Teachers ask. You choose. Students learn.
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In their words:
DonorsChoose.org was pioneered by teachers at a Bronx public high school in the spring of 2000. Charles Best, then a social studies teacher, saw first-hand the scarcity of materials in our public school classrooms and the profound impact of this scarcity on kids' education. Looking for a way to address this problem, he sensed an untapped potential in people who were frustrated by their lack of influence over the use of their charitable donations. DonorsChoose.org, a website connecting classrooms in need with individuals who want to help, was born.
DonorsChoose.org is dedicated to addressing the scarcity and inequitable distribution of learning materials and experiences in our public schools. We believe this inequity is rooted in the following factors:
- Shortages of learning materials prevent thorough, engaging instruction;
- Top-down distribution of materials stifles our best teachers and discourages them from developing targeted solutions for their students; and
- Small, directed contributions have gone un-tapped as a source of funding.
DonorsChoose.org has attracted contributors from all walks of life through an approach called Citizen Philanthropy. No matter their contribution size, all donors are treated to a level of service normally reserved for established philanthropists. This includes:
Meaningful Choice: Whether interested in pre-K literacy or science field trips, donors can select the specific project that they feel will have the biggest impact.
Full Accountability: DonorsChoose.org provides "end to end" integrity. We screen each project proposal before posting it online; purchase the materials for the teacher (shipping directly to the school); and compile photographs, student thank-you notes, and a teacher impact letter as feedback for the donor(s) who completes the project.
Portfolio Services: DonorsChoose.org contributors can track and manage their giving in "My Account," which shows the citizen philanthropist everything from the subject areas she/he has funded to the number of students she/he has helped. Tools such as gift certificates and gift registries allow donors to engage their children, friends, and family members in citizen philanthropy.