Local Charities To Support in Chicago: How Does Sponsor A School Work?
Have you been looking for a cool way for your company to give back? Have you been searching for effective local charities? Maybe even to explicitly hit a few corporate social responsibility or employee volunteering goals?
Do you want to make a meaningful impact for some of the best local charities? Well, here’s a peek behind the curtains at how our Sponsor A School Initiative with IPaintMyMind works, and how your company can get involved today.
Sponsor A School is a huge part of our model of mutual benefit. At IPaintMyMind, we believe that we can all help each other, and in the process make art education more equitable for students across the great city of Chicago!
At its core, the Sponsor A School Initiative is a fun way for your company to FUNDRAISE and VOLUNTEER to ensure a local public school receives art programs CPS’ budget won’t provide for them. How cool is that?!
Why Sponsor A School Stands Out In A Sea of Local Charities
We wanted to provide a super easy, plug-n-play way for businesses and companies to get involved with our art programs in Chicago Public Schools. Although our super unique funding model allows us to give public schools their first year of immersive arts programming for free, we need your help to ensure these schools receive these programs every year after that. With Sponsor A School, we pair you with a school that you will fundraise and volunteer for to provide another year of high-quality arts programming, supporting one of the top nonprofits in your area at the same time.
IPaintMyMind has been a Gold Star Rated nonprofit for years now, a top credential when it comes to reputation, mission, and impact. We are a trustworthy choice amongst the long list of local charities in Chicago.
Chicago Public Schools, as you probably know, is chronically underfunded. This is especially apparent when you consider the arts. Art programs are anemic in CPS, and in some schools, no longer exist at all. With COVID-19 rocking the City of Chicago’s finances, probably for years to come, this kind of outside programming is more important than ever.
Our Shared Walls™ program brings quality arts education to over 70 schools across the city. We provide a 12-20 piece art gallery, a curriculum power-building resource we call the Art Guide, artist workshops, and year-round support to teachers and administrators.
We know how important it is to empower students to be creative and to give them the confidence to make art and appreciate it. Art education makes for a more well-rounded superstar student.
Find out more about how arts education improves learning and problem solving in all areas in this article, How Art Programs In Schools Provoke Creative Problem Solving.
If you and your company choose to Sponsor a School, you will get to bring Shared Walls™ to your partner school, and be involved as the program unfolds. We hope that you and your team will develop a sustained relationship with your school and its students, and end the year feeling as though you have really made a difference.
Getting Started: Your Step-By-Step Guide
1. Get Started
Reach out to our program managers through our Contact Form or by scheduling a call, and tell us a little bit about you. What kind of business do you do, what are your core values, what is your team like? We’ll give you a call to chat about the program and feel out if it’s a good fit for you and for us. Then, we’ll talk through setting a fundraising goal.
We like it to be ambitious, yet realistic. This way your team can challenge itself to fundraise to the maximum, without making any promises that just aren’t feasible.
2. We Pair You With a School
Once we’ve worked together to come up with goals, we will pair you with a school that needs help to keep our programming. Each school that you might work with has already partnered with us before, and loves what Shared Walls™ can offer them. You will help make sure that their high-quality arts education stays put.
Whether you want to work with a school in a local neighborhood, a school that represents a certain community, or are not sure what kind of school you want to work with, we will make a great match for you and your company.
3, Co-Launch Campaign
Once you have your partner school, things will start getting really fun! We’ll publish a page about you, your school, and your fundraising campaign through our site, which will make it easy to direct people to where they can donate. We’ll also connect you directly with the team at your school so you can work together and communicate about progress as the campaign unfolds.
Finally, our favorite part, we throw a kick-off dinner to formally start the fundraising, and invite your team, community, your school’s community, and our backers. It’s super fun, and will get everyone in the mood to grind!
Everyone’s fundraisers look a little different, and we work with you to decide what will be the most effective. Fundraising events, email and social media campaigns, web pages, heartfelt personal pledges, all of these things and more are great ways to activate your community to get involved.
We keep the fundraiser campaigns short purposefully, so that you can have a short and focused push to raise, and then get back to the day-to-day business.
5. Volunteer and celebrate!
Yay!! You’ve hit your fundraising goal, what’s next?
First, we celebrate with you and your partner school. Then, we think about what your future involvement with your school will look like. You can help us hang the Shared Walls™ art gallery, volunteer at Artist Workshops, or just think about next year’s fundraising campaign. Either way, we know that the special connection you have with your school will endure and evolve!
Read more about some of the possible volunteer opportunities with this article, Volunteer Opportunity: Hang An Art Gallery In A Public School With IPaintMyMind.
Sponsor A School Is Different Kind Of Giving
That’s the real difference between Sponsor A School and other giving opportunities: that Sponsor A School encourages you to be involved every step of the way. It is an immersive and powerful experience, and one that will bring you and your team together.
We know that you will love the journey of fundraising for your school, and that you’ll walk away with new friendships and memories. If your business values being connected and a part of the community around it, this involvement with local charities is a great way to foster a permanent relationship, and one that will do a whole lot of good.
Schedule a call today to get involved with our Sponsor A School program. Read about the experience of a CPS teacher with our Shared Walls™ program in this article, An Art Teacher’s Perspective: Working With IPaintMyMind & The Shared Walls Program.
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