Category Archives: Education Fund

Betsy DeVos is Set to Transform the Education System

Betsy DeVos is the 11th U.S. secretary of education. She was passed by the Senate on February 7, 2017, after her nomination by President Donald J. Trump. Betsy DeVos has for more than 30 years been engaged in advocating for policy change when it comes to education. She is passionate about giving all children the fair right to a world-class education. Her interest in education started in her early years as a mother when she noticed that not all children had a chance to attend a school of their choice. Since then, she has been involved in the campaign for better educational options all over the country.For about 15 years, she has served as a mentor for at-risk children in the Grand Rapids Public Schools in Michigan State. She says her interactions with them forever changed her life perspective. She has continued with her campaigns, which have been successful in 25 states and the District of Columbia. She is a firm believer that the state where a child comes from or the economic status of the child’s family should not influence the quality of education the child receives. Betsy DeVos is married to entrepreneur cum philanthropist, Dick DeVos. Together they have four children and six grandchildren.

Betsy DeVos – Policy & Involvement is also a huge philanthropist, especially in matters education. She is a great supporter of Potter’s House Christian School where she first took her children to study. It was here where the struggles parents go through while looking for good education for their kids dawned upon her and her husband. Although she and her husband could afford any school of their choice, to many parents this was a luxury. She has since been making contributions to the Potter’s House Christian School.Betsy joined the American Federation for Children to further her cause and she is the current chairlady of the organization. She admits it was difficult to educate and convince the public about the need for better educational choice.

However, through the American Federation for Children, they have come up with measures to assist in their campaign. These steps include identifying potential legislators, enlightening them about the issue, assisting them to get elected, helping in drafting and passing legislation, and helping in implementation of programs workable for children.According to her, her biggest success has to be the tax-credit scholarship program in Florida. Through this system, more than 50,000 children have been able to attend schools of their family’s choice irrespective of their economic background. Also, Louisiana and Indiana have experienced major reforms due to her efforts. When questioned about how she divides her time, she responded that she did not worry about how she spent her time since all her efforts, in the end, pay off, either locally or nationally.

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Andrew Rolfe Seeks Change with Ubuntu Education Fund

If you haven’t heard of the Ubuntu Education Fund yet, you probably should take a moment to read up on it. Failing that, we can tell you a little bit about the Ubuntu Fund and how people like Jacob Lief and Andrew Rolfe are going about changing the lives of those their foundation is touching. To put things simply: the Ubuntu Fund seeks to change lives via charity work in ways that are dramatically different from what you are probably used to reading about.


Andrew Rolfe and Jacob Lief attended the World Economic Forum in Davos and it was there that a sudden realization hit the man. Lief points to the forum as the moment that he said, “It was nonsense. The money was flowing in but we weren’t changing people’s lives.” Lief, of course, is speaking from his position as the founder and CEO of the Ubuntu Education Fund. Andrew Rolfe serves on the Board of Directors, using his voice to help sway the flow of money toward places where it will go to make the largest impact. With the way that Andrew Rolfe and Lief had been fundraising it was easy to see that the money was so tied up it never really got to where it needed to.


A decision was to be made in order to change things up, thus leading to the Ubuntu Education Fund that we are seeing today. Lief decided to focus more on individuals with a high earning threshold while declining donations that had a ton of stipulations. Lief doesn’t want you to think that his decision has changed the success of his foundation. Conversely, the foundation is seeing fewer donations but they are able to streamline them directly to their destination — thus effectively accomplishing more.


The big problem with non-profits is that they are beholden to the donors and the strings that come with them. Donors tend to like to flex their leverage and push the money in a certain direction. This can obviously cause problems for a foundation trying to make a big difference in specific places. That is why we are so excited to see how Andrew Rolfe and the Ubuntu Education Fund materialize in the future.


Jacob Lief and Andrew Rolfe Say no To Donations with Strings Attached For Ubuntu Education Fund

Donor funds go a long way in helping non-profit charity organizations to sustain their operations. That notwithstanding, some donors are fond of following up to see to it that their donations are used only for the purposes approved by them. Other donors are interested in individual glory and insist on having their donations channeled to specific projects, and then demand that the projects be named after them. This micromanagement eventually grows to become a bottleneck to the management of organizations, compromising the main values on which they were founded. Jacob Lief, founder and president of the Ubuntu Education Fund, understands this just too well, having gone through the predicament of having to cope with micromanaging donors.


Sufficient Funds, Limited Achievements


Jacob founded the Ubuntu Education Fund with the aim of supporting education programs for kids born in less privileged families in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. The fund was doing well sometimes back, or so it appeared. Jacob was getting invitations to address delegates in global conferences, such as the World Economic Forum. Funds from donors were in abundance. Ironically, Jacob was not impressed by all those. In his assessment, the donations were sufficient but were not helping vulnerable people to alleviate poverty as per the organization aims. With this realization, he started turning down donations from donors who came with lists of restrictions on how their funds ought to be spent.


The Ubuntu Model


Today, Jacob only accepts donations from donors, who don’t interfere with the running of Ubuntu Education Fund. He, however, admits that such donors are hard to come by. He acknowledges that the organization now operates with a much lower budget, but notes that much more is accomplished now than during the times of huge donations. He now has the freedom to implement projects that benefit the community rather than individuals.


Andrew Rolfe


Andrew Rolfe has been serving as chairman of the Ubuntu Education Fund’s board of directors for the last ten years. Just like Jacob, Rolfe was not amused by donors who gave donations with strings attached. He was on the frontline during the formation of the Ubuntu Model.


Andrew Rolfe is a highly connected executive. This extensive network helps him to source for donors. Judging from the success realized by Ubuntu under the leadership of Rolfe and Jacob, the organization will remain active for many years.



Andrew Rolfe’s Role in Restructuring Ubuntu Education Funds

Jacob Lief is the founder and the chief executive officer of the Ubuntu Education Fund, an organization that supports needy children in the township of Port Elizabeth in South Africa. Lief realized that the money he was raising was not making great impacts in people’s lives. Mr. Lief was raising a lot of money and attending high-profile events and gatherings including the World’s Economic Forum’s annual meeting that took place in Davos. All this was not reflecting so much in the lives of the people he had dedicated his life to, and this forced him to change his strategy.

His new strategy dictated that the organization shall reject donors whose contribution come with certain restrictions on how the grants were to be implemented. He started focusing on getting other means to support the children who had led him to establish the organization. Ubuntu Education Fund decided to be approaching Family Foundations or wealthy individuals who understand that restricted grants limit the innovation of the organization.

Lief knew that his decision would impact the organization’s budget, but it was worth it. Even though the organization does not receive a lot of money like it used to, its impact on the children is greater. Donors are not the decision makers for philanthropic organizations. The Ubuntu Foundation is one of the organizations that is not chasing money. It is after flexibility and innovation to ensure that it has maximum results.

Andrew Rolfe is the current Chairperson of the Board of Directors for Ubuntu Fund. He also heads other organizations and companies such as Tower Brook. Andrew trained at Oxford University where he attained his B.A. in politics, philosophy, and economics. He attained an MBA from Harvard Business School.

Andrew Rolfe is an active board member. Last year, he went to the Ubuntu Education Funds Center based in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. He was accompanied by his daughter. During the visit, he met the dedicated team that works day and night to ensure the vulnerable children are in school. According to Lief, Andrew Rolfe brought valuable tools to the organization. Andrew spearheaded the formation of a board to govern the funds and other operations. Andrew used his experience in governing companies to make Ubuntu Funds a more defined organization. He gave the firm the moral support it needed to grow and become better.