Barry really describes what it is and what makes it so addicting:
What makes DonorsChoose so compelling is the personalized nature of the process, as compared to the traditional method of donating to organizations. In the typical model, you send a donation to an organization. In return, you receive a generic thank you note, which primarily serves as documentation for tax purposes. Periodically, perhaps once each quarter, you’ll get a general newsletter updating you on some of the 762 projects the organization is working on. Of course, you don’t get any sense of whether your $250 donation went towards a specific project or, perhaps, was used towards the purchase of a high-speed printer used for direct mail. All in all, not a very personal nor satisfying process.
With DonorsChoose, you get an email sent by the teacher, sharing the specific impact of your donation on his or her classroom. The notes I’ve received are heartfelt, personal and seem to indicate surprise that someone actually acted on their request.
The latest proposal that I selected was to purchase a rug for a Chicago-based kindergarten class which had none. While a rug doesn’t seem that exciting, anyone with young children knows that the rug is the heart of the kindergarten classroom, where the students are brought together for various activities. The fact that our schools are so poorly funded that they require four and five year-olds to sit on a cold tile floor is abominable, but that’s a topic for discussion elsewhere. At McCutcheon Elementary, the school which submitted the request, 10% of the students are homeless; 100% of them qualify for school lunch and breakfast programs.
Here’s the response I received from Mrs. Lee, the McCutcheon teacher who had submitted the request:
Dear Mr. Graubart,
Even though I’m a teacher and hardly ever speechless, that’s exactly how I feel right now. I am blown away by your generosity and cannot contain my excitement about this amazing gift you have given to our class. I can’t wait to get to school tomorrow and share this wonderful news with my class! Thank you very much!!!
So, if you want to feel good about yourself, visit DonorsChoose, review a few proposals and make a donation to the project of your choice. The nearly instant gratification is sure to make your day. But be warned – you can easily make a regular habit of it.
This is just a win for EVERYBODY and the web in general. Try it out today.