Philanthropy | For Goodness’ Sake

Pencilling a route out of poverty

An online venture that raises funds from pieces created in pencil

Pencilling a route out of poverty

February 22 2012
Sibéal Pounder

Graphic artist Jon Burgerman, cartoonist Mort Gerberg and sculptor Kyle Bean are among the creative clique whose works feature in the online auction run by Pencils of Promise (Bean’s Girl pictured). The brainchild of entrepreneur Adam Braun, this non-profit has raised more than $3.5m to build 40 schools in Laos, Nicaragua and Guatemala in the three years since it was founded.

The auction room – showcasing pieces created solely in, or of, pencil – is regularly refreshed with new, one-off artworks, and all proceeds are channelled into the charitable projects. Designer Jonathan Adler’s Owl piece made from pencil shavings, for example, recently sold for $1,025, and is funding the education of 41 children in the developing world. There are also collectable sketches from names such as Saturday Night Live’s Andy Samberg and Chelsea Clinton, all of which will support Braun’s 2012 goal to complete 100 schools in total and fund a new scholarship programme in Laos to encourage students to enroll in secondary school.