The umbrella organization for the CNMI’s nonprofit organizations, the Marianas Alliance of Non-Governmental Organizations, introduced itself and its Lemmai-Mei Nonprofit Incubator Project to the community last Jan. 21 in an open house at its Springs Plaza headquarters in Gualo Rai.
This comes soon after the alliance, also called MANGO, was awarded a $682,485 grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration for Native Americans that will be used for MANGO’s Lemmai-Mei Nonprofit Incubator Project. The three-year grant period began on Sept. 30, 2020, and will end on Sept. 29, 2023. The project will help 25 nonprofit organizations receive incubator services to improve their sustainability.
According to MANGO training director Arthur De Oro, the ANA grant will allow them to help other nonprofits in the CNMI. This includes guidance on how to register as a nonprofit organization with both the CNMI and federal governments, obtain tax-exempt status, pursue funding opportunities, and give the nonprofit sector a collective voice in the community, and at local, regional, and international forums.
According to De Oro, the six areas they have identified as areas of most urgent needs in the nonprofit community are establishing a nonprofit organization, board training, sustainability, strategic planning, managing a nonprofit organization, and financial management.
“The objectives of the program are to develop a customized nonprofit mentoring and support program, so it doesn’t just end with the training; it’s a continuous support throughout the year, finding out what your challenges are and how we can help meet those challenges, and some of the things that, you know, working with you individually as well,” said De Oro.
MANGO currently offers eight services: proposal writing, fiscal agent services, volunteer management, accounting services, management of social media and press presence, human resources, organizational resources that need analysis, policies and procedures development, and more.
As for the Lemmai-Mei project, they have three objectives: first, to develop a customized nonprofit mentoring and support program that will provide comprehensive training and support system for 25 current and developing nonprofit organizations that provide services to the Chamorro and Carolinian community; second, build capacity for 25 existing and developing nonprofit organizations to establish long-range goals and a three-to-five-year strategic plans for their organizations; and lastly, provide 25 nonprofit organizations incubator services and improve their rating by at least one level on the MANGO Nonprofit Sustainability Scale.
MANGO’s current board members are Maisie B. Tenorio as chairperson, Felicidad Ogumuro as vice chairperson, Emma Perez as secretary, Annale’ S. Torres as treasurer, and Laurie Peterka as member.
The MANGO Lemmai-Mei Nonprofit Incubator Project staff are Frances M. Sablan, executive director; Emma H. Perez, project controller; Ryan Camacho, project director; De Oro, training director; and Angelika Narvaez, program assistant.