Case Study: Hogar San José

Hogar San José is a home for 35 girls who have been removed from their homes by the court due to physical or sexual abuse. More than 20 staff members—including psychologists, care takers, and social workers—act as a surrogate family for the girls and work to provide them with a nurturing home. A team of Gabelli School Full-time MBA students worked with this organization for an intensive week in August. 

Project description

Hogar San José required assistance across several different dimensions. The greatest needs were in communications, fundraising, and marketing strategy. The home needed to make itself known to the local community and other potential interested parties, especially because greater awareness could lead to more effective fundraising efforts. Fundraising is key to Hogar San José’s success: Though it receives some funding from the provincial government, those funds only cover roughly half the costs of staff salaries alone. The remaining salary funds, along with money for food, cleaning supplies, school materials, and clothing for the 35 girls, must be raised from alternate sources.

Client request

Hogar San José looked to the Gabelli School MBA team to develop a concrete, feasible communications and fundraising strategy.

Final report

The MBA team produced and delivered a 54-page document that outlined recommendations for Hogar San José. The report covered topics such as:

  • Generating revenue via real estate, mortgage, and other professionals
  • Establishing a pen-pal program with the St. Vincent de Paul Network
  • Website reconstruction
  • Social-media strategy
  • Fundraising research and sources
  • Optimal use of funds
  • Visitor questionnaires
  • Customs law and Australian Embassy research


Testimonials from the student team

“I was pleasantly surprised to discover how excited all of the girls were to meet us. Prior to arriving at Hogar San José, I was expecting to find girls who were shy due to their previous abuses. Instead I found girls who were happy, smiling, and outgoing. The work that is being done at Hogar San José is clearly benefiting the girls. I am so glad I was able to visit and see firsthand what it is like; it truly surpassed all of my expectations!”

- Danielle Clement, MBA ’19

“The administrative team, counselors, cooks, and volunteers are the backbone of this organization. Sure, outside funding is essential to keep the doors open, but the Hogar staff consists of the most suited professionals for the task. This is not a job for them; it’s part of their everyday life. The staff’s loving and caring support is what these girls need most in their lives. The biggest surprise to me was that regardless of their current living conditions, the girls are full of life and opportunity. We spent a short month researching and planning ways to help Hogar San José remain operational; we hope this effort will grow and continue.”

- Zach Danks, MBA ’19

“From the moment we arrived at Hogar San José, the management team welcomed us as if we were family. There is no doubt that they are passionate about their cause, and they operate their organization in a way that always puts the girls first. Period. Our group was thoroughly impressed with everyone whom we met, including the girls who lived there, who were thrilled to spend time with us. A truly unforgettable experience.”

- Aran Nafisi, MBA ’19

“It’s easy to look at Hogar San José’s financial need and the home lives of the children they serve and to assume that it’s a sad place. I made that assumption, and I couldn’t have been more wrong. Warm laughter and the patter of little running feet fill the halls of Hogar San José. The peace and hope there is fostered by its staff and volunteers and the inherent resilience of a child’s heart. These qualities are priceless, and they make Hogar San José an enormous asset to its community. I am honored to have had the opportunity to help this astounding organization. It is more than deserving of any support you can give, and you’ll be thrilled by how great it feels to lift up Hogar San José and its girls.”

- Bliss Griffin, MBA ’19

“Visiting the Hogar San José grounds was a unique and educating experience in itself. The team’s resilience and dogged determination to ensure that these girls feel safe and cared for—and can look forward to the future—epitomizes quiet courage. The girls themselves were so full of energy and life; they made us forget the stress of our routines and just bask in their innocent excitement. I’m glad I could relate to the faces from Hogar San José while I worked on this project and am happy to know we could contribute to make one corner of the world a little better.”

- Rucha Gawas, MBA ’19