Sustainability: Moving to New Funding Priorities
When the Oaxaca Learning Center opened in 2005, it began receiving donations from visitors and ex-pat residents in Oaxaca who supported our mission. By 2011 the individual donor base had increased manyfold, funding both the needs of individual students and some of the operational costs of the Center. During this time, many donors were funding an individual student rather than senior staff salaries and tutor and coordinator stipends.
By 2013 it became clear that this funding of individual students was affecting our ability to finance basic operational costs, including those of senior staff and stipends to tutors and coordinators. We began discussing how best to secure the financial viability of the Learning Center and made a number of strategic decisions.
The Center’s Mexican leadership (IIAC) drafted a Five-Year Strategic Plan which stipulated that paying the Center’s operating costs after 2017 would be split equally between IIAC and our U.S. (FOLC) and Canadian (CANFRO) funding arms. FOLC and CANFRO will now focus on donations to fund the Center’s operational capacity and costs.
That is, we will NOT receive donations for specific students, but instead fund the stipends of our ten tutors and five coordinators who are university students. Your contributions to this “tutor fund” will help them finance their educational costs. The net result will be a more secure staff and more students reached.
Social Business and Fundraising
A cornerstone of the Plan was the inauguration of “social businesses” to provide for IIAC’s 50% of financial responsibility after 2017. The first of these is EAE, a newly successful fee-based tutoring program whose profits are now beginning to underwrite the cost of the Center’s professional staff.
Capital Campaign: Ownership of the Center
In 2014 FOLC undertook a Capital Campaign to transfer ownership of the Calle Murguia site from Gary Titus to our Mexican NGO. The campaign has just been successfully concluded, and we will now have a permanent home base for the Center.
Fundraising for Sustainability
IIAC is designing other potential income sources through social initiatives and setting a fundraising goal from Mexican government foundations and grantmakers (SEDESOL, etc).
FOLC and CANFRO are both discussing more robust strategies for reaching potential individual donors. FOLC has sent several proposals to foundations and has received positive feedback. Our first foundation grant, for three years from Halloran Philanthropies, successfully met all of its goals.