This post was originally produced for Forbes.
buildOn is a nonprofit working to break the cycle of poverty. Although its focus is on improving global literacy rates, it has done a remarkable job of ending its own poverty, if you will, through a bold partnership with GE.
At their 2014 gala, buildOn raised over $3.5 million, crediting GE for its success.
According to a Wall Street Journal article, GE uses its partnership with BuildOn to facilitate recruiting. The partnership goes beyond donations and involves employees in building schools with BuildOn in remote villages. GE professionals who work behind desks find themselves sleeping on floors and doing manual labor as volunteers. GE finds these employees to be happier in their jobs as a result.
On Thursday, December 18, 2014 at 1:00 PM, buildOn’s CEO and COO, Jim Ziolkowski and Marc Friedman will join me for a live discussion about the partnership with GE. Tune in here then to watch the interview live.
More about buildOn:
At home or abroad, buildOn’s goal is to break the cycle of poverty, illiteracy and low expectations through service and education. Across the U.S., buildOn empowers urban youth to transform their neighborhoods through intensive community service and to change the world by building schools in some of the economically poorest countries in the world. Since 1991, buildOn has constructed 674 schools worldwide, with more than 90,000 children, parents and grandparents attending these schools every day.
Jim Ziolkowski is the Founder, President and CEO of buildOn and author of Walk in Their Shoes: Can One Person Change the World? buildOn is a non-profit organization that builds schools in developing countries while also running service learning programs for high school students in the U.S. At home or abroad, Jim’s goal is to break the cycle of poverty, illiteracy and low expectations through service and education. Inspired by his own travels to some of the most impoverished cities in the world, Jim derailed his promising career in corporate finance to dedicate his life to an unabashedly idealistic mission. Through intensive public service, his organization empowers inner-city teens to regain control of their own lives. Since it was founded in 1992, buildOn students have contributed 1.4 million hours of service helping the homeless, senior citizens and young children in their communities. Many of these students have also been involved in the building of nearly 700 schools in Burkina Faso, Haiti, Nicaragua, Mali, Malawi, Senegal and Nepal. More than 90,000 children, parents, and grandparents attend these schools every day. More than two decades later, Jim is still the guiding force of buildOn. Deeply influenced by his own religious faith, shaped by his personal meetings with Mother Teresa and the Dalai Lama, and hailed by President Barack Obama, Jim likes to say, “We’re not a charity – we’re a movement.” He graduated cum laude from Michigan State University with a Bachelor’s degree in Finance, and he has been featured on many news outlets, including NBC’s TODAY Show, CNN, CBS CBS +1.52% Evening News, and the New York Times.
Marc Friedman is the Chief Operating Officer (COO) and co-founder of buildOn (www.buildon.org) – an international nonprofit building schools in developing countries and helping at-risk youth in the U.S. connect with service opportunities. Marc started at buildOn when it was just a handful of people – everyone doing a little bit of everything. In 1997, Marc joined the buildOn family full-time. As buildOn grew, Marc focused his strengths in business on fund raising. From volunteering in the U.S. to working in buildOn’s current project countries – Malawi, Mali, Haiti, Nepal and Nicaragua – Marc believes in staying connected to the mission and the people on the ground.