Zoe Empowers

Empowering vulnerable children to move beyond charity.

aka Zoe Ministry   |   Raleigh, NC   |  www.zoeempowers.org

Mission

Zoe Empowers is a Christian empowerment ministry for orphans and vulnerable children living in extreme poverty in Africa and India. After graduating from ZOE's three-year empowerment program, a child will have moved from extreme poverty to sustainable self-sufficiency; able to provide food, clothing, shelter, education, medical care, and social support for themselves and their siblings; know God's love, and have hope for the future in their own community.

Ruling year info

2013

Chief Executive Officer

Rev. Gaston Warner

Chief Operating Officer

Mr. John Boswell

Main address

PO Box 28839

Raleigh, NC 27611 USA

Show more contact info

Formerly known as

Zimbabwe Orphan Endeavor

EIN

45-4671349

NTEE code info

International Development, Relief Services (Q30)

IRS filing requirement

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

Sign in or create an account to view Form(s) 990 for 2020, 2019 and 2018.
Register now

Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

356 million children in the world are living in extreme poverty making them the worst off of the worst off. Those who hold the most potential to create lasting solutions are instead living a life of disease, hunger, exploitation, abuse, illiteracy, and hopelessness. ZOE stops the poverty cycle using a model that connects you as a partner to a group of children who are eager to realize their God-given potential. When children and indigenous leaders become part of the solution rather than the recipient of hand-outs, long-term sustainable solutions becomes a reality. The result? Children who were once stigmatized gain the dignity and respect they deserve equipping them to be self-reliant and lead entire communities out of poverty.

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?

ZOE Orphan and Vulnerable Children Empowerment Program

The Zoe Empowers program employs a peer group-based structure, utilizing local resources and local staff and social workers in most cases. The program is comprehensive in nature, focusing simultaneously on the issues holding children in poverty with interventions tailored to specific contexts. These interventions include: how to find consistent and sustainable sources of food, physical and psychological health, disease prevention, housing, child rights, education, business and financial management, vocational training, social connections and community, and spiritual growth. By helping orphans help each other, we ensure that the process of positive change continues long after the three-year empowerment program is over.

Success in our empowerment program is dependent upon the children taking responsibility for themselves, their siblings, and their larger peer group. With guidance from Zoe Empowers, children create and follow their own plan to transform their lives. There are no orphanages or buildings owned by Zoe Empowers, and there is approximately one staff member per 1,000 orphans and vulnerable children in the program. The staff ratio highlights our core belief that while some support is necessary, vulnerable children and their community must be responsible for creating successful paths to overcome extreme poverty.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth

Where we work

Awards

.ORG of the year 2021

Public Interest Registry

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

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

Total dollar amount of grants awarded

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

Children and youth

Related Program

ZOE Orphan and Vulnerable Children Empowerment Program

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Grants represent funds sent to our program countries to operate the empowerment program.

Average number of dollars per person served

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

Children and youth

Related Program

ZOE Orphan and Vulnerable Children Empowerment Program

Type of Metric

Input - describing resources we use

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

The cost per child in the program is calculated by dividing the total amount of grants made by the number of children served.

Number of program graduates

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

Children and youth

Related Program

ZOE Orphan and Vulnerable Children Empowerment Program

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Number of children completing the three year empowerment program.

Number of participants engaged in programs

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

Children and youth

Related Program

ZOE Orphan and Vulnerable Children Empowerment Program

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Total number of orphaned and vulnerable children in the empowerment program, including all siblings.

Number of volunteers

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

Children and youth

Related Program

ZOE Orphan and Vulnerable Children Empowerment Program

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Total includes mentors of the all empowerment groups, community volunteers who provide training, and program advocates and volunteers in the US.

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.

ZOE has one primary goal – helping children help themselves. It may sound simple, but our strategies for achieving that goal are anything but. ZOE strives to provide orphaned and vulnerable children living in extreme poverty the skills, tools, and resources they need to become completely self-reliant. For each orphaned child, the achievement of self-reliance looks different. Some become farmers, some become tailors, some return to school, and yet others join together and run large-scale businesses such as restaurants and wholesale markets. However, after three years, our overall goal is the same: children and young adults, full of hope, pride and dignity, able to provide for themselves and their siblings, without being dependent on outside support.

ZOE's empowerment program employs three strategies in order to make it successful:
- Locally-based: ZOE employs all indigenous staff to implement the program in each country. Children work with supportive staff that speak their language, understand their culture, and know their community.
- Comprehensive: ZOE seeks to address all the issues that hold children in poverty, often simultaneously. First, children are also connected to one another in supportive working groups with 60-100 members. Then, through training in business and financial management, agriculture, disease prevention, child rights, and other essential life skills, ZOE ensures that these children have a strong foundation on which to build their new life. ZOE also shares the good news of God's love, and connects children with their local church to allow them to grow in their faith. Finally, ZOE provides orphaned youth with micro-grants as well as other resources such as seeds and tools, enabling them to start small businesses that grow and thrive.
- Child-led: Through ZOE, children and youth take the lead in their own journey out of poverty. First, ZOE helps children/youth articulate their dream for a better life. Then, ZOE empowers them to set and achieve the goals that will make their dreams come true. Children/youth make their own decisions and then ZOE, the staff, the community, and their adult mentor, support them in building a better life.

ZOE has grown in financial support from $1.25 million in 2010 to $6.1 million in 2022, based in large part from the success of its empowerment group partnership fundraising approach. ZOE facilitates partnerships between working groups of 60-100 orphans in our program countries and empowerment partners – individuals, churches and groups in United States. As the children/youth work to transform their lives, the empowerment partners provide financial, prayer and emotional support, walking with the children in their journey to overcome poverty. empowerment partners often visit the children in country to show their support and pride in person. This fundraising model has proved transformative for both the children/youth and the supporting donors, and interest continues to grow.

ZOE also has a growing base of monthly and annual donors, which we inform regularly about the progress being made by orphaned youth in the program through a robust communications and social media strategy.

In 2014, ZOE expanded into three new countries, significantly increasing the reach of its empowerment program into a total of seven countries in three continents. As opportunities present themselves in terms of financial support and readiness in an area of need, ZOE will continue to pursue ways to reach as many children as possible with our life-changing empowerment program. We will continue to balance the need to provide a robust implementation of our current program areas with the tremendous needs of children around the world.

In 2021, we served just over 53,000 children and to date have over 133,000 youth either in or graduated from our program.

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.
  • Who are the people you serve with your mission?

    We serve orphaned children and vulnerable youth in sub Sahara Africa and in two locations in India.

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

    SMS text surveys, Paper surveys, Case management notes,

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

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve,

  • What significant change resulted from feedback?

    During the Pandemic, Our staff was prevented from accessing the people we serve because of the lockdowns. When the lockdowns began to lift, the size of the groups that could meet was still very small. Zoe had traditionally done its training in large groups. The children devised a plan for just the youth heads of household to receive the training and then to provide that same training to the members o their child headed household. That program allowed the program to continue through the pandemic and we still use it today for some types of training. This was an idea that came from the youth in Kenya and it has now been deployed in all the Zoe Empowers countries.

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    The people we serve, Our staff, Our board, Our funders, Our community partners,

  • How has asking for feedback from the people you serve changed your relationship?

    Zoe Empowers operates differently for any other NGO of which we are aware. We put the children first and allow them to lead their own journey out of poverty. We empower them to make decisions, to determine who they want to be and what job or business they want to pursue. By seeking their feedback and acting on that feedback it further solidifies the power dynamic to be the youth first and the staff as supporting.

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

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive, We tell the people who gave us feedback how we acted on their feedback,

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting 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

Zoe Empowers
lock

Unlock financial insights by subscribing to our monthly plan.

Subscribe

Unlock nonprofit financial insights that will help you make more informed decisions. Try our monthly plan today.

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

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights?
Learn more about GuideStar Pro.

Operations

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

lock

Connect with nonprofit leaders

Subscribe

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

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

lock

Connect with nonprofit leaders

Subscribe

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

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

Zoe Empowers

Board of directors
as of 05/03/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Mrs. Lynn Dugle

Greg Londo

Dan Bayly

Linda Folger

Mark McAndrew

Mark Konen

Wendy Lee

Michael Mandl

Matthew Williams

Randy Wiersma

Ken Muriithi

Erin Geter

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 ? Yes
  • 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 2/1/2022

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
Male

The organization's co-leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Male

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 01/31/2022

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 review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
  • 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 have a promotion process that anticipates and mitigates implicit and explicit biases about people of color serving in leadership positions.
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.