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Kristen Van Busum

International fundraising has its own challenges—not the least of which is getting people “here” to care about “there.” In today’s episode, we speak with the Founder and CEO of Project Alianza, Kristin Van Busum. Project Alianza is closing the education gap in rural Central America by building safe schools and providing literacy programs and scholarships. We are a women-led organization that has provided education to over 13000 children. Kristin speaks with Messaging on a Mission Host Douglas Spencer about the challenges of creating a message that inspires people in the United States to join her organization’s quest to help people in Central America.

Key Takeaways

The focus was once on the wealth disparities between rich and poor nations. However, now the differences between rural and urban are more pronounced.

Helping people abroad and at home are not mutually exclusive.

Tap into a common belief, such as all children should feel safe when they go to school.

Develop a genuine, first-hand understanding of the foreign culture you are helping to not only connect most effectively with the people there but to tell their stories more authentically as well.

Understanding psychological barriers is critically important.

Focus on work that is led by community leaders, not people from the United States.

Think of messaging as a working document.

Always have a system for managing money and being transparent with your money and your impact.

Kristin Van Busum is the founder and CEO of Project Alianza. She has over ten years of experience as a scholar and an advocate for resilient communities. She has worked in New York City on public health initiatives to prevent obesity, helped families in need in Mexico secure stable housing, and provided counseling to incarcerated women in Indiana. Prior to founding Project Alianza, she served as Manager of Health Advisory Services at RAND Corporation, a global policy think tank. Kristin has earned degrees from Butler University and New York University and is a Fulbright Scholar.

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Kristin Van Busum

Project Alianza

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