Many of you are wondering what to do next. . .
If you received an individual application form and a group picture of the students at your school, you don’t need to do anything. This was sent out for two reasons. First, we want to share the students’ yearly application forms with you. Second, some sponsors have expressed a desire to write to one specific student. However, because of funding and student logistics, please understand that your donation goes to support the school you received a letter from. If you want to write or send care packages, you can write to the student you received an application from or to the group of ZSF students at your school. The address of the school is on the application form. However, keep in mind that you are now contributing to a school, not necessarily one particular student.
More information, please!
Darin Andersen, one of our ZSF volunteers, heads up the e-commerce website, embroidery.com. He has a vision of how an investment in technology would significantly enhance ZSF’s outreach and donor experience.
Imagine this: A website with a private login for all sponsors, students, teachers, and volunteers. Sponsors would automatically receive updates on their student, school, or micro-loan including photos, recipient interviews, and written correspondence. Current and prospective donors could browse a list of student and microloan applications and choose whom or what to sponsor. The website would accept donations by credit card and automatically send out reminders for missed payments. Donors would have secure access to their payment history. The website would include a message board and donor forum for online conversations and posts regarding ZSF. Volunteers would have an access point for the information needed to complete their assignments and manage collaborative projects. Volunteers and administrators in Africa could upload progress reports via their smartphone.
Although an information system with these capabilities would be expensive to implement and maintain, Darin believes that it would attract more donors, and make existing donations and volunteer work more effective. He feels the benefits to Zambia students would far outweigh the cost.
The ZSF has striven for 100% of a sponsor’s donation to go directly to the student, school, or micro-loan they are sponsoring and will not depart from this goal. We would like to know if there is an interest in pursuing development of the proposed ZSF Web Hub and if there are people or foundations willing to donate specifically toward this endeavor. The cost estimate is around $25,000 to develop and $1000 per month to maintain.
How can we do better?
We are trying to make your experience with ZSF a good one, but we need your feedback. If you would like to make suggestions, or or if you want to make a donation towards the new ZSF Web Hub, give us a call at 435-279-8900. If you would like to meet with our board in person to discuss things, we will on holding a ZSF volunteer and sponsor meeting in September. All are welcome to attend. More about that in will be in our next newsletter.