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2014 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Dons Net Cafe-Santa Barbara High School/ROP

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Nonprofit Overview

Mission: The Dons Net Café's mission is to educate and empower both youth and community to create change that is both beneficial to society and to the environment while running a profitable social entrepreneurial business. We just want to "Do Some Good in the World".

Results: We are a fully-functioning and recognized IRS VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) tax site and were the first to receive an EFIN in the United States. We were named best volunteer site and Community Partner of the Year by our local United Way. Also, were selected by MTV Tres as Agentes de Cambio for the West Coast. Proud to maintain the highest scholarship rate in the entire Santa Barbara County, avg. of 91% compared to closest group at 64%

Target demographics: low-income youth, low-income members of our community, elderly, homeless, single parents, students of all ages.

Direct beneficiaries per year: While we educate our student employees we help our community by completing an average of 600 tax returns per year, perform numerous beach/street clean-ups, recycle in our school, and have a variety of local and world-wide ventures that we support.

Programs: VITA-Volunteer Income Tax Assistance, ROP (Regional Occupational Program), SBCSLI (Santa Barbara County Service Learning Initiative), Roots and Shoots, Do Ubuntu Orphan Bracelet Campaign, XS Project, Eco-Cell recycling.

Donor & Volunteer Advisory

This organization's nonprofit status may have been revoked or it may have merged with another organization or ceased operations.

Community Stories

14 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

This is an amazing non profit that provides hands-on entrepreneurial education for students. I am so impressed with their level of professionalism in their products, and the way the students market them. This innovative program is an example of the kind of meaningful experiences students should have in school.

1 Erika A.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Dons Net Cafe is a great non profit that helps individuals and the community. This small student run business benefits so many people and they are doing an excellent job in the community and in the world. This class not only helps people in the community, but also the students who are doing the work, they get real life skills that helps them be prepared for the real world.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

They are very professional. Always put your needs first, and have high quality products I highly recomend then.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Dons Net Cafe is strongly committed to benefitting every individual or group with which it interacts. This small business has been improving lives (financially, socially, environmentally...) for many years and continues to find new ways to make individuals and communities better. Some of its many programs include volunteer income tax assistance, education and job training, and environmental awareness; Dons Net Cafe aims to do all that can and will help others to lead healthy and successful lives.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've worked with Don's Net Cafe and Ms. B for over 20 years. This is the type of class that I wish I had when I was in high school. Students in this class leave with a sense of purpose because of the skills they've learned and the experience of running a business. Ms. B has successfully collaborated with several community businesses to bring training to help prepare her students for success, not only in the academic world, but with life skills. Ms. B uses a tough-love approach.
Students from Dons Net Cafe learn respect, self-reliance, and have a high level of self confidence. I've seen students bloom in this class.
They also give back the community through the VITA program in helping low income and seniors prepare their tax returns. They also participate in Day of Caring, and other community events. I'm proud to be connected to the Dons Net Cafe.

1 SafeLaunch

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Meaning and relevance give individuals a reason to act, to live and to love. Students In the Dons Net Cafe become successful leaders of ethical businesses of their own creation. They mentor and are mentored. They learn from experts and become experts. This is a program that inspires students to be stewards of their local community and citizens of the world. Check out the good they're doing in the world!

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Amazing organization. Students learn real-life business skills that are not taught in high school or college. In addition to learning practical business skills through their non-profit, they are also giving back to the community - BIG TIME. This organization helps with environmental causes, low-income tax filing services and more than I probably realize! They lead with love, and gain by giving back.

3 John289

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Don's Net Cafe is the most important program that I have seen within the SB School system. It teaches students real life skills as well as text book skills. The practical experience each student receives is so very, very important. Ms. B treats each and every person with respect and demands respect in return. I would do anything for the Dons Net cafe and enjoy volunteering there every chance I get. If I could give them 10 stars I would.
John Daly, The Key Class

1

Advisor

Rating: 5

As the Education Director for the Santa Barbara Bicycle Coalition/Bici Centro, I had the pleasure of starting a collaborative venture with the Dons Net Cafe: SBici, a bike club at SBHS where participants help the community with weekly bicycle repair, bike valet parking at major events such as SOL Food Festival, Earth Day, SB Open Street...
SBici is still pretty new but it is a thriving venture with more members every year because they are all hard-working & dedicated entrepeneurs with the vision of running a financially sustainable business.
This year, their goal is to send 2 or 3 students to the National Youth Bike Summit in Seattle, WA.
I am confident that they will raise enough money to make it happen :))

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've been associated with the DONS Net Cafe from its inception and view it as the most creative and valuable program at Santa Barbara High School.

Of the many benefits of the program, the one that I see as most important is its promotion of citizenship...the aggregation of an entire range of attitudes and behaviors that are the key to success in a society that values the individual and individual achievement. It's foundation lies in presenting its participants with challenges that relate academic pursuits with real world actions within a team-based framework...the lifeblood of the free enterprise system.

Examples of the program's value are many a varied, including scholastic honors and community service achievements, but even more in the personal attitudes and behaviors of its alumni who carry with them a stamp of assurance and responsibility that allows them to stand out from among their peers.

Underlying the academic requirements of the program is the requirement for personal responsibility and performance excellence, demands that Miss BK brings to the DONS Net Cafe from the very first day...a challenge that will stay with the graduates for the rest of their lives.

Proof of this and of the program is the pride exhibited by alumni who return to cheer the program on, year after year.

1 Catherine57

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have had the pleasure of watching this non profit grow. From day one they have been interested and successful in doing some good in the world. Each and every person involved in this program brings a unique and professional outlook. Their products are amazing and their customer service can't be beat!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am continually impressed with the students at the Dons Net Cafe. Ms. B. inspires the students to be the best they can be, expects only the best, and in turn, students strive to live up to her expectations. I believe students who are part of this virtual enterprise will have an edge in future endeavors because of the skills they learn.

I am proud to be a business partner.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

As a long-time teacher (recently retired), I have seen the amazing accomplishments of the students who run Dons Net Cafe for many years. Some of them were also in my classes, and I could see their knowledge, maturity and poise grow by leaps and bounds. It is a fantastic program, mentored by a teacher who expertly guides and motivates her students, who regularlys surprise even themselves by their accomplishments! Great coffee too!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As the author of a young adult novel, Animal Kingdom, and director of the website, Business-Minded Teens, I can appreciate the real-life business experiences that are taking place in the Dons Net Cafe. Much more than a virtual reality class--these students are running real businesses!--the Dons Net Cafe is a brilliant introduction to the world of entrepreneurship. Here, students learn the structure of a business organization, what it takes to make a sale and--just as important--how to plow their profits back into the community to do good in the world. They sell bracelets from Africa, fair-traded coffee, cookies made by homeless people and tote bags made from Indonesian garbage as well as their own homegrown tee-shirts. In addition, they help out other non-profits at events and in support capacities. Their teacher, Lee Knoedel, brings in business resources from around the community: people such as I who tutor, lecture and mentor in computers, English skills, photography, layout, sales and a myriad of other competencies. I wish I had had this opportunity when I was in high school!