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Meet the Nonprofit That’s Helping Turn the Tide for Bay Area Children: OnePercent for Education

Nonprofits have long been the connection between those who have and those in need. Many of us who have a heart to give are left with some pressing questions. What’s the best way to give? And to which organization? And how do we know that when we give, the money will go to those who need it most?

If you live in the Bay Area and care about our children and youth, the answer to these questions is OnePercent for Education. OnePercent for Education is a grassroots movement that facilitates support for proven, educationally-focused nonprofits in the Bay Area. By connecting nonprofits with equity-minded donors of all kinds, OnePercent for Education helps create better educational outcomes for our children.

“Our formula for educational equity is simple,” says Carolyn Placente, Executive Director of OnePercent for Education. “Pledging Members + Approved Nonprofit Partners = Thriving Children and Youth.”

ELM provides tuition-free music education for students ages 8-18
Image provided by ELM – Enriching Lives Through Music, an approved Nonprofit Partner of OnePercent for Education

Through partnerships with 30+ trusted nonprofits, OnePercent for Education is tackling inequities in education supporting data-driven solutions in a time when disparities in the educational system persist. Placente notes that where you live shouldn’t be a reliable predictor of educational outcomes. Instead, all children should have the opportunities they need to succeed.

OnePercent for Education’s Bay Area Education Data Snapshot produced in partnership with Children Now clearly shows the demographics consistently contending with uneven playing fields. The reasons for the systemic inequities include centuries of racist policies (tracking, segregation, redlining, etc.) whose legacies continue to drive disparate impacts among Black and Latino children, pandemic-related learning loss and disengagement from school, and funding models that cause damaging differences in per-pupil spending across districts along with teacher pay scales that are out of step with costs of living in the Bay Area.

Bay Area Education Data Snapshot

Disparities in educational outcomes have serious consequences. Educational equity is essential to a thriving democracy and a just, more inclusive economy. Failing to provide these opportunities harms children and harms us all. 

OnePercent for Education has good news: It doesn’t have to be this way andno matter who you are, you can help.

We know all children have the capacity to achieve excellence. They just need a little help. — Bob Rosenberg, Founder of OnePercent for Education

Why OnePercent for Education

Two things are true that create the need for an organization like OnePercent for Education:

  1. Educational nonprofits provide the types of programs and services proven to prepare students for college and career. A quality, well-rounded education is one of the best indicators that a child will have better outcomes later in life, which not only benefits the child, but our society as a whole.
  2. Educational nonprofits with proven results are underfunded and struggling to meet demand. These Nonprofits are making a positive difference with their innovative programs and services every day, but they need more resources so they can reach more children and youth.

OnePercent for Education aims to solve both these issues by collecting pledges from member businesses, foundations, and individuals – as Placente puts it, “There’s a seat for every donor at our giving table.” Whatever you choose to pledge, OnePercent of your annual income or your company’s annual revenue, your commitment is what matters most. Your annual contributions provide consistency that supports the Nonprofit Partners in their essential work. While it may not seem like much, it adds up.

The pledges are then granted to OnePercent for Education Nonprofit Partners like Aim High for High School, which provides low-income middle schoolers with summer learning programs, Fresh Lifelines for Youth, Inc., a juvenile justice nonprofit with a mission to break the cycle of juvenile crime and incarceration through legal education, one-on-one mentoring, and leadership training, or Students Rising Above, which helps low-income, first-generation students access and obtain post-secondary education and secure career-ladder jobs. As a donor, you can be sure every time you give, your donation supports positive change for Bay Area children and their families.

Image provided by ParentChild+, an approved Nonprofit Partner of OnePercent for Education

Why Every Pledge Counts

In the same way our education system is not equitable, so too is the philanthropic field. Philanthropy has historically been the domain of the very wealthy. For lasting and equitable transformation, this model must be disrupted. OnePercent for Education is striving for a movement-based approach where every donor determines what a major gift is for them, no matter how many zeros it has, thereby connecting everyone willing to give with their power to create social change — because we all have a stake in education. 

“We meet donors where they are,” says Placente, explaining how OnePercent for Education offers total flexibility. “Want to connect in-person to learn about our 31 Nonprofit Partners? We’re there. A zoom or a call fits your schedule better? Can do. Prefer a DIY approach? Great! Our online searchable database of Partners is there for you 24/7/365.”

OnePercent for Education supporters enjoy many options. There are multiple ways to give such as one-time or monthly recurring donations. Pledging members can make monthly or annual donations and get to decide which approved Nonprofit Partners they wish to designate as recipients for their grants. Members also get to create a profile where they can specify their preferences for types of programs and services, locations and ages of participants to support with their gifts. They can update their profile anytime and as often as they choose. 

When pledging members have questions about which Nonprofit Partners to fund and/or don’t have time to review their options, OnePercent for Education is always available to advise them on which Partners best fit their preferences. Members also can simply fulfill their pledge. The OnePercent for Education team will do the rest, identifying the Partner(s) that best match the Member’s profile while also accounting for equity and data-driven factors to make the most impactful grants.

OnePercent for Education’s data- and member-driven model makes it easy for donors to give with confidence and to know where their money is going. Plus, OnePercent for Education charges no membership dues, no fees, nothing paid up front, no turning over your tax records to prove your gift. Your money goes where it needs to go.

When Members fulfill their pledges, OnePercent for Education distributes their charitable contributions in the form of unrestricted grants to their trusted and vetted Nonprofit Partners. Unrestricted grants are important; they allow the Partners to use the money in the most effective way to do the most good. OnePercent for Education is looking for businesses, foundations, and individuals who share their urgency to ensure better educational opportunities for all Bay Area children.

One Pledge Makes a Difference Now and in the Future

OnePercent for Education is already a ground-up, grassroots movement. By pledging OnePercent of revenue as a business or foundation or OnePercent of your income or net worth as an individual, you’re contributing to the essential services the nonprofits are providing in the educational space across Bay Area schools and communities. One-time donations are gladly accepted, but pledges are how lasting change is made. A pledge means change today when the first gift is given while ensuring change in the future as your pledge grows along with your profits or earnings. It’s a simple thing. Making your pledge takes just a few minutes and the benefits endure.

“Children are our number one societal obligation,” says Placente, “When we uphold that obligation, the benefits accrue not only to the children but also to ourselves, our families and our communities. OnePercent for Education Members are helping to secure a better today while setting us up for a better tomorrow.”

“We believe in a world where every child is inspired to learn and have a great education,” says David Shapiro, Founder and CEO of Cartelligent, a OnePercent for Education Business Member. “Our support for OnePercent for Education allows us to give back and make our world a better place.” 

OnePercent for Education’s vision is attainable and the benefits to society are limitless. If you care about our children and the world we will leave to them, investing in education now is one of the best ways to ensure they have more opportunities and a better world than we did. The time is now to join the OnePercent for Education movement by making your pledge today.


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