• About us....
  • What is your mission?
    Our mission is to help break the cycle of poverty in developing countries through education and training.
  • Why do you focus on building schools?
    We decided to focus on building schools because there's a clear need, we know how to get it done and we can have an immediate impact. We know that breaking the cycle of poverty requires more than the construction of physical infrastructure. We're looking at branching out into other areas in the future. But we're not waiting. The need for schools in developing countries is real and we're committed to doing what we can to help.
  • How do you choose the countries in which you build schools?
    Initially we focused on picking the best NGO partners we could find to work with. Our choice of countries was limited to the countries in which they work. We're currently exploring ways to build schools in other countries where we see a need and where we'd like to work.
  • How do you choose which schools to fund?
    Every fall we work with our NGO partners to discuss their needs for the upcoming year. We each have our own individual preferences and we combine their needs and our preferences to come up with a plan that works for all going forward.
  • What is your overhead and/or expenses?
    We have no expenses. Well, not exactly... We do have them, but they are minimal. And we pay them out of our own pockets. All of the money we receive in donations is passed along to our NGO partners. Of course, they have expenses. It's impossible to run an organization with operations in multiple countries without having some overhead. But we only partner with "lean and mean" NGOs. The first thing we check when doing our due diligence on a potential partner is their expense ratios – how much of every dollar they raise goes to the needs they serve. We then check the salaries of the top executives. Finally we review their annual IRS filings (Form 990s) and see how they are rated by the charity rating services such as charitynavigator.com. We have our money on the line here – we don't want to see it wasted on unneeded expenses or lavish salaries.
  • What type of fundraising activities do you have?
    None. We don't actively try to raise funds. Having said that, we are always looking to work with someone who might want to work with us and in most cases we will "match" any third party donations we receive. We've been lucky that a number of people we know have expressed an interest in working with us and building a school of their own.
  • Do you have plans to do other things?
    Perhaps. We've focused on building schools, but their is a clear need for teacher training programs, adult literacy classes and a number of other non-physical infrastructure programs in the developing world. We're talking to both our current NGO partners and other organizations about possible projects.
  • Definitions
  • What is an "NGO" and an "NGO Partner?"
    A non-governmental organization (NGO) is a legally constituted organization created by natural or legal persons that operates independently from any government. Many of these organizations are what is commonly referred to as "Charities." An NGO Partner is an NGO with whom we've established a long-term mutually beneficial relationship.
  • What is a "Donor Partner?"
    We call those who fund schools with us through our matching grant program Donor Partners.
  • What is a "Match" or "Matching Grant?"
    We've established a "Matching Grant" program which requires that each of our NGO's "match" every school we fund with a school from another donor. We ask the NGO to takes steps to ensure that each matching donor is an incremental donor that would not have donated without the match. In addition, we often "match" schools funded by others who approach us and want to work with us.
  • The Process
  • Who builds the schools?
    The schools are built by our NGO partners and the local community. Major community participation is an essential part of what we do.
  • How long does it take to build a school?
    Our schools typically take between 2 and 5 months to build. Factors which influence the construction timeline include the size of the school, the remoteness of the village, the roads in the area and the weather.
  • Who attends the schools?
    All of our NGO Partners require that the village commit to have an equal number of boys and girls attend the school. This commitment introduces a new way of thinking into many local communities where traditionally young girls have been denied the educational opportunities given to young boys.
  • Where do the teachers come from?
    All of our NGO partners have good relations which the government of the countries in which we work. The local governments provide accredited teachers for our schools. Often, the construction of a new school results in an increased allocation of teachers for the local community.
  • How do you chose the NGO Partners you work with?
    Carefully! That's the short answer..... The long answer is complex. We've find candidates through our contacts and general reading of the press. We then conduct extensive due diligence, meet with the top management and make sure their goals are aligned with our goals. We review independent sources to make sure that any prospective partner is well run and that their financials are some of the best in the charity world. It's a relationship business. We have to like the people and they have to like us. We're proud that both of our NGO partners have achieved the highest rating from Charity Navigator, the gold standard of independent evaluation websites.
  • How involved are you with your NGO Partners?
    We are very involved. Because of our size, we communicate with our partners on an ongoing basis throughout the year. We try and visit a number of our schools each year. In addition, we sit down with the senior management of our NGO partners each year to review their strategic plans and discuss how we can best work with them going forward.
  • How do you get Matching Grants?
    We "challenge" the NGO's to obtain a matching grant for every school we donate. If they can't we.... will cross that bridge when we come to it. So far our matching grant program has been a big success. The feedback we have gotten from our NGO Partners about our matching grant program has been very positive and all involved feel it has helped them get new donors who were on the undecided before realizing that their commitment would be doubled. We think it's a powerful incentive.

    Our "Matching Grant" program requires that each of our NGO's "match" every school we fund with a school from another donor. We ask the NGOs to takes steps to ensure that each matching donor is an incremental donor that would not have donated without the match. We review every matching grant in detail to learn about the individual or organization involved and the process by which the NGO secured that grant. While we respect the desire of many donor to be anonymous or low profile, we love to contact those who would like to hear from us. It's a fun part of the process as the people attracted to this effort tend to be caring, generous and interesting.
  • What happens to any donations you receive?
    Opportunity For All has a donor advised fund called "The Opportunity For All Foundation" setup at Fidelity and all contributions to us are sent to that fund. By US law, Fidelity itself is the actual charity so any paperwork and tax deduction notices are handled directly by them. Fidelity established the Donor Advised Fund industry and is the leading firm in that industry. We can direct the end use of any donated funds. We usually match all gifts and then ask Fidelity to send the funds directly to one of our NGO Partners for a specific project.