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It Starts with Us

The Story of DialogueDirect's Dominican Republic Campaign

DialogueDirect is an organization that has been working since 2003 to improve lives across the world alongside world-renowned organizations. DialogueDirect U.S. was created out of a simple idea: that empowering dialogues could change the world. Since then, we have helped provide vital funding to many non-profit organizations and NGOs. This year we are proud to announce the success of our latest campaign in the Caribbean nation of the Dominican Republic.

In August, 2021, DialogueDirect launched in the Dominican Republic (DD DR). A small group of Dialoguers native to the Dominican Republic set out to change the lives of 927 people in their home country under a 6 month test period. They were successful, and the campaign gained traction! Within 3 months, they had reached over 1,000 donors and impacted hundreds more members of their community. As of today, the DD DR team has successfully reached over 3,000 donors. We contribute the success of this campaign to our fantastic team and incredible leadership. A journey that began with one member of our U.S. leadership and one member of our Latino American team has inevitably begun a nationwide movement. The Dominican Republic branch of DialogueDirect is now a fast-growing organization with a thriving network of local supporters. A great testament to how a few people taking initiative can have a massive ripple effect on the world. We spoke with some members of the DD DR team on their journey thus far.

Edwin Lorenzo, DD DR, National Director, on his experience in NPOs and fundraising:

“From development, as the critical component in every charity I was involved with, it always seemed that the bulk of our challenges had to do with raising money. Both from an efficiency perspective, but also from just a dollar-to-dollar perspective, we never have enough money to fill the need for it.”

Edwin has been at DialogueDirect for nearly 10 years and previously led our New York City campaign in the United States. “I think that what DD does better than most places is give young people an opportunity to shine, and to be able to come to Latin America and offer young professionals here that opportunity to shine and develop was something that really intrigued me. It was something that I really wanted to do, coming from a Salvadorian mom and Puerto Rican dad, you see the opportunities that people have in the states and it's unfortunate because I think there are a lot of talented people outside of the states that just simply don't have those opportunities,” he says.

Matías Waigand, DD DR, Campaign Coordinator, on fundraising as a career path:

“Knowing at this moment that we are making a difference makes me very happy and wanting to continue.”

Matias has fundraising experience in 2 different countries (Mexico and the Dominican Republic).

“People are different in every country (culture, food, way of speaking), very different from mine being Argentinian, but I discovered that we all have something in common, we want to help, I was able to find that through our work with UNICEF,” he says.

Scarlett Paulino,DD DR, Team Leader, on her fundraising journey:

“In the beginning, it was very difficult, but thanks to the training with my leaders I was able to overcome obstacles and connect with people to create awareness about what is happening. Over time everything became easier.” Scarlett is passionate about advocating for families experiencing hunger, violence, and inequalities. “It may sound a bit strange, but what I like the most [about my job] is that I can have fun with the team and that we can be empathetic just by listening without even knowing people in depth.”

Elayni Dicló, DD DR, Campaign Coordinator, on her perception of fundraising and her team:

“It has been the most beautiful journey I have undertaken so far, knowing that I am helping thousands of children to have guaranteed rights keeps me happy, I have met so many committed people, I am very happy!!!!” Elayni describes her team as resilient, “Like a lotus flower (the lotus flower has the ability to survive in difficult environments, like swampy areas, hence it is frequently associated with the complex vital processes that human beings must face).”

Our team in the Dominican Republic – led by Edwin Lorenzo and Matías Waigand – is paving the way for future teams. Their success with the campaign proves that a small group can change thousands of lives when given the right tools. We believe these stories and successes will continue to multiply from here on out. We hope that young leaders across the world will use this inspiration and continue to spread kindness and initiative change. We look forward to seeing new Dialoguers coming onboard, engaging with the community, and making their own difference in the world! To the Dominican Republic team - congratulations on your immense impact. We cannot wait to see what comes next!


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