Teaching Profession

A $29 Million Donation Funds Classroom Projects for 30,000 Teachers

By Alix Mammina — March 29, 2018 2 min read
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This week, a $29 million donation from cryptocurrency startup Ripple funded every open campaign on education crowdfunding platform DonorsChoose.org—benefitting nearly 30,000 teachers and approximately one million students across the country.

On Tuesday night’s episode of “The Late Show,” Stephen Colbert announced the gift, which is the largest single donation made since the site launched in 2000. Colbert, who serves on the DonorsChoose.org board of directors, made his own contribution to the site in 2015 by funding all open requests of teachers from his home state of South Carolina.

With the money, which was donated in the form of Ripple’s XRP cryptocurrency, DonorsChoose.org is fulfilling teachers’ requests for books, lab equipment, art supplies, and more.

Founded in 2012, Ripple uses blockchain technology to help banks and financial institutions make global payments. Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse had supported DonorsChoose.org since its beginnings in founder and CEO Charles Best’s classroom. That’s why Best made the decision to email him with a request for Ripple to cover every open project on the site, according to The Chronicle of Philanthropy.

“We all have so many teachers to thank in our lives and we’re thrilled to pay it forward,” Monica Long, senior vice president of marketing for Ripple, tweeted on Wednesday.

In recognition of the donation, DonorsChoose.org launched a social media campaign under #BestSchoolDay. Teachers whose projects were funded have taken to Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram to share their gratitude:

As teachers continue to spend hundreds of their own dollars a year on school supplies, many have turned to sites like DonorsChoose.org to fund their efforts. Last year, we reported on a New Jersey teacher who raised $4,500 on GoFundMe and bought Christmas presents for every student at her school. And in 2017, DonorsChoose.org launched a “life essentials” program to support teachers’ requests for basic necessities—like clothing, deodorant, and toothpaste—to give to their students.

Image courtesy of Pablo.

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A version of this news article first appeared in the Teaching Now blog.


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