Sponsorchange.org Lets You Volunteer to Pay Off Loans! Would a Social Enterprise Model Like This Also Work for Artists?

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If you have a student loan (and we’re guessing you do—the researchers at ProjectOnStudentDebt.org say seven of 10 college students who graduated in 2013 owed money on a student loan, averaging nearly $30,000 in debt each) or would love to help others knock down those payments, you’ll want to know about SponsorChange.

Here’s how it works: Graduates with student loan debt sign up to volunteer at organizations that need manpower. The grads help their community by putting in hours toward that organization’s goals. Then donors who have also signed up at SponsorChange reimburse volunteers by paying down their student loans. So the donors help the nonprofit get free manpower rather than making a traditional donation. The volunteers get help with their student loans—and gain useful work experience along the way.

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What would happen if the artists and host-funders adopted this model? Many artists already volunteer their work — what if conservatory/art school loans could be funded the same way?