Pratham Win

Pratham USA has been named the winner of the Newman's Own Foundation Holiday Challenge. Supporters of the nonprofit organization helped it raise nearly $1 million and Newman's added another roughly $200,000 in prize money to support Pratham’s education programs throughout India. Pratham USA was established in Houston by Indian American entrepreneur and philanthropist Vijay Goradia in 1999. (crowdrise.com photo)

Pratham USA Jan. 12 announced that it was named the official winner of the Newman's Own Foundation $500,000 Holiday Challenge.

Pratham, for the friendly fundraising campaign challenge — specifically for 501(c)3 charities and publicly supported under Section 509(a)(1) or (2) — was accepting donations on crowd-funding site www.crowdrise.com. For one month, 542 supporters of Pratham donated $909,226.

That figure outpaced the next-best organization's efforts by more than $300,000 and over $330,000 ahead of the third-place finisher.

In addition to its nearly $1 million raised, Newman's added $197,500 in prize money to support Pratham’s education programs throughout India, according to an email sent to Pratham supporters.

Pratham, established in the slums of Mumbai in 1995, is among India's top non-governmental education organizations. Its mission is to have "every child in school and learning well," while developing practical solutions to address gaps in the education system.

Pratham USA was established in Houston, Texas, by Indian American entrepreneur and philanthropist Vijay Goradia in 1999 after an inspirational visit to one of Pratham’s urban literacy programs in Mumbai. 

"Of the 250 million children worldwide who cannot read or write, two-fifths reside in India," it said on the crowd-funding site. "We believe that every child can learn if given the right support."

The organization redefines learning by moving beyond traditional models of how, where and when learning occurs, it said. Additionally, it engages with community stakeholders, government and industry to maximize impact.

Pratham also boasts that it delivers outcome-based programs that have been rigorously scrutinized by internal and external evaluators. The organization said it offers versatile, easy-to-use solutions that educators can apply to their communities.

On its crowd-funding site, Pratham said that a $25 donation can provide a child with foundational literacy and numeracy skills, with 91 percent of every dollar donated going directly to programs.

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