The Bible tells us to make good use of what we have been given, and HOPE is committed to wise stewardship of every donation we receive. Our commitment to stewardship and our success in this area has been demonstrated in our Charity Navigator ratings and our Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA) membership. Charity Navigator has recognized HOPE International as a four-star charity for six years in a row, placing HOPE among the top 3 percent of nonprofits nationwide in financial management and percent of our donations that go to support our programs.
HOPE’s Pledge. As charities have been under heightened public scrutiny for their financial management in the past few years, HOPE continues to uphold its commitment to transparency, financial accountability, and integrity. HOPE conducts ongoing internal audits—which are independent of management—and also yearly brings in an independent public accounting firm to complete an audit of its financial reports. Donors have the opportunity to acquire a copy of HOPE’s most recent audited financial statement at www.hopeinternational.org. Form 990 is available to donors as well. HOPE is also recognized as a notable nonprofit by experts evaluating nonprofits and businesses:
HOPE Board has Forsworn Profits. Although the concept of a development program generating profit is not antithetical to HOPE’s philosophy, and profits are indeed a positive and desirable outcome from HOPE’s microfinance activity, HOPE board of directors all sign a “Declaration of Non-Personal Use of or Gain from HOPE International’s Microenterprise Development Activities,” which states that “no individual investor, staff member, or board member [will] experience any direct personal financial gain from the profit of the microfinance institutions in HOPE’s network.”
HOPE Partners with Organizations Advocating for Heightened Financial Transparency. As several microfinance institutions have fallen under public inquiry for unethical practices, HOPE sustains its client-centric approach in microfinance by partnering with MicroFinance Transparency (www.mftransparency.org), a globally renowned organization whose purpose is to encourage the microfinance industry to publicly demonstrate its commitment to pricing transparency, integrity, and poverty alleviation so that consumers and other stakeholders can make informed decisions. HOPE was the first of thousands of microfinance networks and organizations across the globe to endorse MicroFinance Transparency publicly. HOPE was also influential in the startup and development of the organization.
Stewardship is an Intrinsic Component of HOPE Organizational Culture. HOPE’s exists for the ultimate benefit of its clients. To ensure clients remain at the heart of the organization, stewardship has been an integral part of our culture and operations since HOPE was founded 14 years ago. For example, since HOPE loans are often no more than a couple hundred dollars, we believe every dollar is a tradeoff between changing more lives versus spending it on overhead. This mentality strengthens our focus to direct as much money as possible to our programs. Also, when traveling across the country promoting the message of HOPE, the HOPE development team is committed to staying in the homes of friends and families instead of spending funding on room and board. HOPE also partners with local churches to provide parking near airports to save on costs and works through a travel agent to find reduced pricing when staff travel overseas. HOPE takes stewardship seriously.
Training Resources are a Priority for Enhancing HOPE’s Services. As part of desiring to see transformation in the lives of its staff, its clients, and the communities in which it works, HOPE is committed to providing ongoing training to its staff: We set aside funds for every employee for the sake of their professional development to ensure HOPE staff can develop their God-given gifts and talents. We have a minimum of three discussions per year with each employee about their performance relative to their goals and their professional development. All of this is done so that we can be more and more effective in carrying out our mission and holding ourselves accountable for responsible use of our funds.
HOPE Channels Profits to Further Invest in Clients and Other Ministries. Unlike many traditional charity or philanthropy organizations, microfinance institutions have the goal of reaching operational self-sufficiency (OSS), making HOPE a high-impact investment. Once a HOPE microfinance institution reaches sustainability, the profits from a microfinance institution are invested into offering new services to clients, expanding a program’s reach, or helping other ministries. Each sustainable HOPE microfinance institution is encouraged to support a children’s ministry to perpetuate HOPE’s commitment to lasting impact and the transformation of communities.×