April 2022 Update: We're Almost Ready!

Founded in 2020, only a few months into the COVID-19 pandemic, the early organizational work to get this non-profit effort going was actually fairly simple. Both incorporation in the state of New Jersey and proper registration with the IRS, including receiving 501(c)3 status, were done online. The real trouble has been banking.

It's surprising to me how few banks offer account options that are reasonable for small non-profits. Many have minimum balance requirements that are fairly high, and if those aren't met, monthly fees apply. Worse yet, we even had one bank reject us as a client without adequate explanation.

Uberlândia Development Initiatives exists to support community development work in Brazil. We will do this through raising financial support through tax deductible donations in the United States and, in turn, passing these funds along to partner NGOs in the city of Uberlândia, Brazil. This non-profit is operated by volunteers who draw no compensation from the work, meaning that nearly 100% of funds go toward social projects, less any remittance fees. Our current partner NGO is Projetos Sociais Estação Vida, located in the Shopping Park neighborhood of Uberlândia. 

Unlike the grant money that our partner NGO often receives from international organizations, our funds will have minimal strings attached. We only require proper reporting of how the funds are dispersed, and that they are used for the projects and operations of the NGO. Since we here in the United States are not there on the ground with them, and given that Estação Vida is an organization that began with grassroots effort and continues under able local leadership, it's not our place to define strategy or tactics for them. 

During the pandemic life changed everywhere, including at Estação Vida. Regular programming was almost entirely suspended, and the NGO shifted to providing emergency support to the neighborhood, including handling food distribution. Now that we seem to be getting clear of COVID concerns, programming and children have been returning. A positive of the quiet period is that a number of structural improvements were able to be made without disrupting programs or restricting childrens' access. 

As I said above, the real problem on our end at UDI has been with finding a bank to work with us. We now believe we have this nearly resolved, as we are preparing to open an account in May 2022 with a small local bank that seems eager to work with us. Once that step is complete we'll be able to set up online donation functionality and begin fund raising. 

We are looking forward to supporting this important work in Brazil, and are more anxious than ever to get started. Please follow us on Twitter and/or Facebook to keep up on what we are doing, and to know when we can begin receiving contributions. Thank you for your interest!

Popular Posts