Open Hearts Big Dreams Fund

Empowering Kids to Transform Their Future

Issaquah, WA   |  www.openheartsbigdreams.org

Mission

Open Hearts Big Dreams Fund (OHBD) believes the chance to dream big dreams should not depend on where in the world you are born. MISSION: Our mission is to inspire and enable youth in Ethiopia through READY SET GO books, STEM and Innovation Projects in collaboration with individuals and organizations providing literacy, education, and leadership opportunities. We also support the Diaspora through promoting black stories, culture and language preservation. Ethiopia is Africa's second most populous country. Ethiopia's population is 44% children, ages 0-14 (43 million out of 97 million total). Only 5.5% of children attend pre-school or kindergarten. Only 68% of ages 7-12 attend primary school. Adult literacy stands at 49% with men at 57% and women at 41%.

Ruling year info

2017

Principal Officer

Ellenore Angelidis

Main address

3518 241st Ave Se

Issaquah, WA 98029 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

81-3017041

NTEE code info

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

Fund Raising and/or Fund Distribution (O12)

Leadership Development (W70)

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

Open Hearts Big Dreams Fund (OHBD) is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization that believes the chance to dream big dreams should not depend on where in the world you are born. Ethiopia is Africa’s second most populous country; literacy is only realized by around half of the population (less for women and girls); leaving tens of millions without this critical ability. Recent nationwide literacy tests show few students are learning to read well in any language. The median age in Ethiopia is under 20 with only a small percentage of the youth getting to pursue higher education. Ethiopia has made great strides toward educational goals but still Mission Inspiring and enabling youth (K-14), their communities and organizations who serve them, to reimagine their futures by providing literacy, STEAM/innovation, inclusion (with a focus on gender and disabilities), and leadership, education and opportunities

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?

#ReadySetGo Early Reader Dual Language Books Project

Create local language, culturally appropriate books to support Not For Profits that are focused on Literacy and Early Education.

Global researchers for UNESCO and other organizations report about 250 million children are still not learning basic literacy skills, even after four years of school.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
People of African descent

Offering Introduction to coding, Train the Trainer and working on Boot camp to create more opportunities for youth to create career paths for themselves as entrepreneurs, supporting their communities needs and becoming a talent pool for global technical needs

Population(s) Served
Adolescents
People of African descent

Creating supplementary materials for middle to high school teachers based on the work of an award winning teacher in rural Ethiopia. Topics focused on initially are biology, chemistry and physics. Books will be dual language and illustrated and focused on making use of what is available in the community to conduct experiments to demonstrate scientific concepts. Could also be used by homeschooling parents in the United States.

Population(s) Served
Adolescents
Economically disadvantaged people

We are completing a library building in Gondar to serve both an elementary school as well as the surrounding community. We also need to furnish it, provide books and then add computer support as well as mechanisms for community to use. We want this to serve as a model to increase the impact of school libraries in their communities.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
Economically disadvantaged people

Where we work

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 new book titles created

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

Children and youth, People of African descent

Related Program

#ReadySetGo Early Reader Dual Language Books Project

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

We are creating unique content and measure success by new titles created. We make available in English as well as three Ethiopian languages so far. They are designed for early readers.

Number of books distributed

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

Children and youth, People of African descent

Related Program

#ReadySetGo Early Reader Dual Language Books Project

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

We collaborate with local orgs in Ethiopia to print and distribute our Ready Set Go titles to schools, libraries, and communities to use for practice reading. Efforts delayed in 2020 due to Covid-19

Number of organizations we work with who increase capacity or increase collaboration with other organizations

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

Children and youth, People of African descent

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

We are looking to help increase capacity and collaboration for existing organizations and NGOs working in Ethiopia.

Number of programs documented

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

Children and youth, People of African descent

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

We are working on identifying, documenting and sharing innovative approaches and programs so they can be applied by other organizations to increase impact and learning.

Number of languages supported through our #ReadySetGo Literacy Project

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

Children and youth

Related Program

#ReadySetGo Early Reader Dual Language Books Project

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Ethiopians speak many languages. We want to continue to reach more of the population so will add additional language over time. We also know our stories have appeal to other African countries too.

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.

OHBD is designed to take on hard challenges that needed to be solved but haven’t been solved yet. We didn’t just want to be one more small NGO. We wanted to have an outsized impact by choosing “white space” challenges which if solved would be game changers. We also wanted to use the best of business and technology to help drive faster progress.

Our focus is K-14, education and Ethiopia but everything we do could be applied to other parts of the world with similar challenges but design. We also provide support to the Diaspora in promoting black stories, African culture and language preservation.

We believe in the power of collaboration so we a key goal is driving collaboration with other NGOs who share our mission and approach. We collaborate directly and also use our programs to introduce NGOs and encourage collaboration between NGOs. Our pillars of focus are Literacy, Innovation, Inclusion and Leadership.

We chose each because they provide children, and adults, a way to problem solve and reimagine their future. We believe education is more than formal education and that teaching leadership is critical.

We set big, bold goals and hold ourselves accountable to achieve them. We use experiments and pilots to test before making a larger investment. We identify game changers, reimagine, reinvent and innovate.

We also identify areas where there is no organization currently focused on solving a key challenge. We want to supplement or support the good work already being done, not reinvent the wheel. Our projects search for gaps that need to closed and then design and implement a solution.

We developed tenets, borrowing an approach used by leaders at Amazon, to guide our strategic decision making. Tenets represent our aspiration as well as help us make tough trade-offs and choices. We decide priorities and make decisions based on these tenets.

One: Our scope is Ethiopia, K-14, and education
Although our approach is applicable to other regions with similar challenges, we need to focus our efforts to be successful.

Two: We run like a business
We set big, bold goals and hold ourselves accountable to achieve them. We use experiments and pilots to test before making a larger investment.

Three: We identify game changers, reimagine, reinvent and innovate
We look for efforts that, although they may present uniquely difficult challenges, if solved, will have a disproportionate impact.

Four: Our projects close important gaps
Our projects search for gaps that need to be closed and have a need for us to design a results-oriented solution.

Five: We design to scale and include measures of success
Many NGOs stay small and don’t focus on scaling. We want to take the business approach to building scale into each project over a period of years.

Six: We partner with NGOs and organizations who build local capacity
We know our limitations. Working in Ethiopia requires unique skills, knowledge, and relationships. Many organizations are already doing great work. We want to work with those who are innovating, willing to collaborate, have bold goals, and are focused on increasing local capacity.

Seven: Supporters trust us because we measure and disclose our impact
We know trust is critical if we are asking people to donate their precious time, talents, and funds. We want to ensure we honor that trust by measuring and disclosing the impact of our projects and programs as much as possible. We also share stories of our impact, the impact of those we collaborate with, and those we learn about, to amplify and elevate their efforts.

Eight: Our results inspire involvement and encourage collaboration
We want game changers and results that inspire others to get involved to help. NGOs currently don’t have many incentives to collaborate. We want to change that by using our Model Projects to take the best of organizations we vet and help them teach other organizations so they can move faster in challenging areas.

OHBD is an innovator in STEAM and Literacy. OHBD (with Lebawi in Addis) piloted a 6 week girls coding school in 2018, piloted Train the Trainer (ToT) and virtual coding class (with Q.Me) programs with American corners and Ethiopian universities and Tech leaders from leading companies, and won a US Embassy grant to lead Computer Science, Business/Entrepreneurship, Leadership and Communication training in their 6 American Corners in Addis, Jimma, Dire Dawa, Bahir Dar, and Mekelle. OHBD published over 105 colorful, culturally appropriate dual language early reader titles in five Ethiopian languages, distributing 110K+ copies locally since 2017 with plans more another 100K in 2021. All 47 titles submitted to Ministry of Education in Ethiopia in 2019 were approved. OHBD is well positioned to deliver cutting-edge instruction, increase connection between Tech and Academic leaders in the US and Ethiopia, build knowledge sharing and collaboration through publishing capabilities, and increase the visibility of talent pipeline for tech employment in Ethiopia and the US.

Many NGOs stay small and don’t focus on scaling. We want to take the business approach to building scale into each project over a period of years. For example, when the Ready Set Go books project came to us, it was focused on smaller languages requested by individuals or organizations that provided small amounts of funding. The printing was done with local resource in Portland. We redesigned to scale with on-demand printing on Amazon and focused on the top 3 languages which would cover 80% of the local population and set the bold goal of 200 titles since research said that was the number needed to have the chance to improve the literacy rate. We are now a mid-sized publisher on Kindle Direct Publishing and are adding new languages as well as focusing on STEM training manuals for teachers. Another example relates to our STEM efforts. We piloted three different STEM training efforts and are now working on expanding to more locations and engaging more volunteer and supporting organizations as the US Embassy training partners. We also built both a science building for a innovative teacher and two community libraries to model for communities the impact of these types of investments.

We continue to grow the number of individuals and organizations we collaborate with to build local capacity each year.

#READYSETGO -- Literacy Focus.
We have created over 105 unique titles so far in five different local languages and English with more than 300 people involved in the creation. They are available on Amazon in North America and Europe and in assorted selection in WA, CO, MN and CA Public Libraries. We have versions in Amharic, Tigrinya and Afaan Oromo. We are now starting Somali . With collaboration organizations, we locally printed and distributed over 110,000 copies of our books. The Ministry of Education in Ethiopia reviewed and approved the 47 our Amharic versions titles we submitted to practice reading. We trained 300+ educators to use our books to teach kids how to read. We are working on another 100,000 printing run in new languages and have developed two local printing approaches to continue to make affordable books available in country. We are piloting a Model program focused on illiterate moms called Read 2 Mom to increase literacy of two generations. We also conducted writers and artists workshops to increase the number of local content creators. We launched an artist in residence program for a local artist to teach kids in Ethiopia and plan to expand to more artists and schools in the coming years. We provide coaching and support for new writers and illustrators to develop more own voices for our books.

INNOVATION and LEADERSHIP

We piloted a number of Model programs, a six week girls coding camp in Addis, well transition scholarship for talented high schoolers to attend local universities, and STEM intro and train the trainer classes. We also built two Model Libraries and Science building. Each program is documented and shared so other organizations will be able to learn and use. We are now working on expanding our STEM offerings to more students and organizations with a gender balance focus, we are creating and publishing STEM focused teacher training manuals, expanding the library to model how it can support the community and adding a disability focus to all our projects in addition to the gender and economic lens we currently have in place.

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 demonstrated a willingness to learn more by reviewing resources about feedback practice.
done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    Focus groups or interviews (by phone or in person), Suggestion box/email,

  • 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 identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve,

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

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

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

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

Financials

Open Hearts Big Dreams Fund
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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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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.

Open Hearts Big Dreams Fund

Board of directors
as of 2/25/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Ellenore Angelidis

Christine Menges

Nintendo

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 02/21/2021

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

Race & ethnicity

No data

Gender identity

No data

 

No data

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data