Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the Pledge2Build?
A global initiative to raise funds to upgrade the infrastructure of early childhood and primary schools as well as teacher development in Jamaica.

What are the primary goals of this initiative?
The primary goal is to fundraise for US$2million for the capital improvement of early childhood and primary schools across Jamaica.
The intent is to:
- Engage the Jamaican Diaspora, primarily in the larger populated areas in the United States, Canada, and Great Britain, in a giving campaign to fund education initiatives across the island.
- Specifically, the 2016-2017 fundraising campaign is a US$2 million Jamaica Diaspora inter-parish competition to rally Jamaicans and friends of Jamaica to support this effort. The campaign will run from November 1, 2016 through January 31, 2017.
• On November 1, 2016, persons may donate online, via check and indicate the parish that the funds should go to, or in person at pledge2build locations.
• At the end of the donation period the donations are tallied by parish and the parish that has raised the most money is declared the winner.

Who is the JDETF?
The Jamaica Diaspora Education Task Force (JDETF) was borne out of the 5th Biennial Diaspora Conference held in Montego Bay, Jamaica in 2013, under the leadership of Leo Gilling, the immediate past Diaspora Advisory Board Member for the West/Mid-West USA. The JDETF determined that partnership and collaboration with stakeholders in Jamaica should be included in the plans and mission towards contributing to VISION 2030. The task force members span the USA, Canada and the UK, and has benefitted from the support, participation and leadership of organizations in the Diaspora such as the Union of Jamaican Alumni Associations (UJAA), Jamaica Impact, Inc. (JAMPACT), Jamaica Awareness Association of California, (JAAC), and in Jamaica from such organizations as the Jamaica Teachers Association (JTA), the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information (MoEYI) and Sam Sharpe Teachers’ College (SSTC).

Who are the major partners?
The major partners in this initiative are:
• National Education Trust (NET)
• GraceKennedy Ltd.
• GraceKennedy Foundation
• Jamaica National Foundation
• Victoria Mutual Building Society

Who are the major supporters?
The major supporters in this initiative are:
• Jamaica Observer
• Jamaica Teachers Association
• Power 106 FM
• Shareitcamp
• The Ministry of Education, Youth and Information
• The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade
• Union of Jamaican Alumni Associations (USA) INC. (UJAA)
• Consul General Miami - Franz Hall
• Ambassador to the United States - Audrey Marks
• Consul General Canada - Lloyd Wilks
• Consul General Office New York
• High Commission UK
• High Commission Canada
• Dr. Sue and You
• Connect to Higher Education Electronic Tools Applications and Help (CHEETAH)
• ExploreCaribbean! Consulting


Who can donate?
Everyone can donate …Jamaicans, friends of Jamaica…far and wide.

When can I donate funds?
The donation period for the 2016-2017 campaign runs from November 1, 2016 through January 31, 2017. Donations can be accepted as of November 1, 2016.

How can I donate funds?
Pay By Check*
Checks should be made payable to: UJAA FBO JDETF
And should be mailed to:
1452 President Street
Brooklyn, NY 11213
*NOTE – Checks must reflect the name of parish in the memo field. Checks must be postmarked by January 31, 2017.

Online: Donate online at

In Person
Donate at JN locations

What is the platform?
ISupportJamaica is a crowdfunding platform which seeks to provide an easy and creative way for Jamaicans in the Diaspora and elsewhere and friends of Jamaica, to provide financial support to projects, both microenterprise and non-profit.

Why do I need to sign up first on the isupportjamaica platform? Can't I just get in and donate?
Legally our 501c3 has a responsibility to keep records for the IRS. If you donate we can send you a tax deductible certificate for filing your taxes.
Once you are signed up login in and you are ready to "fund project"!

Is my donation tax-deductible?
Donations will be tax deductible in the USA.
Donors from other areas may request documentation supporting their donation. The use of this documentation for tax purposes will need to be discussed with the donor’s tax accountant/advisor.

Can I donate after the deadline?
No. Funds can only be collected during the giving period – November 1, 2016 through January 31, 2017. If donating via check, the check must be postmarked by January 31.


What did the phrase Pledge2Build come from?
Pledge2build was borne out of the message of Jamaica’s National Pledge. The National pledge offers a road-map for building a stronger nation. As we 'pledge the love and loyalty of our hearts, in the service of our fellow citizens’ – we realize that a group that we must be of service to are our students, our children. In order to ensure that they can ultimately play their role and realize their talents, we first need to pledge our support and donate to providing adequate infrastructure and educators to nurture their growth. Our students are in the classrooms working diligently, essentially playing their part in the pledge.
Will you do your part and pledge2build?


Who has oversight of the funds?
The fiscal sponsor, The Union of Jamaican Alumni Associations (USA) Inc. (“UJAA”), a 26 year old reputable nonprofit organization with its principal place of business located at 1452 President Street, Brooklyn New York 11213. Accounting firm, CrichtonMullings and Associates, serves as independent auditor for this project. The firm will review revenue and expenditure and certify transactions.

About the Fiscal sponsor
The Union of Jamaican Alumni Associations (USA) Inc. (UJAA) is the fiscal sponsor for the JDETF. UJAA is a non-profit organization tax-exempt 501 (c) (3) corporation and as the fiscal sponsor will provide the fiduciary oversight, financial management, and other administrative services to help build capacity for the JDETF.
In general, UJAA will receive and manage funds, handle the reporting to funders, and ensure legal compliance.

How will the funds be used?
1. Upgrade early childhood and primary schools in each of the 14 parishes in 2017.
2. Provide an international teacher/practitioner development program.

How can I be assured that the money will go to the projects as stated?
JDETF have implemented processes to ensure transparency and accountability. UJAA, the fiscal sponsor will receive and manage funds. Contractors will be paid by fiscal sponsor at each stage of the process. Contractors will be required to submit a Statement of Work (SOW), completed work and invoice, prior to payment.
An independent CPA from CrichtonMullings and Associates is onboard to see to it that JDETF is compliant and properly audited. CrichtonMullings and Associates will conduct independent audits of moneys received and disbursed.
JDETF will be providing updates on the status of the funds as raised, on an ongoing basis. This information will be posted on the website ( Any funds that are collected will be handled by the fiscal sponsor, UJAA.

How are the schools selected?
The National Education Trust (NET) inspects schools within each parish and performs a needs assessment on each. The selection is based solely on highest needs. A selection committee decides on the chosen schools.
Schools were recommended by the Ministry of Education, Early Childhood Commission and the use of the National Education Inspectorate report.

Does the parish/school that receives/collects the most dollars receive a "prize"?
Yes, the ‘winning’ parish will receive funds to support the infrastructure development for a 2nd school in that parish from funds collected, considering the goal is met. The funds collected will be used to build based on the school with the greatest need. If the overall goal of $2 million is not met, the prize will not be offered.

How do you propose to raise the money in that short time frame?
This project is driven by the inter parish competition. The intent is to appeal to your sense of pride, competitiveness, emotions and your love for your parish. This year, JDETF want you to call all your friends & families and appeal to them to donate to your parish.
This initiative is a grassroots effort! JDETF is asking that you like/share the link from person to person requesting participation and make the calls. Only you can make the difference.
The collaborations with our partners throughout the global Diaspora will also help with the outreach.

What are the other expenses associated with this project?
Some of the expenses captured as part of the project include marketing, project management and administration fees that can equal approximately 10% of the total expected revenue. The CPA will certify and report on the fees. None of the volunteers will receive any financial benefit in this project.

Will we get progress reports on the projects?
The pledge2build website ( will be updated at least monthly with the status of all funds raised, how the funds were allocated to projects, as well as implementation progress reports.

How was the goal of $2 million established?
The $2 million goal was based on the estimated that the cost to build/upgrade a school is between US$80,000 and US$125,000. This estimate is based on statistics and information garnered from Food for the Poor who has built and given over 100 schools to the government, the Early Childhood Commission who is the agency responsible for early childhood education, and the National Education Trust (NET). The project, then, will fund projects in all 14 parishes, professional development projects for teachers, as well as fees and expenses.

Is the Jamaican government involved in this project?
Yes, government is involved. JDETF has received endorsements from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade (MFAFT) and the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information (MOEYI). The MFAFT will assist in the outreach efforts to the Diaspora through the overseas missions. The MoEYI will assist with the selection of schools. The ministries will not be involved with the management or disbursement of funds.


How can I participate today?
1) Support
- Signup to be a supporter at
- Like pledge2build on Facebook (
- Follow pledge2build on Twitter (

2) Spread the Word
- Tell 10 people about the fundraiser
- Share flyers with friends and family, and on social media with the hashtag #pledge2build

3) Donate (Nov 1 - Jan 31)
- Online: Donate online at
- Mail: Send a check* with your donation
*NOTE – Checks must reflect the name of parish in the memo field.
Check must be postmarked by January 31, 2017.

Are there specific social media tags etc, you would like shared to spread the message?
- #pledge2build
- #pledge2buildja

What special events are planned?
A series of launch activities will be hosted across the Diaspora. Additional information will be provided shortly.
• Washington, D.C. (Promotional/media launch) October 26, 2016
• South Florida (Promotional/media launch) October 27, 2016
• Toronto (Promotional/media launch) October 29, 2016
• New York (Promotional/media launch) October 31, 2016
• Jamaica (Official promotional/media launch) November 1, 2016
• Jamaica (Culminating event) January 31, 2017
• Jamaica (Groundbreaking event) TBD


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