RAFT - Resource Area For Teaching

Inspiring joy through hands-on learning

aka RAFT   |   San Jose, CA   |  www.raft.net

Mission

RAFT's mission is to help educators transform a child's learning experience through hands-on education to one that inspires the joy and discovery of learning.

Ruling year info

1994

CEO

Mr. Jason Morrella

Main address

1355 Ridder Park Drive

San Jose, CA 95131 USA

Show more contact info

Formerly known as

Resource Area for Teachers

EIN

77-0365627

NTEE code info

Educational Services and Schools - Other (B90)

Elementary, Secondary Ed (B20)

Education N.E.C. (B99)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Blog

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Educators often lack access to affordable learning materials for their students as well as resources to help incorporate STEAM principles and hands-on learning in the classroom. Not having access to these resources puts a strain on educators, reduces the time they teach STEM subjects, and further adds to the education gap. In addition, RAFT aims to make a difference in the growing urgency of climate change by using over 300 tons a year of materials that would have gone into landfill for its learning activities and project kits.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Hands-on Education

RAFT’s mission is to get affordable, creative, engaging hands-on learning tools into the hands of our nation’s educators and students to nurture lifelong learners. Creating unique tools that are flexible and adaptable makes them ideal for all levels and abilities of learners. RAFT believes that the best way to spark the love of learning for the next generation of thinkers, innovators, problem solvers, and creators is through hands-on learning. 93% of educators who use RAFT hands-on activities report that their students are more engaged in learning and retain knowledge longer as a result of these activities.

Population(s) Served
Adults

RAFT Professional Development programs provide educators with ongoing training to improve their teaching, practice new methods, and gain confidence in the skills which enable them to improve student performance. RAFT specializes in hands-on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) education development.

Population(s) Served
Adults

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of groups brought together in a coalition/alliance/partnership

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults, Teachers, Students

Related Program

Professional Development for Educators

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

RAFT works to 1) provide affordable learning materials 2) bridge the education gap with hands-on learning resources and 3) help the environment by reusing materials for educational purposes.

It is a well-known fact that educators are underpaid. Not only are they underpaid, but typically spend an annual average of $1,000-$2,000 out of pocket to supply their classrooms and often struggle to find materials to teach complex STEAM subjects. RAFT works with other organizations in order to provide affordable learning materials.

Studies show that when hands-on learning is included in the classroom, students do better. RAFT works to make it easier for educators to incorporate these activities with STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering Art and Math) concepts in mind. Hands-on learning also supports students who do not always have access to the internet. Even in Silicon Valley, it is estimated that 100,000 students do not have the internet at home. Hands-on learning, RAFT believes, can help bridge the education gap that exists around the country.

RAFT’s affordable learning materials and hands-on lessons are produced, and inspired, by recycled materials. RAFT works with local organizations for donated materials. Annually, RAFT has diverted 300 tons of waste from landfills.

RAFT Store offers educators/members access to affordable learning materials at its 32,000 square foot facility. RAFT works with local organizations for donations in materials to keep costs down and affordable. In addition, the Store is now open to everyone which includes parents, students, and their families, not only educators. This new change after 26 years was brought upon by the pandemic.

RAFT offers professional development training and tools for incorporating STEAM principles, with a focus on hands-on education. Hands-on instruction has a long and successful legacy in the sciences and math. By using hands-on instruction, educators foster 21st-century skills critical to success. RAFT further makes it easier for educators to incorporate hands-on learning in the classroom by making STEAM Project Kits that come with instructions and all the materials needed for an engaging learning experience.

Hands-on learning is further important because many students do not have access to the internet at home. This further grows the education gap among students. In order to address this, especially during distance learning, RAFT handed out over 70,000 STEAM Project Kits to students. RAFT has also developed FREE STEAM Learning Activity sheets that lead families in engaging activities with common household items.

All of our resources are made, or inspired by, recycled and repurposed materials. Annually RAFT diverts 300 tons of materials from landfills.

RAFT has a $3M operating budget, and provides materials, workshops, and a store for over 8,000 educator members and their 150,000 students in the Bay Area and nationwide. With support from 6,000 volunteers, financial and material donations from over 200 corporate partners, and support from individual donors, RAFT helps educators increase their instructional time in STEAM subjects. Donated materials become inexpensive supplies and enable us to be a certified green organization.

RAFT has been serving the education community for 26 years
RAFT serves 8,000 educators and 150,000 students annually
Hosted 80 Professional Development Trainings in 2020 Serving over 1,000 educators.
17 Makerspaces Built and Supported through 2019-2020.
46 STEAM Project Kits Available
70,000 STEAM Project Kits and Activities Distributed to Title-1 Schools during Covid Response
120 STEAM Learning Activity Sheets Created in 2020
300 Students Served in 2020 Virtual Summer Program

Financials

RAFT - Resource Area For Teaching
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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RAFT - Resource Area For Teaching

Board of directors
as of 2/2/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board co-chair

Webb McKinney


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Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? No
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? No
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? No
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? No
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 02/02/2021

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Male, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

No data

Gender identity

No data

 

No data

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data