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How can students start up an organization?

I am planning to make an organization where people can support online learning, like Khan Academy, edX, and Coursera. I already have a plan of how to make a website and stuff, but I don't know if this is an organization, company, or charity. This plan also involves donating money. Right now I just don't know how to make this plan into a reality. I don't know where I should start. #online-learning #start-ups #self-starter

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Jennifer’s Answer

Dear Joy,


I am going to respectfully disagree with the previous answer a bit, as there is huge value in online learning as it can open doors to people who normally might not have an opportunity to learn. This is not to say that human interaction is not important - ideally there is a blend of online and F2F. For example, I am currently in a graduate program which is mostly online but we had a 1 week on campus residency last summer for the face-to-face interaction.


Anyway, I think the key will be to differentiate yourself. The organizations that you mention already do this quite well - so what will be the thing that makes you stand out? Perhaps you can find people who have done this so you can talk to them about how to get started. Also, is there an opportunity for you to teach an online course on one of these platforms so you get a feel for the process and experience?


I hope that this is helpful and am eager to follow your progress as well.

Thank you comment icon Hi, Thank you for the information! I am not trying to create another Khan Academy. They are doing pretty well already. My idea is to create a platform where people can find online tutors and we will ask those tutors if they want to contribute like 10 -20 percent of their income to us, so we can use that money to buy computers and donate for those who need it. This is my general idea, but I don't know what organizations are doing this. I can't find one so far. I would be glad to work with those organizations! If you know any organizations or people I can contact, please help, I would be happy to be in contact with them. Thank you for supporting my idea! I believe there is great value in online learning too! Thanks, Joy Joy
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Ken’s Answer

Hi Joy!


I disagree with the trend toward online learning.


Online learning definitely has it's drawbacks, as it does not allow for personal interaction which is very important in learning and in living. We, as a society are becoming too dependent upon electronic media, and need to return to interpersonal interaction.


We are becoming less able to successfully navigate in the world effectively using person to person spoken and written communication .


Here are an interesting sites that will back up my statement:
https://thebottomline.as.ucsb.edu/2012/01/technology-is-destroying-the-quality-of-human-interaction
http://www.foxbusiness.com/features/2012/09/25/underestimated-value-personal-interaction-in-digital-workplace.html


Let me know if and how this helps.

Thank you comment icon Hi Ken, Thank you for responding! I definitely agree with you! The drawback of online learning is that it does not allow people to have face to face interaction, and that is crucial. My intention of this plan is to donate computers to poor people who can not afford go to go to school, instead of making it less interactive. But how should I start if I want to start up an organization, like a group, or something? Do you have any suggestion or advice? Thank you! Joy
Thank you comment icon I would start by doing research to see which organizations are already doing this. Talk to the reference librarian at your local library. It is better to support an already existing organization than to make a duplication of effort. Ken Simmons
Thank you comment icon Good idea! I was considered to corporate with an organization to see if they can kind of "add on" to it. Thank you very much! Joy
Thank you comment icon Joining with an established program with a good track record would maximize any contribution that you can make towards your intended effort. Please let me know how it goes, as I would like to follow your progress. Ken Simmons
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Lev’s Answer

Hi Joy,


You can start by creating a simple website explaining your idea to the world and adding an email sign up so that you can reach people with more updates.


You can start accepting donations with Paypal.


You can apply for a non profit exemption with the IRS which is not hard to do.

Lev recommends the following next steps:

squarespace.com
mailchimp.com
paypal.com
https://www.irs.gov/forms-pubs/about-form-1023ez
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