Most of us want to help to the social causes, but never do. Key reason is – we really do not know whether donated money is being spent meaningfully.
Donorschoose.org is trying to tackle this problem head on, especially for funding related to projects in public schools in US.
Here is how it started.
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 it is supported by 80 volunteers (most of them teachers) who vet all requests, purchase the goods and ships to verified schools. So far they have fulfilled over 600000 classroom requests.
Here are the stats to prove it.
- 70% of America’s public schools have posted the project on site.
- Mobilized 2083881 Citizen donors along with corporates.
- Together, they have given $425003496 ($ 425MN in classroom project funding).
- These projects impacted 18348012 students across public schools.
Here is how it works.
- Teachers in public schools put up specific project on the site along with dollars expected to fulfil the same.
- Donor finds a project on site and give donation (as little as $1).
- Once project is fully funded, Donorschoose team purchases all requested items and ship it directly to the school.
- Every donor gets ThankYou card, photos and report on how each dollar is spent.
- Here is how financial report for one of classroom project look like.
Beauty of this charity model is – you know who you are helping out and how your money is being spent.
Such transparency in Charity space is need of the hour as more people are willing to help social causes, but give it a miss due to lack of trust among Charity providers.