Allowance for Good

The mission of Allowance for Good is to educate and engage youth in philanthropy to cultivate global citizenship and improve education internationally. The organization offers a unique, web-based product that provides youth ages 13-18 with a one-stop-shop for online philanthropic learning and global giving. The organization aims to extend the perspectives of American teens beyond our borders to acknowledge the extreme poverty and lack of access to resources faced by youth in other parts of the world. Furthermore, we hope to instill among youth a habit of giving that will extend throughout their lifetimes. Allowance for Good also aspires to step away from what is traditionally thought of a...

Allowance for Good
PO Box 6070
Evanston, IL 60204-6070
United States
415-371-9514
http://www.allowanceforgood.org/index.php

Executive Director

Elizabeth Newton

Board of Directors

Elizabeth Newton, Jessica Jackley, Kathy Yang

Mission

The mission of Allowance for Good is to educate and engage youth in philanthropy to cultivate global citizenship and improve education internationally. The organization offers a unique, web-based product that provides youth ages 13-18 with a one-stop-shop for online philanthropic learning and global giving. The organization aims to extend the perspectives of American teens beyond our borders to acknowledge the extreme poverty and lack of access to resources faced by youth in other parts of the world. Furthermore, we hope to instill among youth a habit of giving that will extend throughout their lifetimes. Allowance for Good also aspires to step away from what is traditionally thought of as international aid. Evidence suggests that embracing the complex interplays of the local, such as providing students with the proper nutrition and health care, improving infrastructure, and ensuring access to clean water, can enhance the education for children and the communities overall. When Allowance for Good engages internationally, we do so with a locally-based, innovative approach that empowers local stakeholders and invests in multi-sectoral education projects as a way to reduce poverty among youth in rural areas. In return, teens walk away having engaged in high-impact, effective global philanthropy. The genesis of Allowance for Good goes back to founder, Elizabeth Newton’s, youth. Significant international and service-oriented experiences throughout Elizabeth’s life led her to launch Allowance for Good. Youth mission trips and a high-school choir tour to Puerto Rico provided her first glimpse into a world beyond national borders. But it was the children in the remote Guatemalan coffee villages who captured Elizabeth’s spirit, allowing her to consider how she would go about affecting change both here in the US and abroad. This motivation continued with Elizabeth through her graduate studies in international education, philanthropy, and nonprofit management at Stanford University. In launching Allowance or Good, Elizabeth envisions a world where youth are open to balancing personal realities with those outside their own culture and are educated to be active global citizens in the worldwide marketplace. The CWP of Boston College estimates Americans will pass an average $56 trillion to the next generation by 2052. To create good stewards of these resources and to tackle worldwide challenges, we must educate the future generation about responsible giving and global citizenship. According to the Millennium Development Goals, international education project investments, such as those we undertake, will lead to poverty reduction, better health and welfare, and more economically sound communities. We believe that becoming a "changemaker" starts at a young age. Through Allowance for Good, we seek to empower youth to start down their path of affecting social change today. In so doing, their commitment will be deepened in their own lives and their impact felt among others around the world.

Programs

- GIVING OF TREASURE Allowance for Good’s tool is an accessible and innovative web-based platform that teaches our participants, called Young Catalysts, that global philanthropy is not bound by age and that their relationship with money - beyond saving, investing, and spending – should involve sharing. Through our interactive website, youth between the ages of thirteen and eighteen-years-old are guided to an understanding of the challenges faced in education in rural communities around the world and the power they have as Young Catalysts to create change. Allowance for Good encourages Young Catalysts to make an informed decision to pledge $5 or $10 of their allowance or job earnings on a monthly basis to an existing project impacting international education. Alternatively, they may give a one-time contribution in the amount of their choice. Picture this: thirteen-year old Jim hears from his cousin, Antonio, about the Allowance for Good platform. Jim visits the Allowance for Good website and spends some time browsing the web-based learning tools (additional information on learning tools below). Enthused by what he has learned and seeing the contributions other Young Catalysts have made, Jim decides to create his own securely-maintained Young Catalyst profile. Once Jim is connected to the Allowance for Good giving platform, the newly-minted Young Catalyst is able to inform his friends through social media about joining Allowance for Good. Such peer-to-peer engagement will drive more potential Young Catalysts to the website and, over time, engage more individuals in the program . With his online profile now live, Jim has the opportunity to give a portion of his weekly allowance – in $5 or $10/month increments – to Allowance for Good He decides to commit $5 weekly allowance for the next six months to the Access to Clean Water project at a school in Nueva Santa Rosa, Guatemala. Jim works with his parents to set up a Student PayPal account and then direct funds to the Access to Clean Water project. All funds pledged by Young Catalysts such as Jim are used for direct investments in one of five projects - Health and Hygiene, Bricks and Mortar, Classroom Materials, Access to Water, and Funds for Fun. Once a project is fully funded, Jim and other Young Catalysts will see their contributions at work. Various media such as stories, photos, and videos will be presented in the online portal to describe the success of each project. This is a vital component to the model because it provides participants with a personal connection to the projects they fund. Our goal is to have 700 youth ages 13-18 signed up for our platform for the end of this fiscal year (March 2012) and contributing a total of $30,100 to international education projects. In FY13, we aim to have doubled the number of youth using the platform to 1400 and increased the total contribution dollars to $93,800. - GIVING OF TIME We currently offer youth the opportunity to give a portion of their allowance or job earnings to our international education projects. In philanthropy, this is often referred to as giving of your “treasure”. However, we find it equally – if not more – important to teach youth that giving of their time is a valuable and meaningful contribution. We would like to create an offering whereby students can pledge their time to educate their peers about the unique cultures and challenges represented in our project offerings (the ones that the youth ages 13-18 in the US can fund through our website). We envision youth would pledge 15-60 minutes of their time and track this on our website in some way. We would like to identify a corporate sponsor that would match each increment of time a youth pledged with corporate giving dollars. For example, a minute of time would be valued at a $0.50 match. Thus, a pledge of 30 minutes of time to the Allowance for Good projects would be matched by a $15 contribution to international education projects from the corporate sponsor. In addition, it would be useful if we could have the match also contribute to organizational overhead. For example, perhaps for every $1.00 that the corporation contributes to the international education projects, they contribute $0.50 to the Allowance for Good organizational overhead. This will help to fund our other organizational expenses that are essential to running an effective nonprofit. - LEARNING Allowance for Good is currently developing online learning modules for Young Catalysts to learn about philanthropy and the challenges of international education, such as improving teacher salaries, providing access to clean water sources, or ensuring students have appropriate language books from which to learn. While many youth in the United States are invited to participate in local and domestic service and giving, it is less common for them to peer beyond our borders. Allowance for Good aims to help American youth understand the local needs of rural international schools and address relevant challenges faced by these communities. Because problems in education do not exist in silos, we will adopt a cross-sector approach to address the broad set of challenges faced in the rural communities outside the US . For example, evidence suggests that by providing schools and improving infrastructure such as access to clean water, both of which ultimately lead to greater community productivity, education for rural children can be enhanced. Allowance for Good will help participants a) embrace an approach to global giving that understands local context and empowers local stakeholders and b) give to a portfolio of multisectoral projects that improve education in rural contexts.

Statistics on Allowance for Good

Financial Statistics

  • Annual Budget for 2011: $95,100
  • Other funding sources: Evanston Capital Salesforce.com (in-kind) Rotary Club of Evanston Lighthouse Various Individual Donors