Education Funding Opinion

Micro-Donations Go Macro

By Alexander Russo — March 16, 2007 1 min read
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DonorsChoose, the innovative online outfit that matches up small donors (often individuals) with classroom projects, is going national this year, having experienced tremendous growth and success in Chicago, New York, and...some other places. Click below for some of my previous posts (from the old blog). Iif any of you have any experiences or thoughts about DC, feel free to weigh in. Congrats to the DCers. Keep on making the old school education foundations sweat. Can Micro-Donations Make The Difference?
On the HotSeat, Everett-Lane, who runs the organization’s New York outfit, dishes on how DonorsChoose works (think eBay for donors and classroom teachers), describes some of the most outlandish requests teachers have made (not quite a Segway, but close), and fills us in on how matching donors and classroom teachers directly is bringing in new education funders and shaking things up in the foundation world.

Mixed Feelings About “Donors Choose”
I must admit to having mixed feelings about the approach...But I’m not sure what gets me. Is it that their promo program (now including Claire Danes as their pitchwoman) is pretty aggressive? Is it that the program competes with other, more established local programs lIs it that the approach is so individualized, so intentionally un-systematic and Web 2.0 that I can’t deal with it? I honestly don’t know.

Learning More About Funders
Usually thought of as either all-important or ridiculously out of touch, philanthropy is increasingly diverse, occasionally innovative, and important for educators and the media to understand. Starting with a Jonathan Alter piece on DonorsChoose, here’s a slate of Slate articles to help the cause.

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