Financing Educational Projects in Third World Countries – Part VI

13 04 2009

Retooling and Reaching Beyond Traditional Fundraising
The above scenario is not only possible and promising but it is also repeatable in different places with different groups all over the world, and so a simple spark could start a global flame. This is the very spirit of how to apply the Blue Ocean principles in a way that would not only impact individual or corporate wealth but global impact. A Blue Ocean in this case would be a sustainable and renewable so that growth in every sector or village could and would occur. What village would not want to feed its entire people? The scenario above shows one form of traditional funding (grants) that could be retooled for a different purpose so that monies that may not be available to impact a global need could be used because they would help to facilitate the programming. When looking at the entirety of this scenario, many traditional forms of fundraising could be used to help in global initiatives even though the funding itself is not specifically earmarked for these uses. According to NPOdev, a grant-writing agency dedicated to funding work of non-profits (www.npodev.org), there can be as many as ten thousand sources of income that could be channeled in a direction that would have a global impact (J. Ansley, personal communication, November 1, 2008). Grants like these are one form of traditional funding as are foundations.. Foundations , however, are unique as a key element of funding, and could be used quite creatively. Foundations are established for the creation of programs around a certain subject, (Foundation Center, 2008). For instance there are a number of foundations that fund environmental research or the development of environmental curricula for school aged children. Why couldn’t these monies be used to facilitate programming and curricula that would have a global component? What if a school would develop environmental curricula that would teach high school students about biodiesels and alternate forms of energy and in the process they create a product that could be sold and then the proceeds given to a school down the street whose organic farming program has a local and global set of initiatives? Do you see it? Communities empowered and deployed to help other communities on a global scale; all of it funded in traditional ways.
However, what about the nontraditional means? Not every school could have an organic farm, or a biodiesel laboratory. So where can the financing come from in these instances? There are many nontraditional means of building wealth that could be used in nontraditional ways. What it takes is a global vision and a strong set of objectives that help students and learners of all ages see a bigger picture than just wealth building. A prominent church in Central Florida has captured this vision by establishing a “church distributed” model. Currently they have satellite fed worship services in 18 different locations including locations that are international. Each location has been established with a pastor on the ground to help with the needs of that community and each week, the message, music and other components of the churches programming are linked together through a satellite feed. Throughout the services, video feeds from the various places are streamed to everyone else so that the global community is seen, heard and felt in a way unlike anything that has been done ecclesiatistically before (Hunter, 2007). In the same way the following means of gathering wealth could be used to impact educational projects in the third world in innovative ways:

AdSense and Internet Advertising
Internet advertising and AdSense are staples in the internet marketing and wealth building world (Google, 2008). Companies have embraced these streams of income for more than two decades and have found them to be not only profitable but exponential in the growth of their company’s assets. At the same time, technological education is beginning in the lowest aged children and so middle school, high school and college-aged learners will have computer skills that are far beyond anything the generation preceding them would even hope to enjoy. AdSense and internet marketing can then be taught from a global perspective and utilized in a creative way to finance educational projects. What if a school forged a technological program that recreated their now typical website design class into a class where students create websites that create income that would be used to affect programming in third world countries? What if a school of technology could write curriculum that would emphasize wireless networking and raise money to established wireless internet hubs in third world areas so that more people could be educated or conduct business? What if AdSense AdWords and other forms of internet marketing were used to help create a stream of wealth that could continue to find these projects?

Multi-level Marketing Programming
Recently, at a rally for a large multilevel marketing (MLM) program, a woman stood up and said that she was going to route all of her profits for the month of April to help a local women and children’s shelter. MLM’s are some of the largest wealth building programs in America and some are even global in scale. What if an MLM could be established that would redirect a percentage of its profits to fund educational projects in third world programs? What if biodiesel or some other alternative energy source could be packaged as an MLM that would be used to create a renewable stream of income for participants as well as the third world? What if Amway dedicated a stream of income to third world educational programming? The opportunities are seemingly endless and promising and would help to bolster the mission of most MLM’s and that is to empower customers to achieve their immediate and long term goals (MLM Corporate, 2008). Here the added value would be in the long term positive ramifications of such global philanthropy.

Online Business Models and Other E-commerce
Millions of people sell their wares, automobiles, and even houses on EBay every quarter, and everyone understands the power of e-commerce. In fact, EBay established a nonprofit organization called Mission Fish that has helped non-profits raise over ninety-eight million dollars through e-commerce since 2003 (http://www.missionfish.org, 2008). In this program items can be designated for a specific charity and sold through EBay with the proceeds going to that charity. Also portions of sales can be rerouted to these organizations with the hopes of creating a stream of income for non-profit organizations. So what can be done to creatively shift so that additional streams of income can be created for the purpose of financing educational programming in third world countries? It was alluded to before that the Rafiki Foundation teaches young African women how to weave baskets and make jewelry in order to help offset some of the food costs incurred by the village that was built. However, what if those items were sold on EBay? What if it could be marketed to the world through e-commerce what the Rafiki foundation is doing? What if by buying a basket a buyer would know that it is helping a student go to school and learn a trade that will help impact their community? Again, the stream of income already exists, but if coupled with something unique it could create a renewable stream of income that would help to educate as to what is being done and how to further get involved in these programs.

Innovative Mutations of Microlending
Microlending is a relatively new phenomenon in the world of e-commerce, but it is gaining popularity quickly. The idea behind microlending is that a small project can be posted on the web and then a number of people can anonymously invest in that effort with a promised return (Prosper Marketplace Inc, 2008). How could this impact third world educational programming? What if a non-profit microphilanthropy scenario was created? What if educational and other non-profit projects could be advertised online with a proposed budget and people could give towards that project. It would allow for smaller projects to gain the finding that it would need quickly, but also it could allow large-scoped projects to be broken up into smaller segments and funded in a more non-traditional way. The possibilities here are endless because anyone anywhere in the world could donate five dollars and make a major impact towards his/her global community and remain anonymous if that is the desire.

References

  • Eskow, S., & Trevitte, C. (2007). Reschooling society and the promise of ee-learning: An interview with Steve Eskow. Innovate Journal of Online Education, 3(6), 1-4. Retrieved August 18, 2007, from Innovate Journal of Online Education Web site: http://www.innovateonline.info
  • Foundation Center. (2008). Freequently asked questions: What is a foundation? Retrieved December 5, 2008, from Foundation Center Web site: http://foundationcenter.org/getstarted/faqs/html/foundfun.html
  • Google. (2008). What is Adsense? [Interactive slide presentation]. Retrieved November 30, 2008, from Google Web site: http://www.google.com/services/adsense_tour/index.html
  • Hunter, J. C. (2007). Church Distributed: How the church can thrive in the coming era of connection. Longwood, Florida: Distributed Church Press.
  • Kim W. C., & Mauborgne, R. (2005). Blue ocean strategy: How to create uncontested market space and make competition irrelavant. Boston: Harvard Business School Press.
  • MLM Corporate. (2008). Mission and Vision for MLM Corporate Clients. Retrieved November 18, 2008, from MLM Corporate Web site: http://www.mlmcorporate.com/fru/pg/2521/default.aspx
  • Moore, M., & Kearsley, G. (2005). Distance education: A systems view (Second ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth, a division of Thomson Learning Inc.
  • Morrison, G. R., Ross, S. M., Kemp, J. E., & Kalman, H. K. (2007). Designing effective instruction (5th edition ed.). Hoboken, New Jersey: John Wiley and Sons, Inc.
  • Nilles, J. (2007). Some historical thoughts on the ee-learning renaissance. Innovate Journal of Online Education, 3(6), 1-9. Retrieved August 18, 2007, from Innovate Journal of Online Education Web site: http://www.innovateonline.info
  • open source. (2008). In The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing. Retrieved November 24, 2008, from dictionary.com Web site: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/Open Source
  • Prosper Marketplace Inc. (2008). Prosper: Company overview. Retrieved November 12, 2008, from Prosper.com Web site: http://www.prosper.com/about/
  • Rafiki Foundation. (2007). Rafiki Foundation [Brochure]. Eustis, FL: Author.
  • third world. (n.d.). In Dictionary.com Unabridged. Retrieved November 24, 2008, from Dictionary.com Web site: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/third world
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