How the EDUaccelerator 2019 Turned Out
In Generation 3.0, we want NGOs and schools to be able to disseminate their innovative approaches to schools.
With the growth and dissemination of educational programmes to schools, there are also changes in the structure and processes of non-profit organisations. We help them handle these challenges in our EDUaccelerator. In December, we completed its second year.
The EDUaccelerator is a three-month programme of Generation 3.0, inspired by the startup world. Each organisation works with a personal mentor who regularly attends to it. Participants have access to learning activities and cooperate with an impact measurement expert. They get financial assistance for activities aimed at disseminating their approaches to schools.
In our EDUaccelerator programme, we have worked with five organisations this year – The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award Slovakia, Institute for Active Citizenship, Junior Achievement Slovakia, Open Society Foundation, and Post Bellum SK.
The main objective was to support them in the dissemination of their approaches to as many schools as possible. However, the dissemination itself had been preceded, in the words of the participants, by ‘major tidying-up’. In a very simplified way, the EDUaccelerator workflow looked like this:
- Audit: At the final meeting of this year’s EDUaccelerator, the re-occurring topic was “major tidying-up”. But not in relation to the upcoming holidays. It meant setting up an effective system of work for individual organisations. Before the organisations fully embarked on the path of planning the dissemination, they had had to go back one step and conduct a thorough audit of their activities together with their mentors: analyse all their activities, bring order and logic to their operations and functioning.
- Prioritising: Ambitious plans and big visions are commonplace in the civic sector. But even the most amazing teams cannot do everything. Therefore, one of the personal mentors’ first tasks was to work with the organisations to set realistic goals and expectations. What activities contribute to the fulfilment of our mission? Which are the most beneficial when considering the resources invested and the impact achieved? Which activities are the core business of the organisation and which are not necessary? Based on the answers to these seemingly simple questions, efforts can be targeted so that the first results can be seen in a shorter time.
- Implementation: Together with their mentors, the organizations subsequently set out concrete steps in their action plans to reach the agreed goals. An action plan is an essential document which describes the content of the EDUaccelerator cooperation, which was unique for each organisation. Dissemination has different specificities in each project and can mean different things from reaching a new target group, through re-thinking the communication strategy or extending the services through online channels. Many of these activities have been successfully launched during the EDUaccelerator programme. We wish our graduates all the best success in continuing their efforts next year.
Personal mentors who attended to the EDUaccelerator participants (in alphabetical order)
✔ Nina Aleksieva – Nina worked with Post Bellum SK. For the organisation, the priority was setting up a fundraising strategy. Nina also helped the organisation analyse its portfolio of activities and set up its structure which will reflect in all areas from communication to team members’ responsibilities.
✔ Martina Králová – Together with the Institute for Active Citizenship, Martina focused mainly on optimisation of the internal processes with an aim to achieve a greater impact of the programme and to ensure financial sustainability by creating a business model of the programme for schools.
✔ Jan Kroupa – Jan is an expert in individual donations. He helped DOfE build their crowdfunding capacities. Together they prepared a campaign targetted at individual donors and extend their communication activities to reach a new target group – students’ parents.
✔ Zuzana Reľovská – Zuzka cooperated with the Open Society Foundation, which she helped set the strategic direction of the programme and identify the possibilities of its development. In the area of impact measurement, the Foundation prepared three case studies on working with schools, which will be published next spring.
✔ Jozef Šovčík – Jozef helped Junior Achievement Slovakia plan their recruitment activities for the next year of the programme. They simplified their educational and support activities to motivate teachers to remain involved (worksheets) and to raise awareness in order to recruite new ones.
The EDUaccelerator through participants’ eyes
“The mentor has brought order, system, and structure into our functioning. She has helped us tidy-up the chaos very efficiently. We already see the first results whilst starting the implementation. It has helped each of us incredibly and improved our work.”
“The mentor was the best part of the accelerator. On a scale of 0-10, I would give 9 points. In terms of content, expertise and the human connection, we worked together really well. The mentor helped us set the entire strategy for to reach the target audience of parents.”
“For me, the concept of scaling up activities was brand new. Before, everyone used to do everything but after the EDUcamp, we recruited a volunteer coordinator. We realised that we needed to target something specific to see the results. In this context, we focused on teachers, which we have recently tested through the EDUpoints.”
“We had always wanted to do many things before but it was good to take the time and have someone to help us. Someone whom I can message or call anytime and ask ‘What do you think?’”
In the Generation 3.0 programme, we constantly encounter interesting information and we want to share it further. Therefore, we invite you to subscribe to our monthly newsletter, through which we will bring you news and information, such as:
- the latest trends and innovations in education,
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