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Welcome Project Inc.

 530 Mystic Avenue, Suite #111
 Somerville, MA 02145
[P] (617) 623-6633
[F] --
www.welcomeproject.org
ben@welcomeproject.org
Benjamin Echevarria
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INCORPORATED: 1990
 Printable Profile (Summary / Full)
EIN 04-3088140

LAST UPDATED: 01/04/2019
Organization DBA The Welcome Project
Former Names --
Organization received a competitive grant from the Boston Foundation in the past five years No

Summary

Mission StatementMORE »

Based in Somerville, The Welcome Project builds the collective power of immigrants to participate in and shape community decisions. We do this through programs that strengthen the capacity of immigrant youth, adults, and families to advocate for themselves and influence schools, government, and other institutions.

Mission Statement

Based in Somerville, The Welcome Project builds the collective power of immigrants to participate in and shape community decisions. We do this through programs that strengthen the capacity of immigrant youth, adults, and families to advocate for themselves and influence schools, government, and other institutions.

FinancialsMORE »

Fiscal Year July 01, 2018 to June 30, 2019
Projected Income $358,920.00
Projected Expense $358,892.00

ProgramsMORE »

  • Adult Education and Leadership Programs
  • Stepping Up to a Somerville Promise
  • Tenant Advocacy Initiative
  • Youth Aspirations Program
  • YUM: A Taste of Immigrant City

Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2017 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2016 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2015 (%)

For more details regarding the organization's financial information, select the financial tab and review available comments.


Overview

Mission Statement

Based in Somerville, The Welcome Project builds the collective power of immigrants to participate in and shape community decisions. We do this through programs that strengthen the capacity of immigrant youth, adults, and families to advocate for themselves and influence schools, government, and other institutions.

Background Statement

The Welcome Project is a community-based organization that began in the Mystic Public Housing Development in Somerville, Massachusetts in 1987, following state-mandated racial integration of the development.

As new residents were arriving from Haiti, Central America, Viet Nam and other parts of the world, many were victims of discrimination and harassment where they were most vulnerable: at home. The founders of The Welcome Project, a dedicated group of tenants and community members, came together to help support and empower these new residents.

Over the past twenty-seven years, The Welcome Project has evolved to work with the immigrant community throughout the city, while continuing to be closely linked with Mystic Housing residents. Our overarching goal since the beginning has been to strengthen Somerville's community life by encouraging equitable access to the city's social and economic resources. In 1987, this goal was specifically linked to supporting the safe integration of the development.

Today, The Welcome Project continues provides programs for immigrant and lower-income families at the Mystic and throughout the region that hones leadership and personal development, provide access to employment and education, help residents to learn English and the nuances of a new culture and engage more fully in the civic life of the city.

In Somerville today, where 32% of residents were not born in this country and 66% of public high school students live in homes where English is not the first language, immigrant families face many barriers. From accessing appropriate health services to involvement in the PTA and exploring college options, immigrant youth and their parents are less able to get the information and resources they need than families more familiar with the city’s culture, language, and institutions. We are based at the city’s largest public housing development – the Mystic Development -- but we work with immigrants throughout the city. Our efforts combine services and civic engagement -- from our interpreter training program for bilingual youth to English classes for adults. The vast majority of residents at the Mystic Housing Development have incomes under $20,000. Here, single women head 81% of the families. The majority of residents are children living in poverty. Seventy-four percent are newcomers to the United States. Mystic tenants speak Haitian Creole, Spanish, and Vietnamese as well as English.  
 

Impact Statement

Provided training in language interpretation and leadership to 16 bilingual Somerville high school youth in our Liaison Interpreters Program of Somerville (LIPS).   Provided interpretation assistance (through LIPS) to Limited English Proficient adults in Spanish, Haitian Creole, and Portuguese at 6 community meetings in the city.    Trained volunteers to teach  10 English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) classes per semester for 160 English Language Learners in Somerville. Our English class, "English for Parents" helped 15 English Language Learners engage more effectively in meeting with their child's teacher, understanding the new report cards, reading to their children, and finding a tutor. 

Needs Statement

Given the current political atmosphere, The Welcome Project continues its commitment to the immigrant community. We are currently looking to raise funds to hire an organizer who would assist in our Rapid Response Network, and assist other communities in developing their own. We are looking for people to join our YUM: A Taste of Immigrant City event planning team. We are always looking for those with fundraising experience to assist our small organization. If you would like to join our Board please feel free to go to our website to apply. 

CEO Statement

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Board Chair Statement

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Geographic Area Served

In a specific U.S. city, cities, state(s) and/or region.
GREATER BOSTON REGION, MA
Greater Boston, MA

Organization Categories

  1. Civil Rights, Social Action, Advocacy - Minority Rights
  2. Youth Development - Youth Development Programs
  3. Arts,Culture & Humanities - Cultural & Ethnic Awareness

Independent research has been conducted on this organization's theory of change or on the effectiveness of this organization's program(s)

Yes

Programs

Adult Education and Leadership Programs

Our Adult Education and Leadership Programs develop immigrant leadership through English language classes and opportunities for increased involvement in our community.
  • General English Classes
    We offer 5 levels of English classes in both morning and evening schedules.

  • Topic-based English Classes
    "English for Helping your Child in School" is an English class for immigrant parents.
    "English for Helping our Communities" is a class for community involvement offered in partnership with the Somerville Community Corporation.
  • International Parent Group
    Support for immigrant parents, both in understanding the school system in Somerville and in accessing information for higher education.

  • Free Yoga Classes
    Free, relaxing yoga classes offered to members of our community.

Budget  --
Category  Education, General/Other Adult Education
Population Served Adults Immigrant, Newcomers, Refugees Families
Program Short-Term Success  .
Program Long-Term Success  .
Program Success Monitored By  .
Examples of Program Success  .

Stepping Up to a Somerville Promise

The Welcome Project served on the founding governing body of the Somerville Promise Alliance (SomerPromise), a new city-wide initiative focused on public school education in the city. In its initial phase, programs are being piloted at the Mystic and the adjacent Arthur D. Healey School. The goal is to better coordinate the resources and programs of the city, schools and non-profit providers in service to children and families who attend the Healey School. We are leveraging our program strengths to contribute to this effort and play a leading role in ensuring a strong civic engagement component—working with parents and the schools to break down barriers to participation for immigrant families. Our program efforts include an ESOL class called “Helping Your Child in School,” special training for LIPS youth to interpret at school meetings, and the creation of our new "International Parents Group" that supports parents to become active leaders in shaping the future of their children’s education.
Budget  --
Category  Civil Rights, Social Action & Advocacy, General/Other
Population Served Families Immigrant, Newcomers, Refugees
Program Short-Term Success  .
Program Long-Term Success  .
Program Success Monitored By  .
Examples of Program Success  .

Tenant Advocacy Initiative

The Welcome Project's Tenant Advocacy Initiative helps families increase their understanding of the various systems they must negotiate. In the course of delivering a range of advocacy services, we also provide oral interpreter services, written translation, and information and referral services in Spanish, Haitian Creole, Vietnamese, and English. When Somerville residents use The Welcome Project's services at the Somerville Housing Authority, the Immigration office, or at an appointment with their child's teacher, they become able to take care of the business to which they must attend, without the fear and confusion that is common to people negotiating complex systems in a new country and in a foreign language. Thus, they take a step toward self-sufficiency and fuller participation in society. The Education and Self-development Initiative includes Citizenship and Civic Participation, which prepares immigrants to become citizens, registers them to vote, and follows-up at election time by encouraging them to go to the polls; English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL), which offers accessible and friendly classes; Women's Support Groups, through which women, usually single mothers, find ways to articulate their challenges and build networks to aid them in addressing those challenges; the Mystic Community Garden, through which immigrants connect with their new urban land; a Financial Literacy Class conducted in collaboration with Central Bank; and The Academic Achievement Project, which attracts volunteers from Temple Emunah in Lexington and students from Tufts University to work with Mystic youth and motivate academic achievement. Through the Community Organizing Initiative, Mystic residents address concerns in areas such as the environment, community development, housing, civil and human rights, and health care delivery. The Welcome Project also organizes the larger immigrant community around significant issues, such as winning the right to vote in local elections for non-citizen immigrants. All initiatives encourage participants to gain leadership skills and build community.
Budget  --
Category  Community Development, General/Other Community Economic Development
Population Served Immigrant, Newcomers, Refugees Families
Program Short-Term Success  .
Program Long-Term Success  Co-founding the Somerville Immigrants in Action Coalition, which played a central role in organizing immigrants for spring 2006 rallies in Somerville, Boston, and Washington DC.
Program Success Monitored By  .
Examples of Program Success  .

Youth Aspirations Program

Our Youth Aspirations Program focuses on helping young people from immigrant families reach their full potential. We provide academic enrichment, support for youth preparing to enter college or the work force, and hands-on civic engagement projects on community issues of concern to immigrant youth. We do this through our
  • Liaison Interpreter Program of Somerville (LIPS). Trains bilingual Somerville teens to assist with language interpretation at community events and meetings. Learn more.

  • First Generation to College Program. Offers workshops and programs for immigrant parents and families focusing on supporting children in the US educational system.
  • Summer Camp/Digital Storytelling Program. Enables young people to explore their own identities and cultures by connecting with other immigrant youth, and by creating art and photography projects to share with their communities.
    Learn more.

  • Mystic Wizards/Homework Help Club. Provides academic support and service opportunities for youth aged 8-13.

Budget  --
Category  Youth Development, General/Other
Population Served Children and Youth (0 - 19 years) College Aged (18-26 years) Immigrant, Newcomers, Refugees
Program Short-Term Success  .
Program Long-Term Success  .
Program Success Monitored By  .
Examples of Program Success  .

YUM: A Taste of Immigrant City

A Taste of Immigrant City promotes cultural exchange and understanding by revealing the rich diversity of the Somerville community, and by supporting immigrant-run restaurants. We offer a YUM Restaurant Card that provides a year of discounts at participating restaurants. All proceeds go to support the community development work of the Welcome Project, a Someville non-profit. We also highlight the many tastes of Somerville through special events and interviews with restaurant owners on our YUM Blog.
Budget  --
Category  Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other Cultural & Ethnic Awareness
Population Served Families Immigrant, Newcomers, Refugees
Program Short-Term Success  .
Program Long-Term Success  .
Program Success Monitored By  .
Examples of Program Success  .

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

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Management


CEO/Executive Director Mr. Benjamin Echevarria
CEO Term Start May 1985
CEO Email ben@welcomeproject.org
CEO Experience

Benjamin Echevarria is the Executive Director of The Welcome Project an organization dedicated to building the collective power of immigrants to shape community decisions. A pastor and a longtime leader in the Latino community Ben’s work in the social justice movement has led him to organizing and advocating for those whose voice isn't being heard. Ben now leads fights for affordable housing, educational policies that are equitable, and leadership development. Ben serves as a Boston Neighborhood Fellow for The Boston Foundation; and a member of the Massachusetts Latino Democratic Caucus, Treasurer for Community Works. Ben’s leadership on equity and equality has led to earned him the recognition of the State House of Representatives, being named one of Somerville’s top 40 leaders by Scout Magazine, and One of the “100 Most Influential People on the Latino Community” by La Planeta Newspaper.

Co-CEO --
Co-CEO Term Start --
Co-CEO Email --
Co-CEO Experience --

Former CEOs and Terms

Name Start End
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Senior Staff

Name Title Experience/Biography
Kenia Alfaro Development Coordinator --
Warren Goldstein-Gelb Programs Director --

Awards

Award Awarding Organization Year
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Affiliations

Affiliation Year
-- --
Member of state association of nonprofits? Yes
Name of state association Massachusetts Nonprofit Network

External Assessments and Accreditations

External Assessment or Accreditation Year
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Collaborations

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CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

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Foundation Comments

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Staff Information

Number of Full Time Staff 5
Number of Part Time Staff 1
Number of Volunteers 40
Number of Contract Staff 0
Staff Retention Rate % 100%

Staff Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 1
Caucasian: 2
Hispanic/Latino: 2
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 0
Other (if specified): 0
Gender Female: 3
Male: 2
Not Specified 0

Plans & Policies

Organization has Fundraising Plan? Yes
Organization has Strategic Plan? Under Development
Years Strategic Plan Considers 5
Management Succession Plan Yes
Business Continuity of Operations Plan Yes
Organization Policies And Procedures Yes
Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Whistle Blower Policy Yes
Document Destruction Policy Yes
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy Yes
State Charitable Solicitations Permit --
State Registration --

Risk Management Provisions

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Reporting and Evaluations

Management Reports to Board? Yes
CEO Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually
Senior Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually
Non Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually

Governance


Board Chair Mr. Cesar Urrunaga
Board Chair Company Affiliation JP Morgan
Board Chair Term Nov 2015 - Nov 1997
Board Co-Chair --
Board Co-Chair Company Affiliation --
Board Co-Chair Term -

Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
Ivrose Audate Community Volunteer Voting
Laura Brooks SCALE - SOMERVILLE CENTER FOR ADULT LEARNING EXPERIENCES Voting
Silvia De La Soto Restaurant Owner Voting
Timothy Groves Volunteer Voting
Meaghan Killian Union of Concerned Scientists Voting
Estafany Ramos Student Voting
Erica Satin-Hernandez City of Somerville Voting
Sarah Shugars Doctoral Student Voting
Cesar Urrunaga JP Morgab Voting

Constituent Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
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Youth Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Advisory Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
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Board Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 1
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 0
Caucasian: 4
Hispanic/Latino: 4
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 0
Other (if specified): 0
Gender Female: 7
Male: 2
Not Specified 0

Board Information

Board Term Lengths 3
Board Term Limits 2
Board Meeting Attendance % 75%
Written Board Selection Criteria Yes
Written Conflict Of Interest Policy Under Development
Percentage of Monetary Contributions 66%
Percentage of In-Kind Contributions 34%
Constituency Includes Client Representation Yes

Standing Committees

  • Development / Fund Development / Fund Raising / Grant Writing / Major Gifts
  • Executive
  • Nominating
  • Program / Program Planning

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

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Foundation Comments

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Financials


Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2017 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2016 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2015 (%)

Fiscal Year July 01, 2018 to June 30, 2019
Projected Income $358,920.00
Projected Expense $358,892.00
Form 990s

2017 Form 990

2016 Form 990

2015 Form 990

Audit Documents --
IRS Letter of Exemption

IRS Letter of Determination

Prior Three Years Total Revenue and Expense Totals

Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Total Revenue $204,661 $199,974 $193,175
Total Expenses $190,270 $188,312 $185,888

Prior Three Years Revenue Sources

Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
-- -- --
Government Contributions $0 $0 $0
    Federal -- -- --
    State -- -- --
    Local -- -- --
    Unspecified -- -- --
Individual Contributions $170,049 $190,032 $174,134
Indirect Public Support -- -- --
Earned Revenue $18,475 $9,942 $11,892
Investment Income, Net of Losses -- -- --
Membership Dues -- -- --
Special Events $16,137 -- $7,149
Revenue In-Kind -- -- --
Other -- -- --

Prior Three Years Expense Allocations

Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Program Expense $136,560 $179,586 $135,459
Administration Expense $36,464 $8,350 $50,429
Fundraising Expense $17,246 $376 --
Payments to Affiliates -- -- --
Total Revenue/Total Expenses 1.08 1.06 1.04
Program Expense/Total Expenses 72% 95% 73%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue 9% 0% 0%

Prior Three Years Assets and Liabilities

Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Total Assets $161,762 $107,666 $105,489
Current Assets $161,762 $107,666 $105,489
Long-Term Liabilities $0 $0 $0
Current Liabilities $46,508 $16,521 $15,761
Total Net Assets $115,254 $91,145 $89,728

Prior Three Years Top Three Funding Sources

Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
1st (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --
2nd (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --
3rd (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --

Financial Planning

Endowment Value $0.00
Spending Policy N/A
Percentage(If selected) --
Credit Line No
Reserve Fund Yes
How many months does reserve cover? 4.00

Capital Campaign

Are you currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Capital Campaign Purpose N/A
Campaign Goal --
Capital Campaign Dates -
Capital Campaign Raised-to-Date Amount --
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years? --

Short Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities 3.48 6.52 6.69

Long Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Long-term Liabilities/Total Assets 0% 0% 0%

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

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Foundation Comments

Financial summary data in the charts and graphs above is per the organization's IRS Form 990s. Contributions from foundations and corporations are listed under individuals when the breakout was not available.

Documents


Other Documents

No Other Documents currently available.

Impact

The Impact tab is a section on the Giving Common added in October 2013; as such the majority of nonprofits have not yet had the chance to complete this voluntary section. The purpose of the Impact section is to ask five deceptively simple questions that require reflection and promote communication about what really matters – results. The goal is to encourage strategic thinking about how a nonprofit will achieve its goals. The following Impact questions are being completed by nonprofits slowly, thoughtfully and at the right time for their respective organizations to ensure the most accurate information possible.


1. What is your organization aiming to accomplish?

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2. What are your strategies for making this happen?

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3. What are your organization’s capabilities for doing this?

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4. How will your organization know if you are making progress?

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5. What have and haven’t you accomplished so far?

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