s replicable, knowledge-based impact involves their suggested pricing model; we now understand that a percentage of profits and discounts must be established for each of the cooperatives’ products. This learning is important because establishing these percentages will help artisan leaders avoid losses and thus see an increase in their individual, familial, and collective income.

More generally, our 3M team’s recommendations for weaving business practices with digital tools reinforce how PSYDEH is right to link economic solidarity Red Sierra Madre and digital inclusion Tec para Todos programming. As Laura, Hernan, Juan, and Maria make clear, the cooperatives’ sustainable business development success is tied to our ability to determine which tech tools are needed, secure access, and then train on their smart use. See below examples of the tools PSYDEH created with 3M and PG.

Additional information

3M is a global company with operations in 70 countries and sales in 200, committed to creating the technology and products that advance every company, enhance every home, and improve every life. They work with USA-based global nonprofit Pyxera Global on myriad projects. Pyxera has 30 years of experience providing the private sector with advisory counsel and program execution for under-resourced communities in over one 100 countries.  

 

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Networking in the Global South

We are excited to announce another win in our work to collaborate with allies across the Global South. The London, UK-based Alliance of NGOs and CSOs for South-South Cooperation (ANCSSC – the Alliance) chooses PSYDEH as its first Mexican organization member.

The Alliance and why apply to be a member

The Alliance, with its 340 Global South NGOs and CSO members, targets the Sustainable Development Goals, especially 17 “Partnerships for the goals”, through supporting capacity-building, advocacy, and knowledge sharing across its network.

PSYDEH applied for membership because it helps us grow our ability to adapt and find solutions to empowering citizens, especially Indigenous women, to develop their own solutions to their own problems.

Once in the network, we will endeavor to be an ally to others like us in the Global South arguing to global funders for more equitable access to existing resources and count new allies by our side working for the same. We also believe that our unique grassroots voices, made possible by our majority-women, cross-discipline, multi-cultural, multi-lingual, and multi-nationality team executing our process-oriented program model, can benefit ANCSSC members. As Ryan Lavigne, PSYDEH development officer, states:

 “Joining the ANCSSC’s vast network across the Global South opens up a new world of connections and opportunities for PSYDEH. We hope to leverage these relationships to learn about best practices for fighting inequality and poverty being used across the Global South, while also sharing what we have learned through our work in rural Hidalgo. In the end, being a part of ANCSSC will enhance the efficiency and quality of our impact-making work.”   

Organizations collaborating across the Global South

Practically speaking, it is not easy for the great majority of local-focused organizations to network with the aim to make a sustainable impact. For an outfit like PSYDEH, both we and our local women partner-beneficiaries and their nascent collectives lack the financial wherewithal to send representatives to conferences at which they can meet with other NGOs in the Global South.

NGO leaders also lack the time needed to forge win-win collaborations with other NGO leaders who face the same time crunch. We’ve lobbied other partnership-forming partners to dedicate the resource (human and money) we need to organize NGOs into win-win collaborations, but such is hard to do for myriad reasons.

And in countries like Mexico, a scarcity-focused, short-cited mindset dominates, in comparison to a more generative abundance, forward-looking mindset. In our experience, therefore, the competition for finite resources, engaging folks who don’t know what they don’t know about what is possible, means it is difficult to forge sustainable impact-making collaborations. We hope that the Alliance will help us overcome some of these challenges.

Barriers to Mexican organizations achieving Triangular Co-operation

The Alliance argues that triangular cooperation involves the kind of cooperation that creates jobs, strengthens trade, improves infrastructure, transfers technology, promotes regional integration, and benefits all countries involved.  This is an exciting truth and yet easier said than done; we plan to give voice around solutions to the following kinds of barriers we and those like us face.        

For a local-focused Mexican nonprofit like PSYDEH, we struggle to create sufficient brand recognition and/or that platform from which we can give a voice to this kind of co-operation. While we’ve made extraordinary gains in the area of growing and promoting our brand since 2015-2016, we’ve not yet graduated to space where our voice is known across the areas in which we work and Mexico, let alone the Global South.

Local and national challenges impede a regional and global outlook. We are a small, grassroots NGO relying heavily on our majority-volunteer staff. We struggle to survive let alone make a sustainable impact in our community-led development work, especially during the pandemic and with the current Mexican administration’s budget cuts on civil society. Thus, promoting and implementing technical cooperation among Mexican NGOs is hard and triangular cooperation feels like a fantasy.

Still, our aforementioned model does seem to be taking hold in the areas in which we work, and in the minds of investors and technical partners hailing from donor countries like Belgium, Canada, Germany, New Zealand, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and the United States. And, so, we hope membership in the Alliance will help us to accumulate the resources that would allow for a professional staff needed to imagine, seize and manage this style of co-operation.

More on the Alliance

Established to work in collaboration with the United Nations for South-South Cooperation, the ANCSSC (and the UNSSC) are both manifestations of a broader South-South cooperation framework, led by a number of guiding principles and objectives. The ANCSSSC’s vision is to empower civil society to establish a just world based on the values of South-South cooperation.

 

 

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