Financial support needed

To achieve its full potential PEOI cannot rely on volunteers only. There is much to be done that only a paid professional can accomplish (for instance, volunteer course authors can be found for many computer related subjects, but none for public health courses). The work to be done has been identified in a number of projects listed below, included in Budgets and explained in Strategy. A total funding target of $14 million over the next six years will allow PEOI to carry out its mission. A discussion of PEOI failures and progress in implementing its strategy can be found in 2002 Annual Report.

The projects are

1- Basic operations: seed money for first year operations and subsequent
Administrative operations: a barebone staff is needed to recruit independent directors, hire course authors and editors, promote PEOI courses among universities and colleges, and solicit grants; performance can be measured by student registrations, traffic volume, and number of courses contracted; if operations expand at a desirable pace, the budget for this project will rise to over $3 million by 2008; for the first year of 2002, a minimum of $450,000 is required as seed money to open an office and start operations.

Results of fund raising effort:

In August 2002, a major fund raising effort was started by writing funding inquiries and proposals for the first key projects listed above. In October 2002 over 300 foundations were approached, as well as several government and international agencies. No funds were raised from the mailing but lessons were learned as reported in 2002 Annual Report.

2- Virtual Partnership
Course development: to reach its goal of 100 courses, PEOI needs to acquire the text of between 5 and 30 courses
a year from authors; PEOI faculty must edit the text and add assignments, review and test questions; the cost per
course is anticipated to be between $100,000 and $300,000; the total annual cost is anticipated to rise from $550,000
to over $3 millions in 2005; performance can be measured by the number of new courses brought on line; a minimum of $550,000 is sought for year 2003 to contract a minimum of 9 new courses.

Results of fund raising effort: applications to InfoDev of the World Bank and several major foundations were not successful.

3- Expansion of course offering

A mailing of funding inquiry for expanding PEOI courses offering by ten courses at a cost of $880,000 was sent in March 2003 to over 300 foundations primarily interested in higher or vocational education. A complete project proposal will be sent to positive replies and to foundations that require a proposal initially.

An application to the FIPSE program of the US Department of Education was completed, but the deadline for submission was missed because it was unexpectedly moved forward by one month (possibly because its funding was cut by two thirds). The application will be submitted in 2004.

4- Public health

Health care education is of utmost importance for PEOI, both to deal with hospital personnel shortage and to form essential staff in developing countries. A mailing for support of each public health course creation, at a cost of $88,000, was sent in March 2003 to about two dozen foundations.

5- Adapting public domain materials for PEOI course structure

6- Developing civil service exam preparation

7- Designing job specific training programs

8- Linking and/or transforming free educational materials for PEOI students

9- Adding new foreign operating language

10- Translations and adaption of existing PEOI courses
Translation: translation into French, Spanish and Russian is necessary to serve large segments of world population (other languages may be considered as well); translation work will intensify starting in year 2004, reach a peak in 2006 and diminish thereafter; performance can be measured by the number of courses translated and the number of students enrolled in the translated courses; an initial funding of $50,000 is needed in 2003.

The anticipated sources of funds are identified in the Fund Raising section of the Budgets. In the future, alumni who benefited from studying PEOI courses are expected to generate the bulk of needed funding. But will take many years to develop. Corporate support is also expected to play an important role as soon as employers start hiring employees with PEOI course training. Initially, however, seed money from foundations and government is crucial.

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