How it Works

Each grassroots school team is composed of three committees. The interaction and communication between these three committees provides optimum organization, transparency, accountability, and communication so that the school’s mission of providing education to the uneducated can be accomplished. The three committees are as follows:

1. Committee of Sponsors – This committee must be made up of at least three sponsors who donate monthly, seek others to donate, maintain communication with the other two committees, and create and maintain a blog or website specifically for the school. The committee of sponsors should remain knowledgeable about the amount of money raised each month as well as where the funds are going and relay that information to sponsors. The blog should provide updates from on the ground, likely relayed from the school’s director, at least every three months. More frequent updates and more insightful updates generally generate more support.

2. Committee of School Faculty – This committee must be made up of the school director and at least two teachers. The committee is responsible for providing the required information listed below as well as updates at least every three months to be posted on the school’s website or blog. Updates should communicate the way that funds have been spent as well as current needs. Some financial discussion may not necessarily need to be communicated to the general public and can be kept between this committee and the committee of sponsors, but an update on this information should be provided nonetheless. The updates to be posted should also explain changes, successes, challenges, and stories to provide insight to those who are not on the ground. Some guiding questions can be provided to help the committee to organize updates. The committee is also responsible for receiving funds and managing them honestly and wisely. The committee’s success in this area will undoubtedly influence the response from sponsors.

3. Committee of Parents – This committee must be made up of at least three parents of students enrolled in the school. These parents should be elected among parents who always attend parent-teacher meetings and always lend a helping hand with the school. This committee is responsible for staying informed in all school activities and remaining supportive to the school in general. There is not much more responsibility required here other than this committee should be aware that they can be contacted by the committee of sponsors regarding school affairs and should be prepared to provide accurate information to the best of their ability in such cases.

**Note**: A team may wish to begin before it is completely organized in the way outlined here. It is possible to begin and work toward forming these committees and providing the necessary information listed below along the way, as sometimes it takes time to develop. However, this outlines the goal and ideal way to do it. We do recognize that it is a work in progress and a work in progress still needs and deserves funding. What is most important is that a school that begins and is receiving any sort of funding is constantly working toward forming these committees and providing the necessary information. We can provide support with this.

Required information from the school. The first four pieces of information should be clearly displayed on the school’s blog or website:

1. history of the school written in time line fashion

2. description of the area where the school is located, the population it serves, and the challenges this population faces in receiving education in the absence of the school.

3. daily school schedule

4. ideal monthly budget and its breakdown

The following information is shared on Google Docs so that the school fills in the information to be accessed and viewed by the sponsoring committee at any time:

5. a teacher attendance spreadsheet recording days teachers are absent, arrive late, or leave early.

6. a student attendance spreadsheet

7. annual student registration spreadsheet – name, date of birth, age, school level, and parent/guardian name.

8. committee of parents contact info. (This is important for the accountability of the school faculty who receives and manages funds. For example, if a school director receives money that is meant to pay teachers and it is not used responsibly, the teachers will speak up. If money is given to purchase books for the school and students to use but the money is not used this way, the parents will speak up. However, it is important the the lines of communication be kept open.)

9. teacher information name, age, education level, grade level taught/subject taught, prior work experience, other employment, and contact info.

In addition, the following information will be shared between Project Esperanza who runs the Grassroots Schools Global Affiliates program, the committee of sponsors, and the committee of school faculty:

1. record of incoming funds from sponsors to Project Esperanza on behalf of the school.

2. record of money transfers from Project Esperanza to the school, complete with evidence of the transfer from the money transfer agency.

3. record of all incoming funds to the school through the grassroots schools program and from other sources such as other organizations or individuals. Contact information of such external supporters should be provided as well.

4. record of monthly expenses managed by the committee of school faculty.

Other important information regarding the global affiliate program:

1. There is no guarantee that schools accepted into the program will reach their target budget. This all depends on the fund raising success of the sponsoring team. More frequent updates which enable sponsors to truly understand the life of students in the school will bring about more fund raising success, as will having sponsors come and visit the school.

2. Project Esperanza takes 5% of all donations made to support affiliate schools to support our ongoing programs. The other 95% of donations is sent directly to the affiliate school each month. An e-mail will be automatically sent to members of the school’s team by the money transfer company upon each money transfer. Transfer fees will have to be covered by the 95% of monthly donations.

3. All schools in the affiliate program will also be posted as a project on GlobalGiving.org to create more awareness and draw in more sponsors. However, Global Giving takes 15 percent of all donations made toward projects on its site. Therefore, Project Esperanza will receive all donations minus 15 percent, then take 5 percent of what is received, and send the remaining 95 percent directly to the school.

4. Any school team that continues to have problems with corruption and dishonesty or an inability to work together will be eliminated from the program.

5. Affiliated schools must serve a population that faces severe challenges in receiving education otherwise, similarly to the Haitian immigrant population in the Dominican Republic which Project Esperanza’s grassroots schools serve. If the school is in a country where the government fails its citizens for whatever reason as far as providing public education for everyone, that is a suitable case as well.

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