242593 What should community-based organizations in developing country settings be asking of their local community? Strengthening the community through local donations

Tuesday, November 1, 2011: 2:30 PM

Laurel D. Stevenson, PhD, MPH , Department of Applied Health Science, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN
Susan E. Middlestadt, PhD , Department of Applied Health Science, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN
Kieran C. Dolin , Department of Health, Physical Education and Recreation, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, MI
Omar L. Rodriguez , The Cornerstone Foundation, San Ignacio, Belize
Purpose: Many community-based organizations (CBOs) located in developing country settings rely on aid from multilateral institutions and other international donors. This top-down model has been criticized because it does not always facilitate local ownership or build local capacity. The purpose of this study was to examine individuals' beliefs about donating to a local Belizean CBO with the goal of identifying ways in which CBOs could tap local social capital. Methods: This mixed-methods, theory-based study was conducted in 2009-2010 in Belize. A survey of 334 adults used the Reasoned Action Approach to identify factors associated with donating services, supplies or money to support children affected by HIV/AIDS. Beliefs about donating were correlated with intention to donate. In-depth interviews with eight donors explored perceived impacts of donating and were coded for emerging themes. Results: The three perceived consequences most strongly correlated with intention were: my donating will help people in need; will improve my community; and will let children know someone cares for them. Analysis of interview themes revealed that donors perceived that their involvement educates people, results in a decreased burden on government services, and means their community can stay self-sufficient. Implications: Results suggest that individuals believe their involvement with or donation to their local CBO strengthens their community. Capitalizing on this belief, CBOs messages to the public should emphasize community improvement through local donations. CBOs may also consider incorporating aspects of programs to involve local support/donations and asking individuals to donate their skills, time, or non-monetary resources for program activities.

Learning Areas:
Program planning
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
1. Identify individuals’ perceived consequences of donating to their local CBO. 2. Discuss ways in which CBOs can involve local individuals in order to increase community capacity.

Keywords: Community Capacity, Community Involvement

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I was responsible for research concept, data collection, analysis, and dissemination.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.