Many programs across the country have reported seeing an increase in community and donor support over the past year. Frequently, offices ask Higher about the best ways to use new volunteers and donors to amplify their employment programs. Higher has found two ideas to make the most of volunteers and small donations.
Many agencies already have strong resettlement co-sponsorship models, however, with the decrease in new arrivals, co-sponsorship groups remain on a wait list. Some agencies replicated their model to pair co-sponsors with refugees who have been living in the U.S. for a few months and are ready to take on career advancement. Volunteer co-sponsors are great for assisting clients who are navigating career advancement and small donations can help refugees return to school, pay for re-licensing fees or exams, or even purchase a vehicle so they can increase their job search radius.
A small amount of money can go a long way for programs working to secure better jobs for their clients. Consider using donor money to create a small micro-lending program. Whether you begin with $5,000, $10,000 or more, the money can go a long way on a refugee’s journey towards returning to a previous career or securing a better paying occupation.
At USCRI of North Carolina, they utilize small donations to feed a small micro-lending pool of money. Clients who enroll in USCRI of NC’s Career Enhancement Opportunities, or career advancement program have access to the funding. Clients are able to borrow up to $2,000 to use towards obtaining a higher paying job and do not have to repay the loan until their new job has been secured. Like most micro-lending programs, USCRI of NC has a very high repayment rate at 98%. When clients repay the money, they know they will be helping another person on their career pathway.
Learn more about USCRI’s career advancement program here or listen to Higher’s webinar: How to Design and Measure a Successful Career Advancement Program .