Build Futures, Save Pasts

     A very holiday season to you and yours! We all have much to be thankful for this season, as do the artisans and entrepreneurs we have supported.

     Here at SPI we are especially thankful for you. Your past support has made a world of difference.

     Once a year, I write to update you about The Sustainable Preservation Initiative (SPI) and of course, ask you to continue to contribute to our work. I know you have an avalanche of requests coming in from all directions. Thank you for reading this letter and considering SPI.

     If you do decide to give before the end of the year, your contribution will be matched by some long-time supporters!

     So please read on to hear about our successful projects, our expansion plans and our alliance with folks such as National Geographic and the UN to make that happen.
     SPI builds futures and saves pasts. Our success in economic development, women’s empowerment and site preservation is unparalleled. Giving impoverished communities the tools they need to thrive and to leverage their heritage as a sustainable economic asset provides both immediate and long-term benefits for their poor residents.
Let’s talk about big wins:
We now have nine self-sustaining projects!
     That’s right, we don’t support them financially anymore and they are thriving. Looting and encroachment on the sites have stopped. The details are on our web page:

     Our paradigm works! SPI projects continue to turn local community members--mostly women--into successful entrepreneurs and small business owners.
We have also begun a new bicycle tours program (one of our many collaborations with National Geographic) to provide economic opportunity to young women and men living around sites. Together we are creating the jobs and awareness that keep sites safe. Check out this new four-minute video to see our paradigm in action!
Our 2019 goal is to continue the big expansion we began last year-we have successfully kicked off new projects in Bulgaria and Tanzania to go along side our work in Peru, Guatemala and Jordan.  Rather than build a huge and bureaucratic organization, we “franchised” our secret sauce, the methodology that makes SPI projects successful. Many of you are aware that we have developed a comprehensive “mini-business school” for people with little or no formal education. This business school is the key to our success. We are guiding local social entrepreneurs to create their own SPI’s in their own countries. We won’t take franchise fees, but we will create far more jobs and save far more sites. And that kind of impact is the name of the SPI game.
We have an even bigger goal for 2019 and beyond: bringing basic business education to poor women and other marginalized potential entrepreneurs around the world. Our mini-business school has spawned vast interest from other community development and women’s empowerment organizations. We have learned that there are few if any successfully implemented curricula that provide critical business skills to the economically disadvantaged. We have seen the importance of providing those skills to poverty alleviation and empowerment, and now other organizations want to join us.
     We have begun a collaboration with UNOPS (a branch of the UN) to spread our training and capacity building program to potential women entrepreneurs around the world.

     UNOPS conducts UP (Possibilities) Forums around the world, which  are designed to inspire and provide important tools for women and marginalized entrepreneurs and  small business owners.  I had the honor and privilege to be keynote speaker and address over 100 Myanmar entrepreneurs, the vast majority women, at the recent UP Forum in Yangon to kick off this collaboration.
     We and UNOPS are also working with the Finnish NGO Funzi to put the curriculum on a mobile platform in order to reach more women and others. 
     This type of scaling will of course require us to raise significant additional resources, as will our expanded efforts to build futures and save pasts in several new countries. Sustainable economic development is the key to a brighter future for many impoverished people, as well as preserving our shared past.
Please join us in seizing this unique opportunity to expand and bring these benefits to communities and sites all over the world.


Contributions may be made online here. Checks may be sent to:
Sustainable Preservation Initiative
40 West 22nd Street 11th Floor
New York, NY 10010

SPI is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit. Our tax ID is 27-2704326.

Thank you for your kind consideration. I would be delighted to answer any questions or tell you more about SPI, so please get in touch.


Larry Coben
Sustainable Preservation Initiative

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Sustainable Preservation Initiative
40 West 22nd St., 11th Floor
New York, NY 10010

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