See below for some of our most frequently asked questions. If your question is not answered below, send us a note on our Contact Us page, and we'll get to it as soon as we can!
Questions about Donations
How can I donate to The Supply?
Answer: You can make an online donation HERE or you can send a check to 901 Mission Street Suite 105 San Francisco, CA 94103.
Is The Supply on Amazon Smile?
Answer: Yes, we are on Amazon Smile! You can find us using our Federal EIN # 27-2484300 or our legal entity name: The Supply Education Group
When I donate, where does my money go?
Answer: The breakdown of our annual spending since 2010 can be found on our Financials page HERE
I just checked the Financials page. Shouldn’t the programs spending be at 90% and above?
Answer: We are 100% committed to transparency, financial efficiency, and stewardship. What that means for us is that we do our very best to stretch every single dollar that is gifted to us to ensure maximum impact. Our leadership team, guided by an independent board of directors, focuses on properly allocating funds to maximize outputs and outcomes. Each nonprofit is different and as a result, allocations may look different based on mission objectives and needs.
Is my donation tax-deductible?
Answer: Yes, as a 501 (c) (3), 100% of donations are tax-deductible as long as you are in the United States. You will receive your tax receipt automatically via email immediately after you make an online donation. For offline donations (i.e. checks), we will mail you a tax receipt. If you have not received a tax receipt and have made a donation, please send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll get that squared away.
Questions about The Supply
Why are you called The Supply?
Answer: The Supply is aligned with our founder’s vision and story of what a good education can and should achieve. The name is rooted in a firm belief that education can break free from the grips of a supply-demand narrative in which schools pump students out for the labor economy, and aspire for a supply-supply narrative in which schools prepare students to be critical and compassionate citizens of the world.
What makes The Supply different from other education (international development) groups?
Answer: Our purpose is not to be different for the sake of being different. However, our work is fueled by a conviction that today’s education system(s) around the world are broken and irrelevant. That’s why it is our mission to disrupt and innovate — rather than merely building more schools, providing more textbooks, or providing more support to schools that continue to measure a student’s success solely by scores on standardized tests.
How long has The Supply been around?
Answer: The Supply was founded in April 2010. Seems like decades ago.
Is The Supply religiously or politically affiliated?
Answer: No, we are not religiously or politically affiliated at all. Any public posts you might see from staff or members of our team are personal opinions and do not represent the opinions of the organization.
Where is The Supply’s HQ?
Answer: Our main base is in San Francisco, California. Our two previous HQ’s were in New Jersey and in New York. We miss the New York pizza, but don’t mind the California sunshine.
How is The Supply funded?
Answer: The Supply has multiple sources of funding, which include, but are not limited to individual giving, foundation grants, corporate giving, and merchandise sales.
Is The Supply’s Board of Directors independent?
Answer: Yes, our Board of Directors are all volunteer based and do not receive any type of compensation. The only exception is our current CEO, who is a dependent member. With that said, our organization adheres to a strict set of by-laws to ensure that there is always an independent board member majority and that there are never more than two dependent members on the board. Secondly, we have a comprehensive conflict of interest policy for our board members and staff members.
Questions about The Supply's Work
When I first followed The Supply, I noticed you guys were building schools…
Answer: First off, if you’ve been supporting us from Day 1, thank you! Yes, you are correct that we started off as a school-building organization. However, the further we got into our understanding of the root problems of education delivery and outcomes in urban slums, we realized that it was not a matter of creating more schools, but creating better ones. That’s what led us towards more of a partnership model with existing schools and evolving into a curriculum design organization. You can see our organization’s timeline here.
Do you partner with all types of schools (public, charter, private)?
Answer: Our work is constantly evolving. However, currently with our Nairobi project, we are only working with low-cost private secondary schools that are serving the slum youth. Our research indicates that this low-cost model, even with a small fee, is the preferred choice for families living in slums.
Where does The Supply work?
Answer: Our current project is solely in Nairobi, Kenya. Our plan is to spread our project to other East African cities. In addition, we are beginning the R&D process for a new project in Seoul, South Korea.
Why does The Supply not work in the US?
Answer: We acknowledge that there are plenty of “problems” in the education system in the US. But we also acknowledge that there are much more resources (financial, human, thought) directed towards these problems in the US. However, we do believe in collaborative and comparative learning and sharing; therefore, we hope to take research and best practices from the US and integrating it into our work and also sharing our findings globally to hopefully benefit the US systems.
How does The Supply ensure the localization of ideas and solutions, especially in contexts and settings that so different?
Answer: We do extensive relationship building, community meetings, and user feedback to ensure that any proposed curriculum solutions or projects are not only relevant to the local context, but also aligned with local values and beliefs. In cases in which disruption or innovation leads to disagreement, we defer to a local leadership council made up of school directors, community members, and community leaders.
Does the US staff travel often to the field sites?
Answer: With the high costs of international travel, we do our very best to hire talented local staff as well as utilize relevant technologies to accomplish objectives. In addition, when we do have to meet in person, we strive to ensure that there are equal opportunities for our global teams to come to the US.
I’m interested in flying out to one of your project sites! Can I come?
Answer: We used to have programs in which we organized trips for high school, college, and young adults. However, we no longer offer these programs as a result of rising safety threats and disruption to our projects. If you are currently visiting or studying in one of our project countries, please contact us and we can arrange site visits.
What is The Supply’s plan for sustainability?
Answer: Operationally, we do admit the challenges of sustainability as we are still dependent on individual gifts and grants. We are currently in the process of identifying more sustainable modes of funding. Programmatically, we do believe that our intensive efforts to train local staff and develop locally relevant curricula create a natural bridge for local partners to run with our programs. (Unlike organizations who do school builds or water projects, we have less recurring expenses and liabilities).
What is The Supply’s plan to scale/grow?
Answer: We’ve seen tremendous growth over the past few years even with our Nairobi project. We started with 25 students in one school working on service-learning projects. Now, we have over 1000 students at 9 schools. We do want to continue to grow this network of students and school administrators who believe in the power and impact of service-learning in the slums. In addition, we hope to scale our service-learning and similar curricula to other contexts as well.
So, this service-learning curriculum…tell me more.
Answer: Our founder created this curriculum during his time at graduate school and piloted the prototype in the Nairobi slums (curriculum is called S.L.U.M.S). You can read more about it here.
What Other Projects Is The Supply Planning?
Answer: All of our curriculum development work will center around addressing root issues in education systems which hinder students from reaching their full potentials as human beings. In addition, our work will focus on using education as a catalyst for creating creative, empathetic, productive, and good citizens of this world.
Can I see the data and findings from your work?
Answer: We make all of our available data from our project implementations available here. You can also find various white papers and research studies we have done on that page. Whether it’s lessons we can learn from failures or things we can build on from our successes, we do believe in the importance of data in our work.
So, what does success look like for The Supply?
Answer: Unlike clean water organizations or animal rescue groups, education organizations like ours, need more of a runway to show actual results and impact. We would love to say that like dirty water turning into clean water, education can be as quick and transformative, but we can all acknowledge that education on an individual and on an institutional level, take time. With that said, we are taking measured steps to ensure impact and to assure all of our stakeholders that we are making progress. We are currently tracking civic engagement levels, student academic performances, various learning outcomes, as well as students’ lives as they finish secondary school and enter college or the workforce.
Questions About Getting Involved
My company would love to have The Supply be a partner, so we can contribute a proceed of our sales to your work.
Answer: We always have our ears perked to learn more about any company or social enterprise looking for a partner. Send us an email at email@example.com and we’ll let you know if we think it’s a great fit!
I’m a high school or college student looking to get involved with your work. What can I do?
Answer: Take a look at our Get Involved page to see ways that you can get involved. One of the best ways that high school and college students can get involved is by starting a chapter at your school. We currently have chapters all over the world who are raising awareness and funds for our organization. Start a chapter by visiting the Get Involved page.
If I start an individual fundraiser, where will my funds go towards?
Answer: If you would like to restrict your funds towards a specific project or program, please let us know either prior or during your fundraiser. Otherwise, your funds will be allocated based on the organization’s needs and you will receive a report that highlights how the funds you raised were used.
I have a bunch of notebooks and textbooks hanging around. Can I donate these items to your organization?
Answer: Currently, we are not accepting any in-kind donations at the time. We will update our Get Involved page with any in-kind donation needs that we have.
Our organization is working on a similar or related field. How do we inquire about a partnership?
Answer: We are always looking for strategic ground partners to maximize our impact on the ground. Please send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will get back to you as soon as possible.
Do you offer internships or jobs at The Supply?
Answer: We offer internships and jobs on a regular basis. For any career opportunities, please keep checking back on Our Jobs page, follow our social media, or join our newsletter on the Get Involved page to stay updated.