Bridges to Learning was established as a 501(c)3 non-profit organization in the fall of 2004. It was established to provide funding for the education and development of impoverished students in developing countries. Anh Linh Free School in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam has been the primary focus of fundraising for the organization since its inception.
From the fall of 2003 to the fall of 2004 Anh Linh School had about 25 supporters who were sponsoring children or contributing to the school in another way. Most of these donors were friends of Jerilyn Hirsch who was a volunteer English teacher at the school and subsequent founder of Bridges to Learning. BTL was established to leverage tax deduction opportunities for supporters and to reach out to more people who would care about impoverished and at-risk Vietnamese children.
Since 2004, Bridges to Learning has raised over $1,000,000 for Anh Linh, built a new middle school and new elementary school. Through our support, Anh Linh Free School has educated, nourished, challenged, loved and given hope to hundreds of impoverished children every year- keeping them safe from crime, human trafficking, drugs and despair. In Vietnam children who are too poor or too old are prohibited from going to public school. These are the students who attend Anh Linh—for free. They are smart, funny, and lively. They live in shacks, boats, or on the street. Many parents work menial jobs. Some are in prison. Some are dead, mentally ill or have abandoned their children. Without the school, the kids have little hope and are vulnerable to drugs, crime, sex-trafficking and perpetual poverty.
- Expand our board
- Broaden our fundraising reach through social media, crowdfunding, events, an increase in corporate sponsorships and grants through foundations
- Increase our sponsorships
- Begin building a reserve
Annual budget: $105,000-$135,000
Individual donors and sponsors: 60%
Fundraising Activities: 30%
Two to four new board members are needed with energy, commitment and networks that they would reach out to and engage in Bridges to Learning’s mission. The following skills are also desired:
- Fundraising & Development: Nonprofit fundraising experience/interest
- Marketing/Communications: Outreach skills, marketing/sales, public relations
- Management/Leadership skills
- Nonprofit board experience and skills
- Social media skills
- Diversity of Experience and Perspective: To balance the board, women and individuals with connections/affiliations in the Southeast Asian or Asian Community.
Besides being the legal governing body of Bridges to Learning, the main responsibility of board members is to use their talents and networks to develop resources for Anh Linh School and other future projects.
- Number of members: Six
- How many needed: Two – Four
- Meeting time and frequency: Every two months
- Meeting location: Varies
Time Expectation: 2-4 hours/month.
Financial Contribution requirement? Yes. $500 (equivalent to sponsoring one child for a year.)
Committee requirement? Yes, according to the board member’s interest and included in the time expectation of 2-4 hours/month. The greater time commitment would be during fundraising or special events/activities months.
Length of Term: 2 years.
Questions about this board opportunity?
Recruiter: Steve Woldum