As a child growing up in Lebanon before and after the Civil War, my heart is with the beautiful people of the region. For many centuries they have been brokers and traders, using ancient ports like Tyre, Sidon and Byblos, built during the Phoenician days. Their culture has culled the best food, art, education, medicine and philosophy from Asia (through the Silk Road), Europe (across the Mediterranean) and the Levant. As a result, the Lebanese continue to be a hardworking, entrepreneurial, multilingual, and creative people. Called “the Paris of the Middle East” in good times, Lebanon has welcomed dignitaries, movie stars, authors and the notable. It has also been a refuge to the fleeing homeless from neighboring countries for decades.
This ongoing influx has contributed to Lebanon’s “under water” financial situation. The recent severe weather from Storm Norma has made it a physical reality as well, adversely affecting over 11,000 refugees with snow, high winds and flooding. Heart for Lebanon has given crucial support to many vulnerable families during this crisis.
Upon joining the Excellence in Giving team, I was pleased to learn that Heart for Lebanon has been a well performing organization among the many nonprofits we review every year. Our Research team evaluates so our donors can know if they are supporting high-performing charities. Comprehensive analysis of nonprofit leadership, finances, strategy, and impact assess the extent of transformation compared to a baseline or benchmark.
Heart for Lebanon has used results to improve programs and motivate staff on the ground in Lebanon, to effectively recruit program participants, and to clearly articulate their impact. They have a strategy to stay in Lebanon despite often elevated conflict and tension, continuing their programs and support for the least fortunate.
Andrew Carnegie, Warren Buffett and Bill Gates publicly acknowledge that giving money intelligently is more difficult than making it. Through the Excellence in Giving process, philanthropists are able to give more confidently to organizations like Heart for Lebanon, while maximizing the impact of their philanthropy and experiencing more joy in the process.
Laura (Vidano) Blackburn spent fifteen years in Lebanon as a child of missionary parents. She now serves at Excellence in Giving as a Client Advisor, helping high capacity donors experience more joy in their giving through a personalized process of discovery, evaluation, participation, and celebration. http://excellenceingiving.com/bio-laura-blackburn