Pionero Philanthropy has reviewed data on

over 15,000 registered nonprofits in Guatemala

Our Criteria For Nonprofits

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Pionero Philanthropy’s goal is to provide accurate and up-to-date information about nonprofits operating in Guatemala. We have reviewed data on over 15,000 registered nonprofits in Guatemala against our nonprofit criteria. All organizations listed in our map and database must meet our definition of a nonprofit and be working to improve conditions in Guatemala in at least one of our theme areas.

How Does Pionero Philanthropy

Define "Nonprofit Organization"?

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Each government has different requirements to determine eligibility and legal registration of nonprofit organizations. In the United States, organizations receive 501(c)3 nonprofit status based on a definition provided by the IRS. In Guatemala, organizations receive either Guatemalan Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) status or Guatemalan Association status based on definitions provided by Guatemalan Congress.

In order to create a standard across these contexts, Pionero Philanthropy uses the following definition.

non-profit organizations are established with the aim of providing public services to communities where they operate, making them as an intermediary between citizens and authorities” Ciucescu, 2009

and that:

The primary function is the elimination of social problems or the suffering caused by social problems.

The purpose is to meet public needs, for the common good.

There is limited political involvement and no advancement of private political interests.

Faith-based organizations work for social good not for the advancement of their religion.

The mission must be for public benefit, not organized or operated for the benefit of any private interest.

Profits must be used for charitable activities, net earnings may not benefit any private shareholder or an individual.

Partnership Parameters

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To help us sort through nonprofits and to identify partnership status, Pionero Philanthropy has created a system of parameters. These parameters allow us to determine if a nonprofit is Eligible for Partnership or Non-Eligible for Partnership,  a Partner, or a Discontinued Partner.  These are defined as follows:


To be eligible for partnership a nonprofit must:

  • Be registered in Guatemala and/or the United States
  • Have a constitution or bylaws providing legal statutes for operation
  • Meet Pionero Philanthropy’s definition of a nonprofit
  • Meet the nano-large size categorization
  • Have a public presence online with recent activity within a 1 year period of time
  • Have no proven evidence of illegal, fraudulent, corrupt or unethical activity


A nonprofit that does not meet the requirements for eligibility is immediately categorized as ineligible. Non-eligibility status may be reconsidered in the future. If any nonprofit has doubts about their non-eligibility status, please contact Pionero Philanthropy.


To form and maintain a partnership an eligible nonprofit must:

  • Maintain all eligibility requirements
  • Complete all preliminary forms, evaluations, and site visits
  • Provide all requested documents
  • Annually update all information with Pionero Philanthropy
  • Have values that align with Pionero Philanthropy
  • Maintain good communication with Pionero Philanthropy (ie. timely, honest and respectful)
  • Maintain a positive status and reputation within the community

Discontinued Partnership

A partner may be discontinued if they cannot maintain the partnership parameters. Discontinued status may be reconsidered in the future. If any nonprofit has doubts about their discontinued partnership status, please contact Pionero Philanthropy.

Our Theme Areas

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Pionero Philanthropy categorizes Guatemalan nonprofits into nine crucial theme areas, based on their missions and work:


Of the total population aged over seven years old, Guatemalans receive an average of 5.5 years of education.


Guatemala’s chronic child malnutrition rate is 46.5% for children under 5 years of age, the highest rate in the region, and the 5th highest worldwide.


Poverty increased in Guatemala by 5.6%, to 59.3% of the population, between 2011 and 2016. From 2000-2014 extreme poverty increased by about half a million people.


6.3% of children aged 7-14 years old reported having to work in Guatemala. 3.5% reported combining work with school.


30% of Guatemalan girls are married by the time they are 18, and 6% are married by the age of 15.


In 2017, Guatemalan approved the first-ever animal welfare law with the support of the Humane Society International. However, the country continues to experience a lack of enforcement.


More than 80% of the indigenous population lives under conditions of multidimensional poverty, meaning they suffer various deprivations associated with poverty such as lack of education, poor health, violence and dangerous living conditions.


Guatemala has the 3rd highest rate of femicide worldwide. Historically, Guatemala has been considered one of the most dangerous countries in Central America and the world. This can be attributed to gang-related violence, narco-trafficking activity, and a failing police/ judicial system.


Guatemala is one of the most ecologically diverse countries in the world and is one of the most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change.

Search our database to learn how Guatemalan nonprofits are working to improve these rates.

Nonprofit Size Targets of Partner Nonprofits

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Pionero Philanthropy Nonprofit Size Infographic

Nonprofit size is measured by the annual budget of nonprofit organizations. Improving upon pre-established definitions of nonprofit size by the United States IRS, Pionero Philanthropy has redefined a nonprofit size scale to provide more visibility to low budget nonprofits with the inclusion of a nano nonprofit category.

We aim to provide philanthropic support and assistance where it is most relevant and help support small nonprofits in Guatemala. This led to the creation of Pionero Philanthropy’s target partner distribution.

Our size scale and target partner distribution are shown in the diagram to the left.

Target Partner Nonprofit Registration Distribution

Pionero Philanthropy strives to apply our methodology to a larger number of Guatemalan Registered organizations (Associations & NGOs) than to 501(c)3 registered organizations. As 501(c)3 organizations tend to receive more publicity in the United States, we hope to shine a light on those who have not been previously publicly evaluated for the United States philanthropic sector.

As donations to Guatemalan registered organizations do not provide tax benefits in the United States, Pionero Philanthropy acts as a 501(c)3 fiscal sponsor to provide our Guatemalan registered partner nonprofits access to this large scale funding source.

Pionero Philanthropy’s Target Partner Registration Distribution:

  • Guatemalan Registered Associations or NGOs
    Target- 75% of total partners
  • Organizations both registered as a US 501(c)3 organization and a Guatemalan Association or NGO
    Target- 20% of total partners
  • US Registered 501(c)3 organizations working in Guatemala
    Target- 5% of total partners