DonorsChoose.org makes it easy for anyone to help a classroom in need, moving them closer to a nation where students in every community have the tools and experiences they need for a great education.
Founded in 2000 by a Bronx history teacher, DonorsChoose.org has raised $730,871,586 for America’s classrooms. Teachers come to DonorsChoose.org to request the materials and experiences they need most for their classrooms, and donors give to the projects that inspire them. To date, 3,381,904 people and partners have funded 1,236,762 projects on the site, reaching 29,739,020 students and making DonorsChoose.org the leading platform for supporting U.S. public schools. DonorsChoose.org is the only crowdfunding platform that vets each request, delivers materials directly to schools, and captures the impact of every funded project with photos, thank yous, and a cost report showing how each dollar was spent. In 2014, DonorsChoose.org made the top 10 of Fast Company’s list of the World’s Most Innovative Companies, the first time a charity has received such recognition.
DonorsChoose.org was started by a history teacher. In 2000, Charles Best, a teacher at a Bronx public high school, wanted his students to read Little House on the Prairie. As he was making photocopies of the one book he could procure, Charles thought about all the money he and his colleagues were spending on books, art supplies, and other materials. And he figured there were people out there who’d want to help — if they could see where their money was going. Charles sketched out a website where teachers could post classroom project requests, and donors could choose the ones they wanted to support. His colleagues posted the first 11 requests. Then it spread. Today, they are open to every public school in America!
Their team of 80 has vetted and fulfilled over 600,000 classroom project requests that range from butterfly cocoons, to robotics kits, to Little House on the Prairie. Many of them are former teachers, so their operation feels like a cross between a startup and a schoolhouse. Stop by their offices in New York or San Francisco and you’ll find them working hard, digging into our data, sharing their favorite classroom projects, and Instagramming the happiest thank you notes from students.