Education Bridge seeks to create flourishing South Sudanese communities through education and peace-building. As part of this mission, Education Bridge opened its first school, Greenbelt Academy, in Bor, South Sudan, in February 2017. Led by Notre Dame student Majak Anyieth, the Greenbelt Academy currently serves 240 students from Grades 9-10, with plans to double the school population and have grades 9-12 over the next two years. Greenbelt Academy seeks to provide quality secondary education as well as to develop a generation of South Sudanese peacemakers and transformational leaders.
Definition of Opportunity
In order to maintain and develop its services, Education Bridge must develop a sustainable business plan that includes student tuition and fees, as well as raising funds each year to cover its the remainder of its operating and investment costs. However, because many of Greenbelt Academy students come from extremely low-income backgrounds, there is only a minimal tuition to remove financial barriers to education for students. Education Bridge needs to develop additional revenue streams, including fundraising is through private donations and institutional grants.
Our challenge currently is that we have an ambitious set of goals, with limited funds and a relatively small support base for donations and grants. We would like to explore how to most efficiently increase our support base for donors and grants.
Initial Ideas & Options
We look forward to working with a team of Notre Dame students to research how other nonprofit organizations, especially those running educational and/or child development programs in the international context, understand and utilize different business and financial sustainability models.
1. How do the best non-profit organizations engage and retain donors in ways are satisfying for the donor, and time and cost efficient for the organization?
2. How do they most effectively tell their story and build partnerships with donors and organizations on an active basis that leads to regular donations/investments?
3. How can Education Bridge draw lessons from these successful organizations, and build a business model(s) to become more sustainable as an organization? Can Education Bridge collaborate with other partners in South Sudan, the U.S., or other countries?
Definition of Success
The development of a number of good models of sustainable organizations in the educational sector that will be relevant for Education Bridge, and proposals of concrete ideas that Education Bridge can utilize in the coming year as part of its strategic planning process to become a dynamic and sustainable organization.