buildOn

Rating: 4.95 stars   44 reviews

Issues: Children & Youth, International

Location: PO Box 16741 Stamford CT 06905 USA

Mission: At home or abroad, buildOn’s is working to break the cycle of poverty, illiteracy and low expectations through service and education.
Results: Our students have contributed over 1 million hours of service in the U.S., and have helped build more than 500 schools around the world.
Programs: In 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. Internationally, buildOn is breaking ground on a new school every five days in Haiti, Nicaragua, Nepal, Senegal, Malawi, and Mali.

2013 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

Build on does a fantastic job of blending local and global philanthropy! Local after school programs help inner city kids find meaningful volunteer work contributing to their community AND global outreach to build schools in developing countries - often with the same kids! Education, community, family and giving back are universal values that buildOn exemplifies!

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Enable more inner city kids to go on builds in developing countries!

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

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Rating: 5 stars  

I have done several service projects locally with students from East Palo Alto schools, including visits to a veterans' home and hosting a holiday party for seniors. The best part for me is working side by side with the teens and talking with them about what motivates them to give up a Saturday for service work. They all talk about the community and connectedness they feel when they help someone else. BuildOn's success is rooted in the way it empowers teens to change themselves and their world through service.

I also raised money for a school in Senegal this year and traveled there with my 16 year old daughter to live in the isolated village and break ground on the school. What an experience! We will never be the same. We gave a building, and saw how education does change lives. But I would argue that we received more than we gave - this was an opportunity to connect with a culture and people and begin to understand their dreams and needs. For more information, read "Walk in Their Shoes" by Jim Ziolkowski, and be inspired by the story of how buildOn is changing lives!

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

find a way to get it into every school in the US.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

I love working with the buildOn group to fundraise in support of building schools ineternationally and I love participating in service events alongside the Boston Public School students. This organization is well developed for success on both efforts.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

When I came across the efforts of buildOn, I was deeply inspired. Through buildOn, I have learned that we can make a difference, and we can break the cycle of poverty, illiteracy, and low expectations around the world through service and education. As president and founder of a high school buildOn chapter for the past three years, I have been thrilled to see how far this organization has come since its inception. Over the past few school years, we raised over $35,000 and sent a team of students to rural villages in Nicaragua and Malawi for two weeks to build schools. Both journeys were truly life-changing experiences and ones that each of us will cherish for the rest of our lives. Through buildOn, we have also been able to have a tangible impact in our local community, which is a very beautiful thing! Go buildOn!!!

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Expand buildOn's after school programs to every state in the United States and add school construction projects in an increasing number of developing nations.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

My experiences as a High School Chapter President and Volunteer for buildOn have been among the most powerful and formative of my life. At is core, buildOn is a nonprofit organization with the goal of empowering youth in America to make a positive difference in their communities while helping citizens of developing countries increase their self-reliance through education. Spread out among more than 100 high schools, buildOn students have contributed over one million hours of service in their communities and touched the lives of more than 1,428,615 people in the U.S. itself. Furthermore, since 1991, youth chapters have helped rural communities in various developing countries build more than 500 schools, providing more than 60,000 children and adults with a better access to daily education. When I came across the efforts of buildOn, I was deeply moved and inspired. So far, my most memorable experience with the organization came in July 2012, when my chapter raised $30,000 and traveled to Bramadero, Nicaragua for two weeks to help build a school. It was a life-changing experience and one that I will cherish for the rest of my life. Through the buildOn family, I have learned that international service is possible. If we work together, we can grow as a global family and break the cycle of poverty, illiteracy, and low expectations around the world. Ultimately, my experiences with buildOn have inspired me to continue serving until the day that all children around the world have access to a primary school education.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

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Review from CharityNavigator
Rating: 5 stars  

The message of buildOn and the impact this program has both within our own country and in other countries is invaluable. To actually work at breaking the cycle of poverty and highlight the importance of education on multi levels is an impressive accomplishment. To have the actual statistics to back the efforts .... One of a kind.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

For the past 2 years, I have helped raise funds for BuildOn to build schools in Nepal and Nicaragua. Upon completion of raising these funds (over $150k to date), our group has trekked to these countries to be part of the ground breaking. As a yoga teacher, I try to teach my students the importance of community and service, but there is only so much you can "teach" about -- the rest has to come from hands-on experience. These treks, as well as the opportunity to work with BuildOn in various capacities here in Philadelphia, have been life-changing no just for myself and the adult students who travel with us, but also to our communities here at home that have helped us raise the necessary funds. When people collaborate together towards a common goal, the sense of community becomes stronger. Through our projects here at home, we have helped connect a local community to a global community, as we have worked together to create the opportunity for education for all. The support team at BuildOn is stellar. The international trek team (both BuildOn and in-country staff) are also superb.

Upon arrival home from our international treks, many of our students have either continued to raise funds for BuildOn because of their belief in the movement or have continued to volunteer in some capacity here in Philadelphia.

I am beyond impressed with this organization and will continue to work with them as long as I can.

Was your donation impactful?

Definitely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Definitely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

buildOn is not simply a charity, it is a movement. Not only are they breaking the cycle of poverty, illiteracy, and low-expectations through service and education, but buildOn is also creating a stronger community domestically and internationally. 94% of their students in programs in the United States are graduating high school AND going off to college, when before buildOn they were merely a statistic destined for failure. I owe my life to buildOn for everything that have done to positively impact my life. This organization has provided me with the tools to successfully live the life that will follow my dreams and aspirations. I believe in buildOn and love every aspect about this organization down to its Staff members. Everyone treats you like family, and helps you find a great sense of purpose in life. It is the ignition to many great minds and is leading the way to bring equal opportunity to all.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Invest more for reaching out to the public.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

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Rating: 5 stars  

It's been four years since I first entered the door to the buildOn club at my high school and I've gain priceless experience to what life have to offer. What we; as humans can do. One thing that will forever be in my soul is that accept flaws, mistakes, accidents, accept negativity with a smile, because that means you are smiling with life. The change starts here and I am part of that change.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

give shout-outs to the students all over the country sometime (: .

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

I was introduced to buildOn through a very good friend of mine during my freshman year, and I cannot thank her enough for it. Through buildOn, I was able to grow as a person, understand the difficulties and struggles others go through in 3rd world countries, and to simply be more aware of my surroundings. It has taught me how to work with others, how to build leadership skills, and how to get involved. I cannot thank them enough for the experiences I received and the wonderful people I met. I love love love buildOn!

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

buildOn has changed my life. I started buildOn as a freshman after realizing that i needed to become a better person. BuildOn has taught me to throw away those ignorances I had and im proud to say that in April I will be going on my first trek.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

nothing

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful?