Welcome once again to our “Stories that Inspire” series. To read earlier posts, click here. After several years of working with over 700 schools in the Dominican Republic, Edify continued to notice certain trends. Low-fee private Christian schools in the Dominican Republic are often run as functional charities instead of as small businesses. The school administration may be disorganized and accounting logs are often managed by hand, and even then, often lack key information. Edify noticed this common weakness in many schools and responded by developing a program where a certain number of highly motivated schools could apply for intensive coaching from Edify Staff. These “Core Program Schools” are selected on annual basis for coaching in best financial practices and Christian worldview and are eligible for a menu of trainings for their teachers and school leaders. We currently have 60 schools enrolled in the program and are in our second year of deeper relationships with these chosen schools. Our programs continue for the hundreds of other schools in the Dominican Republic, but we are focusing extra effort in these schools for higher impact. We’ve already seen some great results, such as school leaders saving enrollment fees to cover new projects and making savvier financial decisions for their school.
One exciting element of the program, PROGRAFICO, is a computerized accounting tool developed by Edify specifically for low-fee, private schools. The simple, intuitive, excel-based program will allow implementing schools to make quicker and better-informed decisions that small business owners face world-wide: how to pay employees, how fast to grow, and how much debt to take on.
The financial tool, named PROGRAFICO, a Spanish acronym, is being utilized in sixteen schools to organize school finances and help administrators perform basic accounting functions. The name PROGRAFICO translates in English to FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT PROGRAM for SCHOOLS. It holds records for tuition payments, student enrollment, and basic banking and financial information. It allows administrators to conduct basic accounting activities like managing accounts payable and receivable, providing up-to-date financial statements, and managing inventory.
The Edify team prays that school leaders can become increasingly proactive in their administration instead of merely responsive to their many financial obligations. We want them to be able to project accurate cash flow, pay teachers without dipping into savings, and save for the next construction or improvement project. Please join us in prayer for the hard but rewarding work they have ahead of them, for sound decisions, for fully enrolled schools and for responsible, paying parents, and to God be all the Glory!