The Inti Raymi Fund (IRF) was created to change the way we all think about philanthropy. We believe it is time to provide people with a way to be more effective in how they give. And most importantly, we believe it is time to provide the people we help with dignity and respect.
It is time to be wiser about the way we help by listening to those we help. By giving them what they need to move forward on their own in a sustainable way.
At IRF, we feel it is time to make sure that the money we give goes directly into the hands of the people who need it, not into the hands of third parties, governments, or giant organizations. We think the time has come to allow those who give the opportunity to choose who they help and how they help. We think people who give back to the world should be able to feel the good they do.
CHANGE THE PARADIGM
For centuries, the world has operated with a distinctly Western philosophy on how we go about the business of helping those “less fortunate.” It is based on the idea that affluent people – successful members of the modern human race – know what is best for all people. This has led public and private aid organizations to develop programs that overly control the way other cultures receive and utilize aid. With the best of intentions, we have perpetuated generations of dependent communities attached to government and nonprofit programs for survival. And we have seen the disappearance of unique cultures and ideas.
In continuing to project our Western beliefs onto struggling communities, we are creating more harm than good by crippling the very people we seek to help. We rob them of the opportunity to build the problem-solving skills they need, and we damage their confidence in their own ability to thrive.
By working with third parties instead of working directly with the communities in need, philanthropists have unintentionally created an enormous opportunity for corruption within the international aid industry. During nomination hearings for Secretary of State Rex Tillerson in January 2017, Senator Rand Paul estimated that 70 percent of foreign aid by the U.S. is “stolen off the top.” Other sources conclude that corrupt government agents in some countries siphon off up to 90 percent of the foreign aid targeted for people in need.
It is hard to exactly calculate how much money sent to foreign countries and domestic aid groups for philanthropic aid is lost, but one thing is certain – corruption is a major problem in getting donated money to people. In fact, this level of corruption is the reason many communities in Africa and other parts of the world continue to struggle, even after an estimated $27.3 billion in foreign aid has been given (per The Global Humanitarian Assistance Report 2017).
It is time to change the way we change the world. IRF is a new model for 21st century philanthropy based on human connection, self-determination, respect, and dignity. We call it Adrenaline Philanthropy. It is about charging you directly with the power to decide which communities you help and what projects you fund. It is about charging those in need with the power to move forward in ways they determine for themselves, free of strings that would bind them. It is about putting cash directly into the hands of those who need it.
We travel the world, seeking out and finding cultures that have been oppressed and marginalized by corrupt and abusive leadership. We offer people in these communities a one-time opportunity to level the playing field. We offer them a second chance to survive. Because we believe that diversity makes our global community stronger.
We bring the faces and communities of the people we discover to you. We show you the projects they want to fund. We give you the chance to understand the cultures and the issues they struggle to overcome. We give you the power to choose the projects to which you wish to contribute, to find the people and the projects that resonate with you. And we offer you the ability to double the power of your donation by matching the funds you give, so that you can be twice as effective in your support. Because we believe absolutely that you have the ability to change the world. One village at a time.
The IRF assistance program was developed through attendance of annual United Nations Conferences, where we listened to Indigenous peoples representing hundreds of ethnicities from all regions of the world discuss their issues and needs. We came to understand that, while all people share common human bonds, every community lives with a unique set of circumstances. We realized that we cannot know what is best for every community in every part of the world. We came to understand that if we don’t know what they actually need, we cannot possibly help them.
Our approach is simple. We address each project by treating the people we wish to assist with Dignity and Respect. We trust them to know what they need to move forward. We begin with two questions. What do you need? How can we help?
When we meet with a community, we meet with the whole community to establish trust though transparency. We listen. They identify the projects they feel will best assist them in moving forward. We share our experience and planning expertise through workshops. We put the project funding in cash directly into the hands of the community in front of absolutely everyone, and we walk away.
START YOUR JOURNEY
IRF has only two rules for the people who receive our money. First, our gift must benefit everyone in the community evenly. And second, adequate safeguards must be established by the entire community to prevent the loss of funds.
At IRF, we believe that philanthropy is not about signing a check. It is about starting an adventure. It’s finding a new way of looking at the world, a chance to see people and cultures hidden from the mainstream. It is about making the kind of difference you want to make. It is about feeling the good you do. Because feeling the change makes you part of the real world. It makes you a part of the solution.
If you like what you find in our projects, we hope you will join us. Or find your own way to change the world by giving. We hope you start a new journey. Because life should be an adventure.