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Right Question Institute, Inc.

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Citizen Participation, Civil Rights, Community Improvement & Capacity Building, Unknown, Voter Education & Registration, Voting Rights

Mission: The Right Question Institute (RQI) is a non-profit organization offering what many people consider to be the simplest, most powerful strategy available for helping people in low and moderate-income communities learn to advocate for themselves, participate in decisions that affect them and partner with service-providers and public officials. Our mission is to make democracy work better by teaching all people, no matter their educational, income, or literacy level, to think and act more effectively on their own behalf.

Results: Thousands of educators are writing in to share how the QFT helped their classroom come alive with high-order thinking skills, collaboration, and questions. "RQI has done brilliant, pioneering work on finding simple, innovative ways to teach highly sophisticated thinking skills to all people... their methods are urgently needed in our schools today..." -Prof. Richard Murnane, Harvard Graduate School of Ed

Target demographics: low and moderate income individuals and families

Direct beneficiaries per year: thousands of educators teach students to ask their own questions and thousands of families learn to focus on decisions

Geographic areas served: U.S. and beyond

Programs: Question Formulation Technique: a strategy to ask questions and improve questions Framework for Accountable Decision-Making: a strategy for focusing those questions on the reasons for a decision, the process through which a decision was made, and their role in the decision

Community Stories

6 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters



Rating: 5

The Right Question Institute's strategy is powerful, yet simple, and changes the way you think about the way we learn and teach. All schools should be using the QFT to help all types of students take control of their learning!


Rating: 5

The Right Question Institute uses a cost-effective, simple, yet impactful strategy that can easily be adopted in schools across the country. Before learning the Question Formulation Technique I didn't believe there was any strategy that could be adopted by new and veteran teachers that would truly have a significant impact on students lives. However, after seeing the work RQI has done and hearing from teachers who have implemented the strategy in their own classrooms I am convinced that Dan, Luz, and all the wonderful staff at RQI have truly found something that can change the way students are taught. I strongly encourage anyone with an interest in education to learn more about this organization and how the strategy works.


Rating: 5

The Right Question Institute has an incredibly high impact with a simple strategy that is easily adopted by anyone who works in low-income communities.

The Co-Directors' book, "Make Just One Change: Teach Students to Ask Their Own Questions" has been passed around among teachers and administrators across the globe; equally important is the organization's work in health care, parent involvement, and Microdemocracy - the idea that people can participate in decisions and advocate for themselves in their everyday encounters with public agencies.

The ideas are powerful, and the impact is real. If you want to learn more, this Harvard Education Press article is a good place to start: http://hepg.org/hel-home/issues/27_5/helarticle/teaching-students-to-ask-their-own-questions_507

Brittney H.


Rating: 5

Excellent philosophy and great strategies! I'd love to see more schools doing this with their students.

1 Katherine31


Rating: 5

I first came across this organization through an interview with the founders and authors of the book Make Just One Change. There is a great TEDx talk about the Question Formulation Technique. While the focus is on K-12 education, I have my college accounting students watch this video and practice asking questions. I think it's so important - asking questions is the best way to learn! And asking questions of yourself is a great way to help you answer multiple choice questions! I think this organization does some great work that really helps people throughout their lives.



Board Member

Rating: 5

This is an amazingly cost-effective non-profit with a simple but revolutionary idea: teaching people to ask strategic questions in encounters with decision-makers (whether doctors, landlords, school principals or others) alters the balance of power and transforms lives. This group trains others to train the end-users, hence its cost-effectiveness. And, in education, they have adapted their strategy to help teachers teach students to ask their own questions, which energizes and engages students (and teachers) of all ages and abilities, and also equips them for a life of asking good questions.