The BOMA Project, Inc.

Prosperity With Dignity

aka The BOMA Project   |   Washington, DC   |  www.bomaproject.org

Mission

The BOMA Project empowers women in the drylands of Africa to establish sustainable livelihoods, build resilient families, graduate from extreme poverty and catalyze change in their rural communities.

Notes from the nonprofit

Since 1990, the number of people living in extreme poverty around the world has dropped by 66%. However, the COVID-19 pandemic threatens to erase much of this progress. For the first time in three decades, the number of people living in extreme poverty is actually projected to rise. We can’t let this happen. We can’t let the progress of three decades come to naught. At BOMA, we believe that we can end extreme poverty in our lifetimes. We have more than a vision. We have a proven model that has helped hundreds of thousands of women and families forge a path out of extreme poverty. BOMA is ambitiously expanding our proven poverty graduation approach to 9 countries and 3 million women, youth, and refugees by 2027. BOMA’s expansion throughout the drylands of Africa will be driven by strategic partnerships, government adoption, and direct implementation.

Ruling year info

2006

CEO

John Stephens

Main address

2200 Pennsylvania Avenue NW Suite 400, East Tower

Washington, DC 20037 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

84-1671995

NTEE code info

International Economic Development (Q32)

Economic Development (S30)

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

490 million African people are currently living in extreme poverty, and more are projected to join them. Now more than ever, there is an urgent need for solutions that build resilience among the most vulnerable. Worldwide, the COVID-19 pandemic has plunged an additional 70 to 100 million people into extreme poverty and climate change threatens millions more. The drylands of Africa are at the nexus of this crisis, facing the compounding impacts of youth unemployment, refugee migration, gender inequality, and climate change. In response, BOMA is ambitiously expanding our proven poverty graduation approach to 9 countries and 3 million women, youth, and refugees by 2027. 68% of the more than 718 million people living in extreme poverty (below $1.90 a day) globally are in Africa. (Source: World Poverty Clock). The drylands of Africa (or the ASALs) represent the last mile of extreme poverty, economic isolation and entrenched patriarchy.

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?

REAP - Rural Entrepreneur Access Project

BOMA’s Rural Entrepreneur Access Project (REAP) is an innovative poverty graduation program that builds the resiliency of women living in extreme poverty in the drylands of Africa, so they can survive drought and adapt to a changing climate. Through a sequence of interventions, REAP helps groups of three women—the poorest and most vulnerable—to start a small business in their rural communities. With a sustainable income that’s not tied to the drought-threatened livestock industry, women can feed their families, pay for school fees and medical care, and build up savings for long-term stability.

Over the course of two years, the REAP interventions include two asset transfers of cash (seed capital to launch and grow the business), training in basic business skills and financial literacy, regular coaching by a local BOMA Village Mentor, and the introduction of mentored savings associations that meet monthly for deposits, withdrawals, loan requests and additional training.

REAP helps women to build a pathway out of extreme poverty by addressing three related elements that contribute to the cycle of aid dependency in the drylands of Africa: low incomes, inconsistent cash flows and inadequate financial services for the rural poor. Profits from each REAP business provide a new and diversified income, while BOMA savings associations help women to manage cash flow (for daily needs), plan for future expenses (such as school fees and medical care), and respond to shocks (such as drought or family emergencies). Meanwhile, interest-bearing loans offered by BOMA savings associations are often the first—and only—source of cash and credit in the community, serving as an informal village bank. With the scale-up of BOMA’s mobile banking program in 2016, selected participants will have an individual mobile bank account, connected to a shared BOMA savings group account. Participants will also be able to purchase goods, receive money and access loans from any location by using their phones – a huge step forward for women in storing and transferring money safely and securely and achieving financial inclusion.

BOMA is unique primarily for the population we target and the region where we work. BOMA is a recognized pioneer in developing a poverty graduation program that is specifically tailored for women living in extreme poverty in the drylands of Africa—remote and rural regions with low population densities, little to no infrastructure or employment opportunities, and a longstanding sole reliance on livestock for food and income. BOMA is also unique for its commitment to local leadership: Our full-time, paid Village Mentors live in the villages where we work, and our business groups, savings associations and skills-training methodologies respect cultural norms while fostering adaptation. Our work is also distinguished by an ongoing commitment to rigorous monitoring and evaluation to track our outcomes, continually improve our program, and prove its long-term impact as a sustainable, scalable poverty graduation model for ultra-poor women across the African drylands.

BOMA is one of only four nonprofits worldwide to pass a rigorous "impact audit" conducted by ImpactMatters, led by Yale economist Dean Karlan. . Founded with the goal of helping donors identify nonprofits that offer the best return on charitable dollars, the audit assesses nonprofits in four key areas: cost-effectiveness, transparency, knowledge sharing, and "theory of change” (how well the organization accomplishes its mission). BOMA was selected after completing a comprehensive six-month audit with Karlan’s team, which examined BOMA’s program design, data collection and analysis, financial management, and overall effectiveness.

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged people
Women and girls

Where we work

Awards

Sol Feinstone Award for Humanitarian Service 2010

St. Lawrence University

Percentage of women in the program who have graduated from extreme poverty.

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

Families, Indigenous peoples, Economically disadvantaged people

Related Program

REAP - Rural Entrepreneur Access Project

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Results of 2018 endline analysis of cohort of 750 women based on 5 graduation criteria.

Number of women and children impacted by our program

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

Families, Indigenous peoples, Economically disadvantaged people

Related Program

REAP - Rural Entrepreneur Access Project

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Total number of women and children impacted by our program since 2009.

Percentage increase in children going to bed WITH an evening meal.

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

Families, Indigenous peoples, Economically disadvantaged people

Related Program

REAP - Rural Entrepreneur Access Project

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Results from a 2018 Endline study of a cohort of 750 women enrolled in 2016.

Return on Investment (%)

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

At-risk youth, Economically disadvantaged people, Women and girls, Refugees and displaced people, Families

Related Program

REAP - Rural Entrepreneur Access Project

Type of Metric

Other - describing something else

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

2020 MIDLINE REPORT ON THE IMPACT EVALUATION OF REAP IN SAMBURU COUNTY, KENYA: UC DAVIS FEED THE FUTURE LAB

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.

Founded 15 years ago to eliminate extreme poverty amongst pastoralist women in Kenya, BOMA is celebrating our history and the over 250,000 people whose lives have been transformed with an ambitious breakthrough strategy. BOMA’s mission is to provide the people & governments of Africa’s drylands with economic inclusion programs that increase resilience to multiple crises. Ultimately, our goal is to end extreme poverty in Africa’s drylands.

BOMA empowers women in the drylands of Africa to establish sustainable livelihoods, build resilient families, graduate from extreme poverty, and catalyze change in their rural communities. BOMA's Rural Entrepreneur Access Project (REAP) is a data driven, cost-effective poverty graduation model tailored to the specific needs and challenges of women in the drylands of Africa. The “graduation into sustainable livelihoods approach” consists of a sequenced, time-bound set of interventions aimed at holistically addressing the multidimensional needs faced by the poorest, most vulnerable households.

As one of the few organizations committed to working with extremely poor populations in the drylands of Africa, BOMA is solving one of the world’s hardest problems in one of the most challenging “last mile” places on the planet. BOMA is directly contributing to the achievement of the SDGs 1, 2 and 5 by 2030.

During the next six years, BOMA seeks to catalyze the $10 million unrestricted gift from Mackenzie Scott and Dan Jewett into a minimum of $90 million to reach three million people in the ASALs of Africa. Five strategic initiatives are introduced to pave the way forward for the organization’s scale and impact ambitions in the next six years.

1. Adapting to new populations: BOMA’s focus is evolving to emphasize resilience-building programs for vulnerable populations including women, youth, populations impacted by climate change & COVID-19, refugees, and internally displaced persons (IDP’s).

2. Expanding to new countries: BOMA is expanding to new countries through Direct Implementation, Government Adoption & Strategic Partnerships. Targeted countries include Nigeria, Chad, Ethiopia, and Burkina Faso with strong criteria and rigorous due diligence.

3. Honing REAP for scale: To expand at this scale, BOMA will place a new emphasis on Government Policy Influence, outline a structure for Multi-Country Expansion, and pursue the development of a Center for Poverty Graduation and Resiliency Excellence.

4. Building a delivery structure: BOMA’s model will be optimized for adaptability and affordability. Areas of focus include reducing per-participant costs, diversifying financial & market linkages, bolstering research & evaluation, and continued innovation through Performance Insights.

5: Inviting funders to support our work: Mackenzie Scott’s $10 million investment offers an unprecedented opportunity to invite support from funders. To reach 3 million by 2027, BOMA will need at least $90 million for program delivery, structural capacity costs, and breakthrough investments.

BOMA’s revised theory of change expands BOMA’s focus beyond rural women to include youth, refugees, and IDPs; acknowledges government as a critical partner; and centers around increasing resiliency from climate, conflict, and health shocks.

BOMA has helped over 250,000 women and children in the drylands of Africa graduate from poverty. BOMA participants have launched more than 12,000 new businesses and established over 2,000 savings groups. Furthermore, BOMA’s programs have shown high efficacy in both the short term and long term. BOMA stands out for its laser-like focus on last mile populations of the ASALs of Africa who are most at risk to shocks from climate change and COVID-19, tech savvy and data driven approach, impressive graduation rate as compared to peers, and local structure based in Kenya where up to 99% of BOMA’s team is local with a management structure that prioritizes local leadership.

BOMA has been working towards a regional expansion strategy for the last few years. Piloted efforts in Uganda and Chad have been mostly opportunistic moves based off pre-existing relationships and available funding. BOMA has learned that REAP can be modified and implemented in other country contexts and that success depends on strong technical assistance and relationship-building with partners. This strategic plan includes a deliberate effort of expansion into nine countries to meet the urgent needs of multiple crises in the ASAL areas of Africa.

Aggressive country expansion, addressing the needs of new audiences, and pivoting towards resilience requires BOMA’s graduation model be adapted further for multiple audiences and affordability. BOMA will have graduation models for Refugees & IDPs, youth, and other audiences and objectives (e.g., reproductive health) in markedly different country settings. The ability to adapt the model appropriately must become a strong competency for the organization. In addition, as BOMA dramatically increases coverage in existing countries (e.g., Kenya) it will be necessary to think about financial and market linkage diversity so as not to saturate existing businesses. Going forward, BOMA will need to boost its technical capacity to manage high frequency changes to the graduation model, financial/market linkages, and model costs.

BOMA’s current collaboration with Rippleworks7 will help build a flexible framework to adapt the graduation model and Performance Insights to other populations (such as youth and IDPs). Furthermore, it will help develop artificial intelligence and trend identification capabilities to make BOMA’s model and operations more efficient.

Since 2009, BOMA has lifted more than 278,802 women and children out of extreme poverty, enrolled more than 46,467 women into our REAP program, impacted more than of 232,335 children, launched more than 15, 739 businesses and 2,296 savings groups.

Through REAP, women are able to:
- Access capital
- Develop financial and life skills
- Establish sustainable businesses
- Build savings
- Access markets and financial services
- Graduate themselves and their families from extreme poverty
- Build their life-skills & social capital, and take on leadership role in their communities

When women have access to and control over resources, they invest in their families in a way that breaks the intergenerational cycle of extreme poverty.

After REAP, women experience:
- 29.64% increase in average household income
- 1,960.61% increase in savings
- 92.55% of participants have access to at least two sources of income
- 99.21% belong to a registered savings group and have access to credit
- 99.34% of participants reported household members had two meals a day in the past week
- 98.94% reported that no child went to bed without an evening meal in the past week

Financials

The BOMA Project, 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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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.

The BOMA Project, Inc.

Board of directors
as of 1/10/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board co-chair

H. Perry Boyle

Point72


Board co-chair

William Ambrose

Stone Silo Advisors, LLC

Katie Kelly

Kenyon Business Consulting

Kathleen Colson

The BOMA Project

Douglas Colson

Dorset Capital Partners

William Ambrose

Stone Silo Advisors, LLC

Jim Young

Davidoff of North America / Davidoff of Geneva Distribution

James Salsgiver

Salsgiver & Associates

Katherine Roome

Nancy Stroupe

John Templeton Foundation

H. Perry Boyle, Jr.

Stamford Harbor Capital P

Ham Zamberu

Norwegian Refugee Council

Iltsayon Neepe

Ladylori Helicopter Charter Service, Ltd.

Asha Ngoley

Kenya Red Cross

Ahmed Kura Omar

The BOMA Project

John Stephens

Vibrant Village Foundation

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? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 01/10/2022

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

Leadership

No data

Race & ethnicity

No data

Gender identity

No data

 

No data

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 01/06/2022

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 disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
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.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.