We are working with an HNI who is contemplating a large donation to help an organization that works on rural education to expand nationally. I’d like to point out this group’s model because it is relatively simple but allows them to maximize their resources. They start by implementing proposed projects in schools and centers near them. That way they can be directly involved to the extent necessary, travel to the sites, and gain the school’s (teachers, students, and children) confidence. After monitoring the success of those programs for 3 to 5 years, they will scale them up to take them to other areas of the state. They partner up with various groups to teach them how to do these types of activities. They are now contemplating expanding certain programs nationally and this where the donor’s money and connections will help.
I like this model because it allows for careful reflection, study, and constant input at a manageable level for 3 to 5 years and then slowly grows. Each step allows for discussion with the relevant stakeholders, requires reevaluation of goals and aims and strategic planning.