Title: Fundamental Concept in Fundraising—Service: SAT/TJ Entrance Exam Coaching in Northern Virginia to Raise Funds for Ekal 

Presenter: Kedar Mulpuri, Lakshmikanth Tripuraneni, Sucheta Kancherla, Meena Srinivasan, and Venkata Rao Mulpuri. Ph: 703-582-0436

Affiliation: Kedar Nath Mulpuri is a student at Dartmouth College Mass; Lakshmikanth Tripuraneni is a Software Engineer, Sucheta Kancherla and Meena Srinivasan are students and Venkata Rao Mulpuri is a faculty member at George Mason University in Virginia


Abstract

Introduction

The focus of various Ekal Vidyalaya chapters in USA is to bring awareness among non-resident Indians (NRI) about Ekal schools in India and to generate funds for their proper functioning in their respective villages. While helping to do this we noticed an alarming rate of donor drop off. Thus, one avenue to raise funds for the causes we believe in is to volunteer our services to the community here in exchange for the funds. 

Project Details

To exchange our services for funds for Ekal schools, since 2006, we have started offering SAT and Thomas Jefferson High School (TJ) entrance exam coaching courses at Durga Temple in Lorton, Virginia. Our understanding with Durga temple is that 66% of revenue generated would be sent for Ekal and 33% will be given to Durga Temple. Two local temples -The Durga Temple and the S.S.V. Lotus Temple and two local Telugu Associations, GWTCS and CATS, help us in sending our flyer to their members. Thus our advertising expenses are zero. Parents pay tuition by directly writing checks to Ekal and local temples.

Results

In the first batch we coached 7 students. Through word of mouth enrollments increased in later years. Since most of the students were coming from Reston area, we started offering courses at Reston also. At present enrollment at these two locations are about 50. In 2008 Ekal portion of checks totaled about $45,000. Ekal schools are assigned to the parents. By doing so our hope is at least 25% of the parents will continue sponsoring at least one school every year after their child completes our coaching classes. At present, four instructors are volunteering their services for the coaching classes. In the past one High School student also gave these coaching classes at home and contributed all proceeds to Ekal. Majority of the students coached by us get admission in top universities and excel.

Conclusion

Though our activity is related to education, similar professional services can be provided in other areas to raise funds for Ekal. Success in such endeavors requires persistence, dedication, and hard work. We encourage other people to initiate similar activities to raise funds for Ekal. This concept of service is actually benefiting students in USA and in India. 
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