When Rachel Sparks decided to give a scholarship to support Cat in her education, our organization grew organically out of that first example–a one on one relationship between a donor and a child at-risk. This has led to blossoming and vital relationships, and has spurred so much growth, change and positivity for the communities in which we work. Our students have often expressed how these scholarships have literally changed their lives and their dreams for the future.
However, over the years, we have observed things that have caused us concern that the 1-1 model might not fully align with our values. Our concerns include things such as the jealousy that sometimes arises amongst our students when one sponsor writes and another does not, or deficits to the organization when sponsors drop off or miss payments. These kinds of circumstances are natural in an operation of this kind, and we don’t wish to downplay the beautiful and rewarding connection that personal touches like letters can inspire. But we feel there is a way we can improve the experience for both our students and our donors.
A New Model
To that end, we are moving away from the 1-1 model we have been currently using and moving to a cohort model called The Freedom Chapter. In this model, a group of sponsors pools together to support a cohort of students. Each student in a Freedom Chapter receives financial support to attend school. This comes directly from your monthly contributions, allowing us to commit to financing scholarships for students. Your donation also goes towards the resources necessary to help those students succeed in school such as access to our resource centers, counseling programs, mentoring relationships, income generation for parents and human rights trainings. 100% of your donation goes to working on the ground in at-risk communities in Northern Thailand. None of your donation is used for overhead, ensuring you give with confidence knowing your gift is directly impacting the life of a student.
We have developed this model to allow you as a sponsor to still interact with and communicate with our students, and know fully where and how your donation is being used, while creating a more stable support model as a network of donors supports a group of students. Communication from donors will address the entire group, and if a sponsor needs to drop off due to life circumstances like the loss of a job, the impact on the students is not felt as heavily.
As Thailand is a very communal culture, we feel this sends a message of more equitable and reliable support to our students. Additionally, this gives donors the opportunity to connect with our like-minded investors collectively supporting the students. The new model will also include other benefits like a calendar made by the students, regular updates, and exclusive access to impact stories.
What Does This Mean For Scholarship Sponsors?
Are You A Current Scholarship Sponsor?
If you are currently sponsoring a student, you should be receiving emails informing you of the change, and these emails should help answer any questions you might have. If you haven’t received any emails or if you have any further questions, please feel free to let us know by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or giving us a call at (925) 452-7653.
Are You Considering Becoming A Sponsor?
If you would like to participate in a powerful program to help vulnerable children stay in school and out of the hands of traffickers and exploiters, we encourage you to consider the power and promise of prevention. Click here to begin the donor process. It’s easy and should take only 1 minute!
Still on the fence about prevention?
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Success Is Because of Generous And Committed People Like You!
We have enjoyed remarkable success and incredible growth over the past decade-plus, and it’s all because of the generosity of ordinary people who wanted to do something extraordinary for a child in need. The support from you and other like-minded individuals has played a vital role in these students’ success and we’re so thankful for that. We hope this new change will only add greater positivity for students and donors alike.
To everyone who has donated in the past or currently, thank you for all of your support to our Scholarship Program. Your commitment helps vulnerable children write a more empowered next chapter in their story.