FRIENDS OF TILONIA INC

Sprout Enterprise® is a network of artisans, designers and entrepreneurs creating economic opportunities for rural communities.

aka Sprout Enterprise®, Tilonia® and R.I.S.E. Artisan Fund   |   Brooklyn, NY   |  www.sproutenterprise.net

Mission

Friends of Tilonia, Inc, through its Sprout Enterprise® initiative, is building a network of artisans, designers and entrepreneurs creating sustainable livelihoods for rural communities with few economic alternatives.

We draw on the rich cultural heritage of these communities and use indigenous skills and materials to craft our artisan collections. We connect these artisan enterprises to new markets and provide the support needed to ensure these enterprises are successful and sustainable.

Our goal is to enable these artisans to earn much more than the bare minimum – and to develop the economic basis to live in dignity, free from hunger and extreme poverty.

Notes from the nonprofit

Member of Fair Trade Federation, Artisan Alliance, Aid to Artisans Trade Network and Social Enterprise Alliance. Follow us on Instagram: @sproutenterprise @shoptilonia @riseartisanfund

Ruling year info

2003

Principal Officer

Ms. Ellen Fish

Main address

134 Lincoln Place No 2

Brooklyn, NY 11217 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

11-3569536

NTEE code info

International Economic Development (Q32)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Blog

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Our goal is to enable these artisans to earn much more than the bare minimum – and to develop the economic basis to live in dignity, free from hunger and extreme poverty.

We believe that creating economic opportunities for women and providing education for girls are significant drivers to economic development in emerging markets.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Girls' Education in Rural India

Funding for girls’ education in rural India.

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged people

• Business mentoring of entrepreneurs building social enterprises creating economic opportunities and improving the quality of life of marginalized, rural communities.

• Business development and market representation for artisan enterprise sales to US retailers and consumers via Sprout Enterprise® brand. 25+ artisan enterprises in India, Mexico, Cambodia, Guatemala and Indonesia employing more than 3,000 artisans.

• Online e-commerce enterprise operated by a local team in rural India improving profitability of the artisan enterprise which creates work for nearly 400 rural artisans.

• Through R.I.S.E. Artisan Fund investing in early stage artisan enterprises in rural communities with few economic alternatives. Created by Realize Impact and Sprout Enterprise®, R.I.S.E. Artisan Fund was named to the Transformative 25 Funds by Integrated Investing Capital in 2021.

Population(s) Served
Adults
Economically disadvantaged people

Where we work

Awards

Transformative 25 Fund 2021

Integrated Capital Investing

Affiliations & memberships

Fair Trade Federation 2021

Artisan Alliance 2021

Social Enterprise Alliance 2021

New York Council of Nonprofits 2021

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of artisans who earn an income from the artisan enterprises with whom we have a business relationship.

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Indigenous peoples, Ethnic and racial groups, Economically disadvantaged people

Related Program

Artisan & Rural Enterprise Development

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Number of girls who attend the schools we help to fund.

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Women and girls, Children and youth

Related Program

Girls' Education in Rural India

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Friends of Tilonia, Inc, through its Sprout Enterprise® initiative, is building a network of artisans, designers and entrepreneurs creating sustainable livelihoods for rural communities with few economic alternatives.

We draw on the rich cultural heritage of these communities and use indigenous skills and materials to craft our artisan collections. We connect these artisan enterprises to new markets and provide the support needed to ensure these enterprises are successful and sustainable.

Our goal is to enable these artisans to earn much more than the bare minimum – and to develop the economic basis to live in dignity, free from hunger and extreme poverty.

We believe that creating economic opportunities for women and providing education for girls are significant drivers to economic development in emerging markets.

ENTERPRISE DEVELOPMENT

We help build the business capacity and entrepreneurial skills of artisan and rural enterprises in India, Mexico, Cambodia, Guatemala, Indonesia and Pakistan enabling them to create economic opportunities and provide sustainable livelihoods in rural communities.

We help these enterprises to:

• Develop their products, pricing and business strategy for sales in US and international markets;

• Develop distribution and sales in US and international markets;

• Improve product quality and business profitability.

When these enterprises grow successfully, the artisans they employ are able to earn an income to provide for their families and improve their quality of life.

GIRLS EDUCATION

We support girls' education by providing funding support to schools serving marginalized communities in rural India. Education is fundamental to women's economic and political empowerment and basic literacy and numeracy are essential skills to enable agency.

We believe that:

• Locally owned and operated enterprises are the primary drivers to community and economic development.

• Rural development and support of sustainable agriculture and artisan enterprises is critical to economic growth in emerging markets.

• Grass-roots, community-based initiatives are core to resilient, vibrant local economies.

Therefore, we work with local entrepreneurs who have the vision and leadership to build enterprises, believe in local talent and capabilities, and are committed to sustainable, ethical business practices.

Through our Sprout Enterprise® initiative, we help entrepreneurs and artisan enterprises create the business processes and build the operations team to:

• Access US and international markets and build export sales to US and international retailers and consumers.

• Access expertise and financing to build their business capacity and grow their business.

Through our R.I.S.E. Artisan Fund initiative, we help entrepreneurs understand their capital requirements to grow and leverage catalytic capital for investment. We deploy capital using a range of investment vehicles from grants to revenue-based equity investments while seeking a return of capital for further investment, creating a reinvestment cycle that multiplies the catalytic impact of philanthropic capital.

R.I.S.E Artisan Fund invests in artisan enterprises who are redesigning business models based on:

• Sustainable and ethical business practices
• Skills development and training to increase sales and profitability for producers
• Revenue or profit sharing with producers
• Revitalization, revaluation and representation of traditional crafts and cultural heritage
• Shared ownership structures around brand, design and stories

With extensive business, academic and non-profit experience, our board and team of advisors offer the entrepreneurs in our network a rich resource.

We provide:

• Business coaching and mentorship to entrepreneurs and start-up teams.

We listen to, and are inspired by, dynamic entrepreneurs with a business vision and aspiration that will change the status quo in their communities. We help shape viable business models and strategies for start-up and expansion.

• Connection to a network of designers, retailers and entrepreneurs.

We introduce and foster collaborative relationships across our network to support the development, promotion and sale of artisan products. We help bridge communication and cultural context to create productive business relationships.

• Connection to a network of buyers, retail customers and donors.

We introduce and foster funding relationships within our network to support the development and growth of economic and educational opportunities. We provide fiscal sponsorship and management for US funders who support our initiatives.

Since our inception, we have made more than $1.4 million in international grants funding sustainable development initiatives in rural communities benefiting more than 2 million people, including:

• community solarization projects of the Barefoot College in South and South East Asia, Africa and Latin America. The College has trained more than 750 rural women from more than 1,300 rural communities in 96 countries to become Barefoot solar engineers who have solar-electrified their own communities.

• community rainwater harvesting projects of the Barefoot College to provide clean drinking water in rural India. The College has supported the construction of more than 1,600 rainwater harvesting systems collecting more than 1 billion liters of clean drinking water benefiting more than 2 million people.

• girls’ education programs in rural India operated by the Barefoot College, the FabIndia School and Foundation for Rural Recovery and Development (FORRAD) serving more than 7,500 children in rural India.

In 2021 as part of COVID relief efforts, we helped our NGO partners in India provide:

• Food rations and survival kits to families in rural Rajasthan and Bihar.
• Education for more than 80 students of the Kaliyachak Girls School and food rations for their families during lockdown.
• More than 2,500 days of work for laborers to reconstruct pynes in rural Bihar enabling them to support their families while improving the water supply for local farmers.

As part of our ecommerce operations www.sproutenterprise.net and www.tilonia.com, we provided advance payments to our partners so they could continue to pay the artisans working with them even though workshops and stores were closed during lockdowns.

Since inception, we have generated over $685,000 in cumulative international sales for more than 25 artisan enterprises generating livelihoods for more than 3,000 artisans and farmers. We have provided seed funding to weavers' groups in India and Mexico to develop sustainable, social enterprises.

We have established the R.I.S.E. Artisan Fund in collaboration with Realize Impact (www.realize impact.org) to leverage philanthropic capital to accelerate growth of artisan enterprises. The R.I.S.E. Artisan Fund invests in and supports early-stage artisan enterprises that create sustainable livelihoods for rural communities with few economic alternatives.

Through the R.I.S.E. Artisan Fund in 2021, we invested in:

• BIDUK to supply working capital loans to small and growing businesses in Indonesia.
• Iluméxico to deliver solar energy solutions to off-grid communities in rural México

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.), Focus groups or interviews (by phone or in person),

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To inform the development of new programs/projects,

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    Our board, Our community partners,

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to get the people we serve to respond to requests for feedback, We don’t have the right technology to collect and aggregate feedback efficiently, It is difficult to find the ongoing funding to support feedback collection,

Financials

FRIENDS OF TILONIA INC
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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FRIENDS OF TILONIA INC

Board of directors
as of 1/20/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Ellen Fish

Ellen Fish

Elizabeth Keating

Shirley Dawkins

Victoria Kirk

Kirstin Hoffmann

Sahar Ghaheri

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? No
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 12/05/2020

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Female
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

Equity strategies

Last updated: 01/28/2021

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
Policies and processes
  • We use a vetting process to identify vendors and partners that share our commitment to race equity.
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.