Why is Asha-Jyothi(AJ), a non-profit organization donating $100K+ to Chantilly High School(CHS) to build a Makerspace/Innovation Lab? Where is the money coming from?

Chantilly High School Innovation Lab project is funded by a generous donation by Sekhar Puli, Malini Puli , their extended family and friends, by leveraging the “Your Campaign” platform of Asha-Jyothi. The ‘Your Campaign’ program has been existent since AJ’s inception. See question #4 below (“Why is AJ organization giving Chantilly High School…. ) for more information on ‘Your Campaign’ and how it works. The money to the lab is specifically from individual donors who decided to fund this cause.

Is the money for the Chantilly High School Innovation Lab coming from AJ’s general funds?

No. The funds to CHS lab are not from Asha-Jyothi’s General Funds and is from individual donors who donated via AJ’s ‘Your Campaign’ platform and specifically donated for this purpose. General Fund is comprised of contributions that are not intended for a specific cause and include general donations, sponsorships and proceeds from our Annual Signature 5K Run/Walk fundraiser and also any other fundraisers that AJ conducts/partners with.

What are the specific details of the original partnership with Chantilly High School?

Please review the document that Sekhar Puli, Founder of Asha-Jyothi has conceptualized, authored and shared with CHS Principal Scott Poole to establish a FCPS Ignite Partnership. Sekhar and Malini have worked on this initiative and spent several months since the beginning of 2018 conducting various levels of discussions with CHS.https://docs.google.com/document/d/1CjFQgMF_gKUWuP_Lsy7JYy-bx9WZTU_U7IySJlcER8o/edit?ts=5a498111#

Why is AJ organization giving Chantilly High School in one of the richest parts of the United States $100,000+ to build a Lab?. There is a computer for every student, plus state-of-the-art hardware and software already. This does not fit the image of the underprivileged children on your website, nor the emphasis on serving tribal schools and families. Why should someone donate a considerable sum to a wealthy US high school? How does this gift benefit those very needy children and schools in your mother country?

Please also see answer to #1 (“Why is Asha-Jyothi(AJ), a non-profit organization donating $100K+ to Chantilly High School(CHS) … “) It’s a fact that there are underprivileged students in our community and we believe that the CHS Innovation Lab will act as point of access for those that may not normally take advantage of or be aware of STEAM courses offered at Chantilly HS. Local schools understand that their participation in the Asha-Jyothi 5K will generate money to help address educational needs in India as well as locally, and therefore Team AJ wants to work towards linking Asha-Jyothi with other local schools to help underprivileged students around FCPS and potentially plans to do the same in LCPS as well. As some background, Asha-Jyothi was started in 2003 by few like minded friends who came to US from India in the Mid 90’s. Our mission during that time was to serve the underprivileged back in India. As we evolved as charity we received several requests by donors and volunteers who wanted to impact the underprivileged in our local communities. We as a group decided that we will give back to the local community where we have been a resident for the past 20 years. In 2016 we partnered with FCPS Foundation to provide Back to school Supplies and Weekend Meals to Kids on assistance at Mosby Woods Elementary and we have continued to support that program since then. We have other programs planned for Title 1 Schools in our area in the near future. There are three types of Campaigns in Asha-Jyothi – EducationHealthcare and Your Campaign. Education/Healthcare campaigns are the majority of the campaigns that are conducted from the General Fund accrued by the donations, sponsorships and our Annual Signature 5K Fundraiser proceeds from multiple cities. A “Your Campaign” is initiated by anyone who wants to champion a cause, the funds for such a Your campaign initiative does not use any funds from the General Fund Pool but does its own specific fundraiser, which AJ provides the support mechanism so that anyone can donate to that particular cause. When the donors, who are local residents of Chantilly, came up with a plan to start an Innovation Lab that would benefit all kids, including the local underprivileged kids, we partnered with FCPS Foundation to execute the plan.

What are the specifics of the discount that AJ is offering to the Region 5 schools and why? How is it possible? How is that funded? Are these contributions tax exempt?

AJ is offering a discount of 60% off the regular registration fee ($10, original price $25) to all school participants for the 5K Run/Walk with a promise of giving back to each school, 100% of the funds raised plus a match of 50% more upto a $1000 for our 10th Annual 5K event held on Sunday Sept 16 2018. Our generous donors help us raise funds for our organization and this is part of our outreach to the local community. The match and cap is specific to this 5K Run/Walk event. One of the primary reasons we are undertaking this initiative is because this is our 10th year of our 5K fundraiser and we along with our kids have benefited from the school system in the county, especially CHS and Chantillyyouth.org/track which supported us in our initial years of organizing the annual 5K. We wanted to find a meaningful way of contributing back to the community and combining our mission of education by promoting diversity, healthy lifestyle and a sense of giving back to our local community. Through our generous donors we have funds available today and we want to use them to bring awareness about Asha-Jyothi and in turn impress upon the next generation that giving back is essential, important for our future and ofcourse a lot of fun. Run registrations are typically not tax deductible (as you receive T-shirt, food, water etc) but an additional amount donated by you in addition to run registration is tax deductible as we are a 501 (C)3 charity organization since 2003.

Why is Asha-Jyothi (AJ) spending money for marketing and advertising at local movie theaters for AJ 5K annual run?

AJ is advertising at movie theaters to spread awareness among diverse population and for further outreach about the AJ 11th Annual 5K Race in Fairfax, VA on September 15th 2019. The 1 minute movie ad will be played for 4 weeks from 8/16/19 - 09/14/2019 to promote the 5K race.

This is a strategic decision that AJ took to invest in 5K race to generate additional funds locally to allow us to execute increased variety of educational and healthcare programs in India .

Is the money for AJ 5K marketing and movie theater promotions coming from AJ’s general funds?

No. The funds for marketing and movie theater promotion materials are not from AJ’s general funds. It is funded from personal donations given by AJ Directors. This is a well thought out step taken by the AJ directors and core team.

What is Asha-Jyothi’s long term plan and vision with respect to Public School partnership? What does AJ aim to achieve with such a partnership?

You can get your contributions potentially matched by your employer, which have employee contribution match policy. AJ is recognized with the following employers as a non-profit eligible to receive employer matches. If you work for any other employer, you can initiate non-profit recognition process. AJ is glad to provide all the support needed for completing the non-profit recognition. This is how the matching works. If you are an employee of any of the following employers and donate $100 to AJ, your employer contributes a matching amount of $100. AJ will receive a total of $200, which has a bigger impact towards charity causes.

  • Bank of America
  • BNY Mellon
  • DST
  • EMC Corporation
  • Fannie Mae
  • Freddie Mac
  • Fidelity Investments
  • Gap
  • Northrop Grumman
  • Synopsis
  • Verisign
  • Verizon Wireless
  • Qualcomm
  • JPMorgan Chase
  • AT&T

The list is ever growing. If you would like to have a matching for Asha-Jyothi in your company, please contact us contactus@asha-jyothi.org by sending an email and we will work with you to get it setup.

Can I use the donation receipt I receive from AJ for a tax credit?

AJ is a USA based IRS registered 501(C) (3) non-profit organization, EIN # 02-0658463. You can use the donation receipt received from AJ for a tax credit in USA within the IRS guidelines.

What kind of events or awareness building events does AJ support and encourages partners to organize?

The education and healthcare charitable projects and community organizing events supported by AJ will be governed by AJ’s charter to serve the needs of underprivileged Indians or people of Indian origin. Please refer the AJ charter. Specific projects and events that AJ has been involved with so far include:

  • Signature drive and fund raising for rail road crossing accident at Guelph, Canada.
  • Fund raising for St.Louis accident involving 4 Indian students
  • Sponsoring kidney transplant expenses to save a needy patient’s life in Hyderabad, AP, India
  • Education sponsorship for a child with poor and terminally ill Aids parents.
  • Community awareness and fund raising charity runs in several US cities
How can individuals or organizations partner with AJ in organizing an event?

AJ partners with selected organizations and individuals that share a common vision aligned with AJ’s mission and core values. Organizations and individuals can sponsor AJ charity and fund raising or community awareness events by contributing your resources, mostly time and money. Event based sponsorships are available wherein the sponsor’s name and other details will be advertised depending on the sponsors interest and contributions. Please email us with your interest at contactus@asha-jyothi.org

How can you provide your feedback on a particular program or campaign conducted by AJ?

Please email us any feedback you may have at contactus@asha-jyothi.org

How do you proceed and what do you need to do if you have a donation campaign or program which you want to sponsor and conduct under AJ? How does AJ support such programs?

If you are interested in sponsoring a specific donation program either fully or partially and need support in executing and organizing for this, partially or fully, AJ “Your Campaign” program is precisely designed to serve your needs.

  • Through this program, an organization or an individual or a group of individuals can dedicate their funds to a project or an individual of their choice, thus “adopting” it.
  • AJ can be the facilitator bridging these individual contributors and the person in need.
  • Organizations, Corporations and Individuals can choose a project in an area, which aligns with their mission or charter and designate it as the beneficiary of their donation. The whole project or a portion of it can be funded.
  • AJ can provide a platform where you can donate specifically for education or medical needs and we manage the funds in a transparent way, so that donors can see how their funds are being effectively utilized.
  • Simply contact us via email at contactus@asha-jyothi.org to make your proposal. AJ leadership team will review the proposal to ensure that it is within the scope of AJ’s mission and once approved will provide the necessary frame work required to support your campaign.
How can you subscribe to AJ newsletter?

Please click on newsletter and enter your email address to subscribe to the AJ electronic newsletter.

What are the basic expectations from a volunteer?

Asha-Jyothi’s mission is guided by its core values of strength, commitment, collaboration and integrity.

  • Strength — What we can accomplish as a group is much greater than what can be accomplished individually.
  • Commitment — A sense of commitment to give back to the community.
  • Collaboration — We believe in promoting the core values of the organization through collaboration, above and beyond cultural boundaries.
  • Integrity — All AJ activities and operations will be conducted with professional integrity and will be transparent for all members, partners and outside organizations.

We welcome compassionate volunteers that are bound by these core values and pledge to work selflessly to further the cause. Your time will be spent in community organizing and related fund raising activities to support the underprivileged and needy. On an average you are not expected to spend more than 2 hours a week in your time towards volunteer activities.

How can you provide my volunteer services to AJ?

See above section Question # 1on How do I register to AJ site to be a donor/volunteer.

Does AJ support only underprivileged in India? Which part of India does AJ support?

Asha-Jyothi (AJ) is a volunteer based non-profit organization dedicated to serving the needs of underprivileged Indians or people of Indian origin by providing access to education and healthcare. AJ’s services are not restricted to any one part or region of India.

What are the different kinds of payment methods AJ accepts?

Currently AJ accepts payments thru electronic bank transfers, pre-tax payroll deductions, Google Checkout, and personal checks.

How do I register to AJ site to be a donor/volunteer etc? Volunteer

Asha-Jyothi volunteer is any individual who is interested in furthering its mission. Volunteers can organize a charitable event or help AJ in its fundraising and awareness building activities.Anyone can volunteer for fundraising and awareness building activities. The need is based on the activities that AJ is undertaking at the time. Volunteers can pick a role based on the amount of time they can commit. AJ strongly encourages the participation of kids to inculcate a spirit of volunteering and helping the society at a young age.The examples of fundraising and awareness building activities that AJ undertakes includes organizing a run, organizing a picnic, cricket/volleyball tournaments, dinner and dance etc. Kid’s activities include collecting coins, collecting toys, selling lemonade, face painting and moon-bouncing parties etc. Alternately, please send us an email at mailto:contactus@asha-jyothi.org Donor: Individuals can contribute money by making a onetime donation or a monthly recurring donation to AJ. In either case, AJ strongly encourages the contributor to identify the cause that the funds should be used for. AJ will make every effort to provide as much transparency as possible to the contributor on how the funds are used. In an attempt to ensure that the contributor derives the most gratification for his kindness, AJ strongly encourages individuals to play a more active role in organizing an event as opposed to simply donating money. To become a donor it is quite simple too. Click on the Donate link on the AJ site home page. You can donate using Pay pal & Google Checkout too. If you want to send us a check the old fashioned way our mailing address is: Asha Jyothi 13760 Henry Pond Ct, Chantilly, VA 20151