So, you are running a nonprofit and want to use it to help children, schools, teachers, and parents in your community? There are many ways to do that, from advocating creative learning methods to providing assistance to children in low-income areas that will prepare them for school. Nonprofits can be a great power for good, so you should pick the idea that your community needs the most and go from there.
1. Provide material support
The most basic and often most effective kind of help a nonprofit organization can provide to schools is material. Simply put, you can establish an organization that will collect money or supplies through a variety of ways and redistribute those to the schools in your community.
The methods of raising funds for such nonprofits vary greatly. Options you should try include but aren’t limited to:
- Online fundraising
- Organizing fundraising events
- Peer-to-peer fundraising campaigns
- Canvassing stores and businesses
- Social media campaigns seeking financial support and sponsorship
2. Raise awareness and advocate progressive educational methods
Providing material goods will definitely be appreciated. However, nonprofits can also be a great help for boosting your local education system by providing additional education. Get inspired by the Zinn Education Project, which provides students across the US with lessons on people’s history. Their curriculum is much more detailed and grounded in ‘real life.’ Therefore, the project manages to produce great results as a method of educating children about social injustice, for example, and thus prevents its reoccurrence in future generations.
As many education systems are close to crumbling today, another area your nonprofit should consider focusing on is strengthening educational approaches and methods. You should start educating teachers and school administrators in your community on the importance of creative learning environments.
Raise awareness of the limitations of prescriptive education, which is the system used by the majority of schools today and advocated by those same schools and government officials. Provide information on non-prescriptive educational methods, which enable the student to choose their own assignments. This is the approach to learning advocated by Bid4Papers and many other progressive businesses and influencers on the education scene today. Be sure to use the example of teaching ESL as a poor choice for prescriptive learning to underscore your point.
3. Provide educational support
Did you know that many children, especially those from low-income families, often do not succeed in school because they lack basic skills? Your nonprofit can help change that by mobilizing college students and teachers from your community to set up specialized classes for those kids. The goal is to provide them with the knowledge and skills they need to perform well in class.
You can do this alongside with raising awareness of the alternative educational methods and imperfections of the current system. Its rigid structure and reliance on standardized testing is one of the main issues that create problems for kids. And if you can’t change the system yet, providing this kind of assistance will enable you to help children with fitting in and succeeding under the current educational system parameters.
4. Provide support for EdTech
Nonprofits can provide a push (as well as resources) for innovation. You definitely shouldn’t disregard this opportunity if the purpose of your nonprofit is to improve education within your community.
There is a variety of educational technology (EdTech) startups today. You can partner with them to bring various technological solutions to the schools in your community. Creating a technological space, like a computer class, that will be available to children who don’t have access to a personal PC for their schoolwork, will also be seen as a nonprofit providing material goods to the cause of making education accessible to all social groups.
5. Provide education for the homeless
For the majority of the homeless community, education is completely inaccessible. As a nonprofit, you have a chance to change this, for example, by providing classes for those who need to pass high school equivalency tests such as the GED.
For hundreds of people, this could be a fantastic opportunity to leave their current unfortunate situation. Being part of the organization that gives them this chance is a reward in itself. And this kind of an initiative could extend beyond your community, so liaise with other communities to make this a statewide project at the least.