Five key ingredients of all projects
The community benefiting from this project must contribute or raise at least 25% of the
total cost. To date, the average local contribution has been more than 66%, a large portion being
community members’ sweat equity in the project. Communities may also assess monthly maintenance fees
and raise other funds to support the project.
Each project must demonstrate that it is sustainable. The water projects, for example, require
household assessments toward a maintenance and replacement reserve fund. Health and sanitation
projects also include a community health education component.
Two Returned Dominican Republic Peace Corps Volunteers and their family members
provided seed money for this fund, almost $130,000, as a match for all donations up to that amount. The
full match was met by large and small donations from individuals and families throughout the U.S. and a
sustainable fund was created to assure that the program could continue to provide assistance indefinitely.
Through conservative, low-risk investments, this fund generally generates enough income through interest
to award four $4,000 grants annually for an indefinite period of time.
However, the need in the Dominican Republic is so great that FDR has set a goal of funding 12 projects a
year. Therefore additional donations are needed to meet this need.
Peace Corps Volunteers:
Peace Corps Volunteers are key to the successful delivery of CCF support to local
communities. Volunteers work with community leaders to define, plan, and implement projects. They
oversee the allocated funds, assuring they are used for intended purposes. They also work with the
community to assess the results of the project and provide photos and a final report
How the fund works
Peace Corps Volunteers work with local community leaders to identify needs and priorities. The Volunteer
then works with the community to plan and organize the project, calling in Peace Corps technical staff as
needed (for example to test water quality). If found to be feasible, the project is planned and local funding
is committed. Community leaders, with the help of the Peace Corps Volunteer living in the community,
prepare an application for CCF funding for up to $4,000 per grant. The application is then reviewed by a
Peace Corps staff/Volunteer committee. Carefully planned, highneed projects are recommended to the
Peace Corps Country Director. The Director then recommends projects to FDR’s CCFCommittee. The CCF
Project Committee reviews and approves projects meeting the program criteria. Once approved, funds are
released to Peace Corps Dominican Republic and eventually to the Volunteer to purchase materials. The
Volunteer assists the community during construction, monitors the project and funds, and provides a final
report on the project.
How you can help
The Community Challenge Fund is a sustainable fund that, through lowrisk investments, is able to fund
about five projects a year. The need is much greater and our goal address a larger need by funding 10
projects yearly. Your contribution is essential.
Due to inkind administrative donations, 100% of contributions designated to the Community Challenge
Fund go directly to project costs (materials and technical labor), making your gift large or small go a long
Make a gift today!
The Friends of the Dominican Republic is a 501(c)(3) organization and your contribution is tax deductible.