Chip Shots by Chip Griffin

Check Out DonorsChoose

I spend a lot of my day looking at and discussing innovative technologies, techniques, products, and companies.  But we all need to remember that innovation isn’t limited to for-profit operations. In fact, a great example of innovation in the non-profit sector is DonorsChoose.

From the organization’s web site: 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., a website
connecting classrooms in need with individuals who want to help, was

I first became involved with DonorsChoose as part of venture capitalist Fred Wilson’s "challenge" that he took part in along with other bloggers.  The idea was to get readers to participate, and I did. 

I have been very fortunate over the years and work to support various charitable endeavors as a result, but I am one of those who like to be more directly involved with my giving and this group gives me the chance to do so. 

But what really impressed me was the follow-up.  I chose to fund a printer for a vocabulary program in a Brooklyn, NY elementary school.  Recently, I received a thank you note from the school, which would be great in itself.  But it was simply a cover letter for a stack of thank you notes, handwritten by the students and decorated with drawings. 

That kind of follow-up will serve DonorsChoose well and help keep supporters engaged.  Well done!

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  1. I am a big fan of Donors Choose; I discovered it through Sarah Bunting’s blog when she offered to shave her head if her readers raised enough money for them. It’s a great organization!

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