Community Improvement, Capacity Building

Mama Hope

Championing Community Led Change

Quick Facts

aka Mama Hope

Boston, MA


Championing community led change.

Ruling Year


Principal Officer

Nyla Rodgers

Main Address

P.O. Box 961570

Boston, MA 02196 USA


Africa, Kenya, Mama Hope, CBO, Community Based Organizations, Grassroots, Sustainability, Community-led, Fellowship, Global Advocates





Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Community Improvement, Capacity Building N.E.C. (S99)

Fund Raising and/or Fund Distribution (T12)

Economic Development (S30)

IRS Filing Requirement

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

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Social Media


Programs + Results

What we aim to solve

Today’s structure of the development sector has created a sense of us vs. them. Reaching the goals of equal, sustainable and long-term change is being prevented by power dynamics with negative stereotypes and inequalities. The system is inefficient and outdated, and will not allow for equality and understanding. We aim to shift the negative stereotypes and inequalities that continue to shape global power dynamics. To ensure sustainability and long-term change, we need to shift the narrative, and the power of the change needs to be given back to those whom the change is affecting. Partnerships need to be created. Community-driven development was designed to include people within local contexts in decision-making processes. Research shows this approach has led to an increased level of living standards, welfare in households and access to basic services. However, community led organizations (CLOs) often struggle to receive funding for their initiatives. Mama Hope wants to change this!

Our programs

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

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Community Led Partnerships

Global Advocate Program

Building a Movement

Where we work

Charting Impact

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

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What is the organization aiming to accomplish?

What are the organization's key strategies for making this happen?

What are the organization's capabilities for doing this?

How will they know if they are making progress?

What have they accomplished so far and what's next?

“The emergence of a new global approach to tackling injustice in which communities hold the power and resources they need to drive their own futures.” We are working to create partnerships with CLOs and support them to fulfill their dreams and reach their goals. Our partners themselves know best what is best for their communities, we just support them to get there. True change comes in the shift from top down to eye level development. We believe in creating a world where each individual has access to the resources they need to live happy and healthy lives. We believe in creating an organization that will change the way that the world sees poverty, enables visionaries to use their passion to change the world and will shift the power structures of development from top down to eye level. Our partners are the heart of our work. Mama Hope nurtures the work of community led organizations around the world. We help to ensure that they have the freedom and the resources they need to change lives in their communities and build a better future for generations to come. We also provide a platform for their voices to be heard through the cultivation of a global community of individuals and organizations advocating for their work and for the use of ethical storytelling.

Mama Hope has four main strategic priorities: - Financial Health: Build robust and transparent financial and operational systems to ensure our financial sustainability by growing our funding base and deepening our relationships with existing donors. - Organizational Health: Cultivate an organizational culture that emphasizes joy and well-being, promotes equity, inclusivity and fairness with a focus on team building and individual growth. - Community Led Partnerships: Provide funding and adaptive programmatic support for community led organizations in line with their own visions, with a focus on listening, relationship, trust and sustainability. Establish communities of practice between community organizations and individuals world wide. - Building a Movement: Advocating for the use of values-based storytelling to tackle power dynamics in the social change sector that reinforce inequality. Educating practitioners and promoting the voices, stories, and perspectives of community members and change makers around the world. Encouraging critical thought and engagement of audiences to seek more than single story narratives. Furthermore, Mama Hope aims to achieve the goals through the following three interconnected programs: Community Led Partnerships, Global Advocate Program and Building a Movement (read about them in the section “Programs”).

What makes Mama Hope different is our Community-Led vision. Through listening, asking questions, and visiting various project sites, Mama Hope aims to determine how well the potential partner’s values and vision match with its own. Mama Hope carries out an assessment which analyzes the organization’s structure, leadership and accountability mechanisms. It includes an analysis of the financial, social and environmental sustainability of the organization, including the level of community trust it holds and its vision for its future growth. With an eye for passion, sustainability plans, community engagement, and resilience, the Mama Hope team makes a democratic decision about taking on a new partner. Support from Mama Hope is human-centered, not expertise-centered. Beginning with a small grant, Mama Hope works to establish a safe space with partners where they can embrace vulnerability and gain confidence in the longevity of the partnership regardless of the challenges they bring to the Mama Hope team. Mama Hope encourages this sharing of challenges because it is in understanding those real struggles that Mama Hope can best be an ally and a partner in their work. The more open the partnership, the more adaptive Mama Hope can be in its support, making true progress in programs more achievable. Through its listening approach, Mama Hope has heard the many frustrations that community organizations have about the lack of control they have over funding, often being forced to work from grant to grant with no consistency, and even change the direction of their work based on the restrictions given by funders. Modelled on proposals brought to Mama Hope by partners, Mama Hope now focuses much of its funding and energies on the establishment of programs that will eventually lead the organization to financial independence, and the power and freedom integral to that. One of the tools that partners have the option to use within the partnership is a strategic plan. A partner will develop this plan for impact and sustainability, but it also serves as an investment plan for Mama Hope's funding, ensuring that the projects funded are contributing directly to a long term vision. Across all partners, ecosystems have emerged in these plans, consisting of income generating businesses, innovative money saving initiatives, community support, involvement and volunteering, awareness raising efforts, all on top of the front-line service being provided.

Mama Hope staff regularly meet with the partners to discuss strategic planning and priorities, monitoring and evaluation. Mama Hope always seeks to connect partners with new opportunities that will support their vision and mission. Through having an ongoing dialogue with partners, and visiting various project sites, the progress is constantly evaluated. Data collection is done through calls and on partner visits. Mama Hope has developed a Theory of Change that is used as a guide and framework of our activities. The identified outcomes and outputs can be used as indicators and guidelines when measuring the progress of our work. Our Theory of Change is used as a support tool and guide. In all elements, Mama Hope walks with its partners on a journey. The aim is not to tick off boxes based on programmatic elements that have been implemented or results that have been achieved within arbitrary timelines, but to respond effectively to changing needs, changing understandings and to bring in different types of support accordingly. Mama Hope values small steps and constant reevaluation. Understanding that the road to fulfilling any vision is not a straightforward path, Mama Hope practices patience and works with its partners at a pace that suits them and that allows them to build strong, socially sustainable foundations into the work they are doing. The process is actually as much a part of Mama Hope’s programming and approach as the projects are - it is in this process and relationship, that Mama Hope aims to create long-term shift in power dynamics and foster self-determination. Our organisation wide key performance indicators are as follows: - Partner Community Led Organizations’s understanding and belief in own their visions, capacity and solutions - Ability of partner Community Led Organizations to meet their annual goals - Average % of partner Community Led Organizations’ operational costs covered by local resources - # of organizations and individuals believing and practicing Community Led Development - # of organizations and individuals believing and practicing ethical storytelling narratives

Mama Hope has funded 211 projects from 2007 - 2018, 91% of which are completed and still functional, 3% completed but not functional and 6% are in progress. In 2007, Mama Hope had 1 partner and had invested in 1 project - a health clinic in Kenya which was impacting the lives of 24,000 people. In 2018, Mama Hope invested in 62 projects in 18 communities - 5 with international NGOs and 14 with community led organizations. These 211 projects have directly impacted the lives of 279,027 people and have created access to services for 2,596,051 others. 16 of these projects were completed within international NGO partnerships, and 195 within community led partnerships. As of 2019, there are now 19 additional projects (230 in total) and a direct impact of 279,632 people. 118 Global Advocates have participated in the Global Advocate Program and together they’ve raised $2,213,946 for our partners. As of 2019, we are working in five countries; Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Ghana, and Guatemala, with 13 different partners. Some of our next steps: - Relaunch of the new Global Advocate Program in 2020 - Take on new partners in Africa and Latin America - Complete all already started projects - Progress towards locally generated income covering operating costs for our partners - 100% of our partners express a clear sense of self-determination and agency in their work - Launch 50 communities to economic self-reliance by 2030

External Reviews


Mama Hope

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

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FREE: Gain immediate access to the following:

  • Address, phone, website and contact information
  • Forms 990 for 2018, 2017 and 2016
  • A Pro report is also available for this organization.

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Board Leadership Practices

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section, which enables organizations and donors to transparently share information about essential board leadership practices.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization


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?



Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?



Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?



Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?



Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?