September 23, 2014
For today only, Pencils of Promise – a non-profit organization focused on building schools and increasing access to education opportunities through the creation of sustainable programs in the developing world – is partnering with New York City-based startup, CommonBond, on a 24-hour matching campaign that will fund its scholarships for students in Ghana, Laos, and Guatemala. The company will match every donation made to Pencils of Promise’s Back to School Campaign (up to $25,000) today, which will contribute a huge chunk to Pencils of Promise’s overall campaign goal of raising $400,000.
CommonBond could not be a better partner in this Match Day initiative; the company itself is focused on increasing access to higher education in the U.S. through low-cost student loans. It is the only company participating in this Match Day campaign and, if it manages to reach $25,000 in matching funds, the donation will be the largest the company has given to date.
“Having a strong social mission as a for-profit company was important to us from the very beginning,” said David Klein, CommonBond’s cofounder and CEO. “We believe in the power of profit and purpose to drive each other for good.”
Notwithstanding its several flaws, education in the United States is an undeniable right – something that has been made available to any and all, regardless of race, sex, or economic standing (again, withholding its flaws). Across the country, millions of school-age children have recently begun a new school year – a year that will be replete with access to education resources, social interaction, and personal growth. For those in the developing world, however, education is a nearly unattainable privilege. According to UNICEF, there’s currently an estimated 58 million primary school-age children in the world who are not enrolled in school. But for many of these students in developing countries, the costs of attending school – from tuition fees to mere uniforms – serve as unmovable barriers. Through Pencils of Promise’s scholarships, students in these countries can afford to attend school for the year at cost of just $250.
“Participating in Match Day is another way for us to support our partner Pencils of Promise and drive significant social good. We firmly believe that business can and should be a force for positive change,” said Klein.
Pencils of Promise launched its Back to School campaign four weeks ago and has culminated in this Match Day initiative with CommonBond. The duo hope to ramp up the number of donations today, enabling more students to gain access to this basic human right. And, this isn’t the first time that Pencils of Promise has worked with CommonBond, the two are actually partners for CommonBond’s 1-for-1 model: for every degree fully funded on CommonBond’s platform, the company funds the education of a student for one year at Pencils for Promise.
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