What We Do.
Step 1: Non-profits request GIS projects they can't otherwise afford.
Step 2: Students complete those projects for their thesis or class work.
Step 3: Finished projects are returned to the non-profit.
All with no costs, no obligations, and no commitments.
How We Do It.
EduContribution mediates service learning projects.
We pair students and educators with nonprofits. We find GIS projects that the nonprofits need, but can't afford. Then students use those projects as material for their classes or theses. While students complete their coursework, they're donating their time to nonprofits. We mediate the progression of the project, making it as easy and seamless for both parties as we can. When students have completed the real-world project, we check it against our standards and package it with related information for the nonprofit. The non-profit then receives the best collegiate work available, at no cost to either party.
Non-profit organizations in need of GIS services can also make project requests on the site. We will do our best to place these projects, but demand for projects is be driven from the education side, and this demand will determine the nature and capacity of the projects we can complete.
Why We Do It.
EduContribution was designed around a simple vision: non-profits and educators working together on mutually beneficial service learning projects. As we grow, it is our hope that our clients will grow, as well. By matching the needs of non-profits with the goals of educational institutions, we hope to accomplish a number of simple goals.
Use of this site by educational institutions demonstrates a fulfilled commitment to social, environmental and humanitarian justice. Utilizing this site allows those institutions to give back to their local, national and international communities. Committed and conscientious educational institutions attract like-minded students. For those students, we provide exposure to non-profit work as well as real-world experience in answering the kinds of questions that drive the non-profit sector. It is our hope that such exposure will fuel an interest in non-profit work, or the support of such work using available technologies.
We provide small non-profits with beneficial services and technologies which would otherwise be unavailable to them. Access to these commodities and an appreciation for their applications can help them to better their missions in support of equality, sustainability and understanding. The services and technologies made available to these non-profits are meant to help them gain recognition and fulfill their missions; to propel them forward and to empower them in ways that would not otherwise be possible. This site is designed to encourage the use of cutting-edge technologies in the non-profit sector, and not to replace or preempt jobs in that sector. As such, this site aims to help only those non-profits who have little or no exposure to the services offered, or those who could not afford to hire a professional in support of such endeavors. All non-profit organizations who participate in this project agree to discontinue use of the site after one year, or once they are financially capable of hiring a professional to provide equivalent services. Our hope for these non-profits is that their time spent with EduContribution will provide them with services which afford them recognition and support, and which further their missions in meaningful ways. By closing the resource gap between small and large non-profits, we hope to empower the entire non-profit sector. It is our hope that growth in the non-profit sector, specifically those non-profits participating in this collaborative project, will create jobs for the kind of highly-educated students who use this site.
In the end, EduContribution is nothing more than a tool, and one which is useless without the non-profits and educators who use it. So, please, spread the word!
EduContribution is not meant as a substitute for the work of GIS professionals (see our criterion for non-profit acceptance page for more info). The work completed through this site is held to the highest academic standards, and users routinely failing to hold their work to high standards of academic rigor will not be invited to continue with EduContribution's work. While we strive to only bring the best work to the non-profits who use this site, there are a few limitations to our services when compared with the services of professional GIS technicians.
EduContribution is not meant to serve time-sensitive GIS needs. There is no guarantee that any given project will be matched with a class that can use that project; there is no guarantee that there will be enough demand from educators to complete all submitted projects; the projects undertaken by educators are completed according to their schedules and not necessarily with regard to the deadlines or expectations of the requesting non-profit.
This version of the site (0.9.0 BETA) provides geospatial information systems (GIS) support to non-profits. The GIS framework on this site is the model for all future development. We hope to add other technologies and services soon. If you would like to suggest an additional service for this site, please put your comment in the dropbox. We review these daily, and we hope to respond to your suggestions in a timely manner on the feedback page.