Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the goal of Agami?

“Agami” means “future” in Bangla. The name symbolizes our desire to provide a better future to the underprivileged children of Bangladesh. Agami’s vision is that ‘All children in Bangladesh will have equal opportunity for a quality education’. So we set our mission to provide quality basic education for underprivileged children. By focusing at the school (K-10) level, Agami intends to develop a strong foundation of education for the underprivileged children in Bangladesh.

What is Agami’s strategy to reach its goal?

The strategy has been to start small and grow over time. To that end, Agami’s first few projects were “dot” projects. The idea was to start with very small and localized projects that had a “dot” footprint on the map. While Agami helped children, it also learned HOW to help and WHOM to work with. Agami gradually expanded its scope to bigger projects and programs, and has introduced leading-edge technology and techniques to its projects. The Khan Academy Bangla program is a prime example of that strategy.

What does Agami do?

Today, in 2017, Agami has 18 programs, projects, and initiatives (PPIs) that include 4 Programs, 4 Projects and 10 Initiatives to serve primarily the underprivileged schools, students, and communities in Bangladesh. One of the PPIs is dedicated for some underprivileged students in San Francisco Bay Area, California. Additional details on PPIs can be found in this link from Agami website.

Where is Agami based and how is it organized?

Agami is headquartered in San Francisco Bay Area, California since its inception in 2003. Our volunteers are spread around the globe in USA, Canada, UK, Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, and Bangladesh and primarily work from their home offices. There are a few Agami chapters and groups in different parts of USA and Bangladesh. Agami maintains an office in Dhaka, Bangladesh for managing PPIs. Employees in Dhaka office are supervised by joint management teams composed of local and overseas volunteers.

Where does Agami operate?

Agami is headquartered in San Francisco Bay Area, California and serves underprivileged communities in Bangladesh and USA. It also had a small token school re-building project in Nepal after the earthquake disaster in 2015.

Why Bangladesh?

The original dreamer of Agami, Dr. Babu Rahman, decided to focus on Bangladesh because his parents were from there. Bangladesh is one of the most underdeveloped countries in the world. The UN HDI (Human Development Index) places Bangladesh in the bottom half of the world’s countries. Bangladesh has limited political/economic power in the world, and thus tends to get neglected. Agami decided to step in and do what it could to advance the country to a much better future.

Why education only?

When Dr. Babu Rahman defined the core values, education was a primary one. His father had left Bangladesh on the strength of this education, and became a professor. Thus, the power of education was very clear from the beginning. While benefactors can give many forms of charity, including money, clothes, blankets, food, these can be lost, stolen or worn out. However, once one receives an education, it is his/her forever. No one can take that from him/her. And education for all should be a right, not a privilege.

What is the impact of Agami so far?

In 2017, Agami is supporting 15 schools in Bangladesh supporting about 10,000 students annually. Hopes of these underprivileged schools, students, and communities would diminish without supports from Agami. Some of the schools would just stop functioning because of lack of supports and funding. Agami has been working to provide modern education tools with computers, internet services, and Khan Academy Bangla videos in classrooms as part of the package for quality education.

Which schools in Bangladesh do you support today?

There are 15 schools supported by Agami in different parts of Bangladesh. Agami has school projects in Chapai Nawabganj, Comilla, Dhaka, Gazipur, Gopalganj, Habiganj, Jessore, Jhenidah, Lakshmipur, Narayanganj, Netrakona, Rangamati and Sylhet.

Can I start a school project with Agami?

Yes, you can propose a school project round the year using the prescribed Agami Project Proposal Form. A proposal goes through the standard internal screening process by the selection committee, independent of the nature of funding, internal general fund of Agami or donor-directed fund. Agami’s School Program team works with the proposers, donors, volunteers, committees and partnering individuals/organizations, as applicable, depending on the nature of the project.

How is Agami represented in Bangladesh?

Agami partners with its sister organization Agami Education Foundation (AEF) in Bangladesh to execute and manage all related PPIs on the ground. Agami volunteers travel to Bangladesh from time to time in assisting the ground operations.

Is Agami an NGO?

Yes, by the charters, Agami is a non-government organization (NGO). In USA, it is an Internal Revenue Service (IRS) registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization (NPO). In Bangladesh, Agami’s sister organization AEF, is a volunteer organization (VO), registered with Registrar of Joint Stock Companies and Firms.

Is this NGO internationally recognized?

Yes. Agami Inc. is an IRS-registered small nonprofit organization in USA and its sister organization, Agami Education Foundation (AEF), is a registered volunteer organization in Bangladesh. We have been receiving grants from different funding organizations from both USA and Bangladesh. To name a few: Mentor Graphics Foundation, Khan Academy, eBay, LinkedIn, Wells Fargo, Verizon, Microsoft, etc. in the USA; Grameenphone, Standard Chartered Bank, Bangladesh Computer Council, etc. in Bangladesh; Asian Development Bank in Philippines.

What is the relationship (legal, otherwise) between Agami and its arm in Bangladesh?

Agami Education Foundation (AEF) in Bangladesh is a sister organization of Agami Inc. in USA. Both organizations operate under the laws of the local lands but maintain organizational and operational relationships per the Bylaws of Agami Inc. and the Constitution of Agami Education Foundation. Depending on PPIs and support activities, Agami also executes memorandum of understanding (MoU) from time to time to ensure the common understanding and deliverables.

What does Agami Education Foundation (AEF) do?

AEF is responsible to execute and manage all approved PPIs on the ground with funding from Agami Inc. (USA), Agami Education Foundation (Bangladesh) and other sources. It maintains pools of local volunteers, interns, employees and managers per the common understandings through MoUs and other appropriate and relevant means. All AEF executive committee members are from different walks of life and serve as volunteers for year-round operations including fund management.

How can I contact Agami if any school in my area is interested to get funding by Agami?

Agami website offers most of the related information including Agami Project Proposal Form. It can be submitted online. It is recommended that you keep a copy of the project proposal before you submit it for future reference and communication since Agami’s School Program team and/or review committee may ask for additional information during the evaluation period. It may take up to a year to complete the screening, evaluation and approval/rejection process. You can also send your queries by emailing to education@agami.org.

Where does Agami get its funding?

Agami receives funding year-round from individual donors, company/employer gift matching, grants, and fundraising events and/or campaigns. Some of the recent fundraising campaigns were done through crowdfunding. Agami Inc. (USA), Agami Education Foundation (Bangladesh), and their chapters/groups conduct annual fundraising events in their local areas of operation.

How do I make a donation?

There are numerous ways to donate; the easiest is on the website. Agami has a secured payment form set up through PayPal. It accepts one-time or recurring donations. One can also mail in checks. And if needed, Agami volunteers will even pick up donations!

Do you have a monthly donation program?

Yes. This can be set up easily on our website – here.

Is my donation tax-deductible?

Yes (for USA only); Agami is a registered non-profit organization in the USA, with IRS 501(c)(3) status.

How do I get my donation receipt if I want?

Agami sends out donation receipts at the end of the year automatically, regardless of amount. All Agami needs is a valid email address.

Where does my donation go?

Currently, more than 90% of the received donations/grants go directly to the Agami-supported projects in various schools. Agami was originally established with a working model of “zero overhead”. Agami could maintain it for about a decade from the out-of-pocket fees and donations by the dedicated volunteers, members and executives. With recent rapid growth of PPIs, it is now necessary to have paid full-time and part-time employees in Dhaka, Bangladesh to manage the PPIs efficiently.

Can I choose a school where my donation should go to?

Yes, you can and we call it ‘directed donation.’ However, the projects need to be aligned with Agami’s goals and objectives and Agami may need multi-year donor commitment, detailed breakdown of project objectives, and follow-up activities.

How do you track spending?

Agami tracks incomes and expenses using a computerized accounting system. Accounting from all units/chapters are submitted to the Agami of Finance Team and tracked accordingly.

Are Agami's financial reports published annually? Are they readily available to public?

Yes, Agami publishes the annual financial statements on its website. It also provides the financial summaries in its annual reports which are available online. External audits are done periodically both in the USA and Bangladesh.

Who works for Agami projects?

All Agami leaders, project leads and interns are unpaid volunteers. In order to execute and implement its PPI (Projects, Programs and Initiatives), Agami through AEF in Bangladesh, also employs some managers and workers who are paid employees.

How do I go about volunteering for Agami?

We always welcome volunteers who are passionate about education for underprivileged children and aligned with our Vision, Mission and Core Values. You can signup by filling up the online  Agami Volunteer Form and/or sending an email to education@agami.org. An Agami official would then designate you as a volunteer.

How does an Agami 'volunteer' become a 'member'?

For a volunteer to become a member of Agami, the individual is required to be at least 18 years old and pay the annual membership fee of US$50 to 'Agami Incorporated' using options provided in Agami website  www.agami.org, and subsequently be approved by Agami's Membership Team.

I already volunteer for Agami. Why should I become a member?

Agami members enjoy the following benefits: a) invitation to member only events, b) right to elect board members, and c) right to run for Agami's executive committee and board positions as per the policies and guidelines of the organization.

Updated on July 9, 2017