The dizzying changes in U.S. media and advertising technology can make it easy to forget that many people worldwide don’t have access to a basic education. Team Dayā, a not-for-profit group started by ad-tech executives, is working to build schools in lesser developed countries to help boost literacy as a key step in lifting people out of poverty.

“Many places where kids go to school, either they have to walk an hour-plus to get to a school. They might have school under a tree or in conditions you couldn’t imagine,” Jay Sears, founder of Team Dayā, said in this interview with Beet.TV.  “What we do is raise the money to build an actual functional two- or three-room schoolhouse that serves as a permanent structure.”

Team Dayā collaborates with communities, local education authorities and a not-for-profit group with the know-how to build structures in remote areas. Its first project was a school in Terai, a southern region of Nepal, followed by one in Senegal. This year, Team Dayā will build schools in Guatemala, Malawi and Nicaragua.

Jordan Mitchell, formerly an executive at Rubicon and IAB Tech Lab, Michael Benedict from Datonics and Nicole Pangis, chief executive of Ampersand, are among the 600 ad-tech executives to participate in Team Dayā.

“We’re just really grateful that we have such broad support, and we’ll be able to do this good work,” Sears said.

Anyone interested in pledging to back Team Dayā can make a donation at, invite people from the organization to speak at their companies or join its team in raising money and actually traveling to another country to build a school.

“Come with us to bear witness and work side-by-side with the community as it builds a school to transform itself for the future,” Sears said. “We’ve just figured out a way to put that all to work with a tangible result, and it feels good to be doing it.”

Sears last week spoke at the LUMA Partners Digital Media Summit about Team Dayā’s progress and asked industry leaders to participate in its efforts.