One million California students will be economically literate by 2015
Benefit/cost analysis is useful.
This is the third of nine economic principles and a very relevant topic for making donation decisions. Benefit/cost analysis is simply structured decision-making to help students weigh alternatives and outcomes to make the right choice for their well being. California Council on Economic Education, CCEE, uses a five-step process (see example below) to teach students how to make better choices and accept responsibility for the outcomes.
As you weigh the benefits and costs of making a donation, here is some information to think about. CCEE has ambitious goals because California is a big place with seven million K-12 students. CCEE’s operating budget is less than the top three state Economic Councils combined, yet California is the largest educational system in the country. CCEE’s current budget cannot meet the demand without your, or your company’s, donation. Now, more than ever, California’s students need to know about the economy they will enter. Two facts emphasize the urgency of our mission. In the next 10 years, more than 50% of new jobs will require a college degree or post-high-school training. In some areas of California, the high school dropout rate is more than 50%. Unless we educate our children about the economic realities that they will face, we are consigning many of them to a life of poverty.
Help accomplish these important goals:
- Teach economics to one million California students annually
- Reach 10,000 teachers per year
- Raise funds to build our capacity to reach a ten-fold increase in students
How can you help?
- Phase One of Expansion Campaign: $800,000 Goal for the purpose of hiring staff to triple the number of students we reach
- Annual campaign for $400,000 to reach 100,000 students per year
Expansion Campaign Progress:
- Have received three lead gifts
- Nearly halfway to Phase One goal
- Actively seeking additional lead gifts
Five-Step Benefit/Costs Analysis Tool Example (See the lesson: Using the Decision-Making Apron):
- Identify your goal and available resources to achieve the goal
Goal: Be a part of teaching one million students economics each year
Resources: CCEE’s teacher network and programs
- Identify alternative ways to achieve the goal and narrow them down to two
Some alternatives: Start my own effort or nonprofit, lobby to improve economic standards in Calfiornia, attend a CCEE workshop and teach the neighborhood kids myself, contact the nearby school principal
Narrowed down to two alternatives: 1) Talk to the nearby school principal; 2) Donate to CCEE and leverage their teacher network
- Evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of each option
Advantages of 1): Feel good about the hands-on experience
Disadvantages 1): Takes a lot of time and I don’t know enough about economics to convince someone else, getting the attention of a busy principal is challenging with my own schedule
Advantages of 2): Feel good about being part of something bigger than myself, making a difference on a grand scale and helping children improve their lives and help themselves
Disadvantages 2): Will take time to realize the ambitious goals
- Choose one
Choice: Donate to CCEE, leverage their teacher network to make the most of my donation
- Identify the alternative not selected as the opportunity cost of the choice
You will miss the opportunity of talking to the nearby school principal directly and the hands-on experience
Join CCEE for updates and tracking progress toward our goals.