Best Charity to Donate to

Why do people donate to charities?

Bill Gates and Warren Buffet have made their intentions clear, and not to diminish their gifts in any way, but they’ve got a lot of money. But what makes the average person write a check? It’s usually because they’re compassionate and they want to make a difference in the lives of others. They no longer want to be a bystander. Even with the current state of the economy in this country, hardworking, generous people realize that no matter how tough things are here, we’re still vastly better off than millions of people in developing nations across the globe.

Why is buildOn the best charity to donate to?

They’re on a mission to break the cycle of poverty, illiteracy and low expectations. Pretty lofty goal, right? Before we at look their progress, we should take a look at how they plan to meet that goal, and what your donation will support.

Economic growth in developing countries won’t happen if the citizens can’t read. For a country to grow and its people to prosper, at least 40 percent of its adults need to be able to read and write. That’s where buildOn comes in, but the process starts here at home.

Service and education

Direct service programs
They run after school service programs at 62 high schools in challenging urban areas in the US. Students in direct service programs contribute to the community by helping the homeless, seniors and the disenfranchised confront the challenges of urban life. In these often difficult face to face encounters, whether it’s in a soup kitchen on a nursing home, they develop empathy and compassion. 60 percent of all service activities are people to people.

Indirect service
The students in the program elevate expectations both for themselves and their neighborhoods. Indirect service, like cleaning up graffiti or creating public art, shows that they care and they want to make a difference.

In the developing word, and here at home, education is the first step out of poverty. Their curriculum helps students explore global issues and understand how they relate to their own lives. At weekly after school meetings, leadership development is emphasized so they can see their role in the larger world.

As they learn about local issues, they help educate fellow students on health issues, the challenge of pollution and food deserts, and they join in the fight to combat truancy. Most importantly, they see and understand the impact of their own voice.

Has it paid off for the kids?

  • Compared to their peers, those enrolled in the after school service programs miss 60 percent fewer days of school.
  • Since 2000, 95 percent of the program’s graduating seniors have gone on to college.
  • And many of them take part in the Trek Program.

Seems like that would be enough of a reason to conclude this is the best charity to donate to, but you don’t know that half of it.

Global Action – Students Building Schools
BuildOn builds schools. With ongoing projects in Nicaragua, Haiti, Malawi, Mali, Senegal, Nepal and Burkina Faso, and through their global education efforts, they engage US students and entire villages in other countries and cultures. Most of these kids have never traveled outside their own neighborhood.

What makes the whole process so special is these kids from our own urban areas are the ones that are helping to build the schools. In their own neighborhoods at home, they deal with violence, drugs and overcrowded and underfunded schools. When they travel to and take part in building a school in an impoverished village in another part of the world, they see what life is like without the opportunity of any education at all.

It’s called the Trek for Knowledge Program
Your donation enables high school students in the program to travel to a foreign country, to live with host families for up to ten days while they dig foundations, mix concrete and make bricks. They work side-by-side with the parents of the children who will be able attend school – often for the first time.

These US students from impoverished neighborhoods see for the first time an excitement and dedication to learning in worse circumstances than their own, and they return changed for the better. They have a new appreciation for education, and they see, for the first time, positive possibilities for themselves.

Your donation makes that transformation possible for not only our own students who take part in the program, but the students of the new school as well.

Do they just build a school and leave?

They don’t even begin the process until every man and woman in the community signs a written agreement, called a Covenant. This document outlines the responsibilities of buildOn and the village regarding who does what to support the building of the school. They contribute project supervision, engineering, skilled labor and materials, and the village agrees to provide the land, local materials and unskilled labor.

Gender Equality
In this country, when we think of gender equality, we usually think about equal pay for equal work. What if it meant that you daughter couldn’t got to school? That’s what gender equality means in many parts of the world. How can you argue with the belief that women have a right to an education and to make decisions in their community.

The terms of the Covenant require the village to send boys and girls in equal numbers after the school is complete. Currently, 49 percent of students in their schools are female. That fact alone is enough to make them the best charity to donate to.

The success of the school is monitored and evaluated, and if, after three years, the covenant has been upheld,they return to build a second school. Schools are not built for a community, they’re built with a community.

Adult Literacy
Three-year Adult Literacy Programs are currently offered in Malawi, Mali, Haiti and Nepal. Parents and grandparents attend evening classes in the same school where their children go. The program focuses on reading, writing and basic math, applying these skills to relevant daily life issues like health or agriculture. A strategic plan created for each specific village explores income generating activities.

11,729 adults – 70 percent of them women – have completed the Adult Literacy Program since 2000.

Maybe you’re interested in the cold hard facts

  • In developing countries, a persons future income increases by about 10 percent with each additional year of education.
  • Nearly one in six people worldwide cannot read or write.
  • BuildOn has built 611 schools.
  • Students in the after school service programs have donated 1,251,649 hours of service.
  • 85,000 students – including children, parents and grandparents – attend the schools they’ve built.
  • Charity Navigator has evaluated buildOn and awarded a 4-star rating for 10 consecutive years.

Now that you’ve come to the conclusion that they’re the best charity to donate to, you want to know what your donation will accomplish.

  • Depending on the amount of your one-time donation, you will be funding the opportunity for a student in one of 62 high schools to participate in the after school service programs.
  • If you make a monthly donation of $95, you’ll be supporting one child´s full education in a developing country and another high school student’s participation in the after school program in an inner-city in the U.S.
  • And if you really want to get some hands-on experience, you can build a school. If you find 15 like-minded family and friends to raise $2,000 each, you can go to a developing country to build a school and live your vision of who you are.

Let’s lift everyone up, one village, one urban high school, one student at a time.

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